Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Muscle in my Head

I decided to write this post because I haven't been doing what I decided to write about here:  the necessity to write everyday - even if only one sentence.  I was going to hedge my instruction to myself by saying that reading over previously produced bits would qualify, but no, that is a cheat.

Writing is a product of that muscle in my head - of ideas and of imagination.  Like any other muscle, you must exercise it on a regular basis.  You must also let this muscle feed on the senses that bring sustenance, that allow it to be supple and vigorous.

So, once again, I pick myself up, dust myself off and return to the fray.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Leonard Cohen, Mordechai Richler, Margaret Atwood: Random Thoughts

While exercising this morning I was listening to Leonard Cohen's recent album Old Ideas.

This started me thinking about the role of social environment in creativity.  Two of Canada's greatest writers, Leonard Cohen and Mordechai Richler both came out of the MontrĂ©al Jewish community.  Was their talent nurtured by this?  Would they have been great writers if they had grown up in, oh say, Windsor, Ontario?  Or in farm country?  In Canada, Margaret Atwood is usually lauded as Canada's leading literary luminary [sorry for the lapse into alliteration!  It is a disease!  I can't help myself!].  For myself, when I read her books [and a book of poetry of hers way back when] I feel like I am in a university lecture hall being told what to think by a left-leaning professor.  Mordechai Richler and Leonard Cohen make other universes real in my mind... the wall between writer and words and the reader dissolves and you enter an alternate universe.


[post scriptum:   when I googled Leonard Cohen to link to a brief biography of him, only commercial sites or wikipedia came up... so I lined to wikipedia.. then when I search The Canadian Encyclopedia I did indeed find an entry for him, but decided the stay with Wikipedia, not sure why Google didn't put the better source on the first page of search results]

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I have been meditating on the condition of aloneness.  Not loneliness... but aloneness. Solitude..being alone in your spirit if not physically... a human atom.. interacting with other atoms, but separate.

How does one write this?  Stories - whether they be fictional, semi-fiction, or the Histories I often write,  are based on human community and human contact with other humans.... this drives both fiction and non-fiction.  My central character, Simon, in my novel The Man who fell from the Sky... is in a state of aloneness.  Much of what I have written so far has him with friends, girlfriends, a wife or two.... love, hate... boredom.... human contact.  But he is alone. I don't mean in the philosophical sense that we are all alone - we are born alone and die alone and all that... I mean a kind of solitariness of spirit... where you move through life sealed at some intrinsic level against deep contact with others.

Sometimes this is a result of an 'alone' soul.. sometimes it is forced on one through circumstance.  At this point, I have not learned yet which of these two Simon is.. but I would place bets his aloneness has been forced on him by circumstance, not by his own character.  Unless, of course, his character drives others away.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Martian Sands

I am writing this blog post just to advertise a friend's project and his kick off to kickstarter funding for his innovative book.

Martian Sands

and where you can contribute to the kickstarter fund:

Martian Sands: Life at the dawn of the 22nd Century

Martian Sands Kickstarter fund

Expanded this site

I decided to add a page to this blog where I will show excerpts from books I am writing.  When the mood strikes me I will change them.  Currently the Excerpts page shows the first three pages of my multimedia novel project The Man who fell from the Sky.  I am writing and orchestrating this project - but have help from an artist friend, a photographer friend and a video editor daughter.  I still need a musician who will work for less than nothing.

I also added a page linking to my poetry site - which will also become a multimedia eBook.