on writing

I did not mean to write a blog post tonight - certainly not really write one, as I seem to save those for special occasions.

This is not a special occasion, except that I have spent the last hour reading over the blogs of people I know - or who know people I know - and falling in love with the power of their prose: Richard Roger's parallels between literature and the bottlenecking of human evolution; terpsichordal's artful descriptions of the close embrace and dancing with a familiar lead; erdaon's ode to Jason Webley. And somehow, though I don't much know what the topic of this particular post will be, I feel the need to add my voice to theirs.

In a word where so often we are surrounded by the incessant noise that is commercials and laugh-tracked sitcoms and radio talk show host chatter, it is good to remember that there are people out there who are intelligent, and educated, who can write things worth reading and say things worth hearing. So much of what we are bombarded with is of such low quality that it is easy to forget that there is anything else to be heard.

I used to feel like the writing group was a kind of safe haven from that bombardment, but it died at the beginning of this year, torn apart by misunderstandings and currents of things running beneath that I had no idea existed. It feels somewhat like the death of a friend, of something that I had depended on and expected to always exist. It had existed in one form or another for two and a half years.

I have not written much, since then.

My sister sent me an article, today, with graphs about how many female writers had bylines, wrote book reviews, and had their books reviewed in the major literary magazines. (You can view the article here.) The graphs are horrifying. Perhaps even more worrying are some of the responses by the editors of the magazines in question.

It makes me wonder about the fate of the book I plan to polish and query on this summer. And I feel, as I often do when I think about my still-nascent novel, that I have somehow let myself down because I did not write something more literary.

I have gotten enough comments from you, readers - in one form or another - to let me know that my posts here are read and appreciated at least by a handful of people. Thanks for that. It is nice to know that I am not writing entirely into the void.

It would be nice, too, if you added your voice to those who write to really write - who have intelligent and fascinating things to say - and let me know that you've started a blog somewhere. I'll follow it. We need more of us.


things I like this week, vol. 24

A friend, in the lovely French woods I envy him for.

. . .

Commitment. via fuck yeah, tattoos!

. . .


. . .

I love that he holds her and the instrument with equal tenderness. And how they dance in and out of the light.

. . .

Another friend. And a wolf.

. . .

I would wear pretty much everything in the Temperly collection.

. . .


Advice from Thelonius Monk.

. . .

If you look at nothing else in this post, go look at this link: The Scale of the Universe. The flash was created by two 14 year old brothers. It's dizzying.

. . .

Still not a fan about Louis Vuitton, but I love process shots. The family house is gorgeous, too.

. . .

Man Ray.


les chevals

I found this sketch when I started cleaning out the office this weekend. I drew it several years ago from a friend's photograph, and was always rather proud of the style.

Lime in the Coconut's recent picture post, and the (missed) opportunity to go see the horses another friend was horsesitting, inspired me to post it.

I never did quite grow out of my horse phase.


house atreides

There's a Harris hawk that's been hanging around our house lately. He came and sat on the balcony railing one day when Colin was out smoking, and Colin's been in love with him ever since.

The last few days we've seen him several times. Colin went on the balcony today to discover that the two patio chairs had fallen over backward, the cushions had been shredded, and a single brown feather had been left. It appears the hawk tried to sit on the back of the chairs, which fall over if you put even the smallest amount of pressure on the back.

After much deliberation, Colin's decided to call the hawk Atreides.

Hopefully I'll be able to get a better picture of him soon. He's huge and brown with red patches on his sides and a yellow beak, and he caws almost like a crow.


things I like this week, vol. 23

Venetian Carnivale Masks. One more reason to move to Italy.

. . .

The opening lines of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland - a worthy choice for a literary tattoo.

. . .

The flash of red beneath the black - so sexy. Even if I had no idea that the sole was a status symbol.