Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Ramble

The writers group met this evening in a room at the Boys & Girls Club where I work. Only four of us attended, and events unfolded as usual, with one writer bringing two new chapters, one writer reading old material, another with a sheet of grammatical errors she found in her students' papers and used as lesson material, and then me with my few pages of science fiction, the unfinished draft of the next episode of Thieves' Honor.

I almost didn't share anything with the other writers. After all, they don't "do" science fiction or fantasy, and my work makes their eyes cross and their faces go blank.

I read the first scene of the episode anyway (wouldn't want to tax them with an entire story!), a harsher scene than made them comfortable, but they gave decent feedback. That was unexpected, and encouraging.

As solitary as writing is, and though many of us really write to tell ourselves a story, it does matter to us what others think.

Which brings questions: Why do performers perform? Would a stage actor act without the applause? Would a film or TV actor put in the long hours without monetary reward? Why, then, do we plug away at an avocation as miserly and demanding as writing?

Now's a good time to invoke a cliche: glutton for punishment. Yep. That's me!


Mom made sure my brother and I could thread a needle, wield a vacuum cleaner, and cook a meal. During our childhood forays into the kitchen, I generally made spaghetti and pasta dishes, and baked experimental cookies that could also double as hockey pucks or dog biscuits, and my brother's expertise was grilling stuff. I've given up on my childhood specialties, but Bubba continues as the family grillmaster. (He's pretty darn good, too.)

In an effort to eat healthier, I buy salad stuff, but sometimes it will sit in the fridge to the point of becoming a science fair project. I buy fruit; same story.

I like veggies, and I like fruit, so what's the problem? (shrug)

The local grocery store has been offering pre-cut plates of fresh produce, such as mixed veggies that can be eaten raw or cooked, or sliced fruit that can be eaten as-is or tossed into a fruit salad. Ah! My kind of packaging! No work involved -- though the price is higher than if I prepared the food myself -- and the only utensil I really need is a fork.

People might shake their heads over this evidence of laziness, but I call it a good way to eat.


Alexander Field said...

Punishment and rejection! That's our reward right? No...really, I think I write to be read...and it's a possibility. I just started noodling on a post that I'll throw up tomorrow about setting a rejection goal, something I'm going to do for my stuff just to get myself motivated to get more of it out there...because what good is it sitting on my computer! By the way...i love my pre-packaged salads too... : )

Keanan Brand said...

I guess I write to be read, too -- to share my stories with people who like to read the same things I do.

Like you, I have a lot of stories laying around, finished or unfinished, many of which I've forgotten until I go digging through files and happen upon them. Some are downright embarrassing! Others are great ideas that, for whatever reason, were never developed.

But maybe we need to have unfinished projects and undeveloped kernels scattered about, because then we always have material.

I do want to get more stuff "out there" for publication, though.