"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. " ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I'm running on less than four hours of sleep, and yes I like announcing that - didn't I mention somewhere upthread that I'm horribly vain? For all the busybodies out there, I'm off the clock work wise, which means I'm free as a bee until Iftari. Genius! I rhymed.

I've been struggling lately with Numb, my latest "short" story although given the stuff I'm planning for this little foray into twisted personalized fiction, it might not be too short and maybe not even much of a story. Why the negativity, you ask, especially with all the grrreat vibes I've been sending out there with the perseverance and the persistence and all that jazz? The story and its associated characters, lines, alleys and byways have been on my mind for weeks. Although I must confess: the starting paragraph, as relentless and difficult as its been, sets exactly the tone I was aiming for. But then, I only did scratch and rewrite it four times. Those attempts are all saved of course...who knows when I might need them after all. They're good to save for a rainy day.

Speaking of rainy days, it poured here in Isloo for all of a little over 60 minutes before giving way for the sun to peer in through the nonexistent gaps of a few hours ago. It hailed too, as if He was trying to prove something. Last time it hailed, we were sitting at Civil Junction enjoying the first rains of the monsoons, and the discussion about the poetry of the season gave way to my own personal description of the scene soon after, in Color Me In while staring out onto the veranda of my lounge. (Note: my lounge, not the desi writer's lounge).

I think, as I expressed in The Writer's Journal forum, that a part of the reason for not being able to move past with Numb, is because a lot of it will come from experience with a certain crowd that I'm just not as willing to share, or more appropriately, I don't want to be affiliated with. And I really don't know whether my personal strengths still hold with the person I used to be, and who I've since struggled to unlearn.

There was a writer's quote I read a few weeks ago, about how writers strip bare in their stories, of how disrobed they appear to the public in their works, and how much of themselves really goes into each attempt. Because if you're committed to telling that story, invariably bits of you find their way in and the absurd fact is: once they're written and put up, that's it. There's no taking them back. You are what you write, really. It's actually that simple.

And I suppose a part of me is terrified with what Numb will uncover. Because aren't stories just always personal inroads, discoveries into your untold treasure chest of secrets? But of course, nobody knows specifics. After all, what fun would that be?

Being a writer is a shitty job, and it's more than a job, because you're often not paid for it, or not paid enough. So it's an obsession, a devotion, an insane asylum. It's many things to many people, but it's an art.

That's the only unarguable fact.

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