Friday, March 03, 2006

Procrastination Assasination!

I need to be reading! I have read a bit today. I read a bit last night. Then I stayed up until 2am writing a short story because it had me in its knifey grips and I couldn't sleep until I wrote 2/3's of it. I've had the writing urge for a while now, and blogging just wasn't cutting it, academic writing wasn't cutting it. I knew it was the creative writing urge; it has a distinctive itch to it. It licks and nudges at my temples and my fingertips until I give in. It's that fuckin' whore muse.

To put it simply and briefly, the short story is about a fuckin' angry guy who REALLY doesn't want to be laid over at the airport. Let your imagination wander and you probably still won't guess what this sociopath does.

It all started with the perfect song. Back when I was a real artist who painted and sketched and did monotypes and shit, I had to have a song when I worked. The perfect song. The song might be the perfect song for hours, even days at a time. If I was in the studio with a class full of pseudo-intellectual
Baptist University shmucks or all alone on a Sunday afternoon, the perfect song was the key ingredient, not to inspiration, but to the delivery of inspiration to canvas. I was going through a massive Dave Matthews phase, so "#41" could do me for a good week before I got sick of it. Sarah McLachlan, David Grey, and Jann Arden were my steady standbys.

There was one particular guy in my drawing class that I actually admired. He wasn't terribly pretentious and his work was kickass. I rarely talked to anyone in that class because they were all very standoffish. I went into that class with warrior mentality because the teacher was notoriously difficult, so I suppose I was standoffish as well. Anyway, one day in the midst of a feverish round of coffee wash (a technique for staining a drawing) he looked over at my board for a few minutes. I smiled. He looked some more. I knew he wanted to speak, so I took my headphones. off.

"Good work," he said.

"Thanks. I like this more than I thought."

"Whatcha listening to?" he asked.

"Dave Matthews."

"What's your favorite album?"


He smiled. He walked away. I went back to work. From then on he spoke when he saw me immersed in the muse, often asking if I was listening to my favorite album or was it something different that day? The conversations were never long. They were never about more than music, but they were always about more than music. I think there's an admiration among artists, especially visual artists, for how others find that place where it feels like your hand can never keep up with your mind. You can never catch everything you're feeling on the canvas...never capture just how you see things. You have to harness the passing wave the best you can. When you can see the wave in the work, you know you've succeeded. It's just a shadow, but a little piece of the moment is caught forever.

The other day I actually caught myself thinking..."Can you still do it? Can you still paint? Is it still in you?" I'm happy with writing (obviously), I'm happy with study, but I find I go back to my past often and I work the visual into my studies of literature. Once it's in you, I guess it never really leaves.

Now I find myself trying to catch the wave with my words. Always reaching for something.

I just drank a cup of coffee. On purpose. I don't even recognize myself anymore.

On TV: home improvement shows
Listening: "#41" from Live at Luther College, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
Planning: To watch Donnie Darko or Walk the Line pre-Junto con Elise


  1. But don't you love it when that whore fucks with you?

    Send her my way. I have work to do!

    Psst...if you ever need a...shall we say...proof reader? I'm here to help ;)

    Psst again...I bought Miranda Lambert's CD. Niiiiiiiice :)

  2. Heather!!! I lurv you so. I'll def be sending the story on. I haven't finished, but I may send you what I have already. I need feedback on the style especially..the buildup of tension.

    Glad you like Miranda! I was flipping back and forth between "Kerosene" and Rascal Flatts' "Fast Cars and Freedom" yesterday. Perfect summer top down, driving fast music.

  3. I wish I could paint. Somehow how I feeling your angst today. I usually do. Angst on.

  4. I like angst...probably too much. And anyone can paint...Jackson Pollock is proof positive. I love him, by the way.

  5. I tried emailing and it got returned. Email me at

    I wanna hear this proposition!

  6. Hmm, odd indeed. I emailed ya back. And your minpin pic cracks me up everytime I see it.

  7. I am in awe of David Gray. I am not a proof reader, but I am a writer willing to offer critique, if you so desire. Perhaps we might swap words?


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