I’m Not Sayin’ I’m Lost Exactly, But I Have Wandered Off-Course

Fri 05/22/09 at 12:47 pm

I found this document today, tucked in a Word folder entitled “Pages.” I reproduce it here, [nearly] untouched.

2:50 p.m., Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Okay, how to proceed from here. If I write these pages in cursive pen to paper, folks will have a difficult time reading them. So, I would need to translate into typewritten pages. I don’t have time for such nonsense, but perhaps Christine would consent to do so. I could also dictate, but again transcription impediments. Christine, again. Besides, while there may not be a lot of difference between pen to paper and keyboard to screen, I think there may be more of a difference between voice to tape. I don’t know why exactly but it’s a filter thing. To write or type, the words must form written symbols. No need for such translation with speech until a later time.

I can see one major difference right now between cursive and type. I make a number of errors when typing that I would not make writing, which does interrupt the flow of thought. By how much though, I’m not sure. I am, after all, capable, though not as much as before, of “holding that thought.” For the moment, I guess I’m inclined to type, unless I see a great difference between the two. I will however continue alternating for a bit to see if there’s a real qualitative (as opposed to quantitative) difference. It is nice, though, to use my retractable fountain pen. It writes smooth and silent.

I awoke to rain this morning. The sky was almost uniformly gray with no blue sky or sunshine in sight. It’s brightening now, with some cloud definition. The rain stopped a while back. Sigh. It was dark enough the street lights came on in the middle of the afternoon. I need to put more descriptive passages in the novel. Or do I? Are they just filler, or do they serve a function? Well, they probably set the atmosphere the writer wishes to convey to the audience. But, if one writes that it rains, then what else is needed? Well, rain is different with respect, for instance, to intensity and duration. If one of the goals of writing is to create an almost cinemagraphic effect; i.e., to enable the reader to see the action of the book with the mind’s eye, then perhaps it’s important, but only if one wants to have the reader’s eye more attuned to the writer’s eye. So, one can say, “it is raining,” and the reader can pick what kind of rain. The conditions. Would it be possible to write around the rain such that the conditions are suggested by the action, though not described? Implicit vs. explicit surroundings. But that supposes that the conditions of the surrounding are somehow informed by the action. How stupid is that? It’s raining, therefore one acts in such and such a way, when, indeed, one could act in such and such a way whether it is raining or not.

I know there is a convention where the surrounding conditions are written to reflect the inner weather of a character. I don’t want to do that. I will write of murder in the sunshine. But that’s sort of unnatural, too, since murder seldom occurs in the sunshine. If most murders are “red ball” murders (passion killing) or manslaughter, are we as human beings more passionate or more careless in the dark? Or is [it] that as a general rule more drug and/or alcohol use and abuse occurs at night? So, it is not necessarily human nature to kill, but human nature somehow altered by chemicals. And what, if anything, can be inferred from that?

My blinds are closed, thereby preventing me from looking west. I think the sun has broken through. Heavy, heavy sigh. But, would living where it rains more really make a difference on who I am? Are there rain people or sun people or snow people? Well, there’s SAD, but not everyone suffers from it. Assuming one doesn’t, then what, if any, difference does it make except in terms of personal preference? I almost wrote, “what, if anything,” which would then be followed by “makes a difference.” It appears the two sentences have the same meaning. Aesthetically, I prefer, “[w]hat, if any difference . . .”. But they are the same because “it” and “thing” are synonymous. I wish I’d been sober for my logic class. I wish I’d taken linguistics. I wish I understood the language of mathematics and music. But choices must be made. Time is more finite for me than for others. First things first. Write the book. Then decide where to go from there . . .

End, 3:35 p.m.

12:47 p.m., Friday, May 22, 2009

“And so it goes.”

next post: Part the Second
previous post: Happy Bloomsday

2 Comments

  1. :) wonder how many misplaced docs I have around here…

    Comment by Al — May 22, 2009 #

  2. So much here to contemplate. For one: Isn’t it the poet’s task to say “just enough.” A prose writer has the liberty of saying more than is strictly necessary. // As for finite time: You wrote this thoughtful/-provoking piece 7 years ago, no? Every day is a gift for every one of us. (Although, I still agree with Bertrand Russell.) // I’ve come to think two things: We have nothing but time and there is no time like the present. peace, mjh

    Comment by mjh — May 22, 2009 #

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