Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Naked Writer, The Form, And Earl

I have been reading, The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes. If you haven't read it, I recommend it. The naked in my headline does not refer to a literal state of undress and although I often write in my pajamas, I haven't tried writing in the nude - yet. Instead, it refers to a writer's fear of revealing too much and suffering failure, censure or fill-in-your-worst-fear, as a consequence. The best fiction comes from peeling away the layers and getting as close as we can to the truth of the characters. Here's one quote I especially like -
"writers who hold their readers' attention are the ones who grab them by the lapel and say, 'You've got to listen to what I'm about to tell you.' It's hard to be that passionate. It means you must put your whole poke on the table."
And that, as they say - ain't easy because "the fear of revealing ourselves tends to be repressed." But, if we don't go into the dark places of the mind and soul and illuminate them, our writing will only feebly scratch at the surface.

I'm in one of those dark places at the moment, and maybe someday that will serve me in my writing, but right now I'm too pissed off to see that. In June, one of the staff at Service Canada assisted me with my application for the G.I.S. benefit. However, thanks to some sort of error, I've been judged ineligible. The income they say I'll get this year is almost twice what the true amount would be. So, I have to launch an appeal. I'll write all the information in a letter as well as filling out the parts of the form that I can decipher. Maybe that will work.

When I'm not doing the things I should be doing, I occasionally amuse myself by watching a certain reality television show. I could justify this to my friends who watch little or no television by saying I do it to learn about pop culture and the younger generation. That wouldn't be true though. I watch when I'm too whacked or too lazy to read or do anything productive. So, I've seen a couple of Canadian Idol episodes and I've become an Earl fan. He's unlikely to win because he's well, odd - and he doesn't look the part, but he's, like, totally real eh! It's likely that Mookie will win, but my heart is with big Earl, the goofy guy who's a true original.

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