Thursday, October 18, 2007

First paragraph of a new story

Why is rewriting so painful? The part of me that writes just wants to write and deliver, write and deliver. That is why emails are so evil and consuming of creativity... they demand it in droves, and I can get away with sending the babies of writing away with no primping, minimum correction. How tempting! When really, writing anything that is actually good starts out as fun, and becomes WORK: scary work, because what if I don't find every error? What if I can't think of how to fix an imperfection? Oh, rewriting is not fun: I am compelled to write, obligated to rewrite. Obligated by the true spirit of any story or idea I have in mind... the first draft is rarely adequate. I am so impatient, I often settle for a less-than-perfect version. So, here is a paragraph. Some of it has been worked over a lot, some of it has only been written once or twice. So be gentle! --------------------------------------- Our lives are the ocean. We dream at sea and must live on land. We sleep cradled by the rhythm of waves, the damp salty sheets and the savory air, but wake to the church bells, the roosters, and traffic. The buses roll past and raise the dust on our narrow road that runs along the coastline and tilts to the west. Old Thomas built models, Canada sends them to our cities when they are too old for Canada, and the cities send them to us when they get too old for them. Local welders with artistic vision torch new life out of tired parts. They gut the carcasses to fit more rows of seating: more rows, more 25 cent fares. On the trip to the market, we lean left. On the trip home, we clutch out full bags and try not to fall on the neighbour to our right. It's a rough, violent ride. --------------------------------------- Sorry, I can't allow myself anymore. I just haven't re-written enough! This is very indulgent of me, very foolish, to publish something before it is really alive. Oh well, it has been a while since I've written at all.

5 comments:

Paul Artson said...

This is fantastic.

jacquie said...

it is. my new blog is http://jacqsomeday.blogspot.com

Timothy or Lillian said...

And you guys complained about having to ride the buses...see what rich fodder it was for your writing! Good job B. Now what about freezing train rides or violent bucking horses. :)
love Dad

Kent said...

Keep writing. You are good at it. Very good.

Kent

Mom said...

although I remember you doing something other than "dreaming" at sea. Remember that Whale Watching trip to Isla de La Plata? You were sick as a dog and hardly cared if a whale breached to the left or right. You just wanted to get back to land, if I remember correctly. Jono was ill too. katie was the only kid happy...stomach made of steel that little tike.