Friday, July 11, 2008

Beyond Usual Boundaries

I was reading an acquaintance's blog today and got pissed. Almost as pissed as his wife who is a dear & beloved friend of mine.

The guy writes and is a BNW in his trade and I've been a fan for years. He's on tour to flog his books, meet fans and publisher types in Europe at the moment because that's part of his job. So he posts a few nice comments about how good the food is among other things. Yet,instead of people -- some of his other fans -- being glad for him about his trip and new discoveries (which may perhaps contribute some measure of inspiration and insight for something they may read later),they're nagging him.... about their expectations that he finish the set of books he started years ago, to meet their desires for what they want, when they want it. Instant gratification and all that.

And I'm thinkin' some unpleasant thought about this. What they're asking for is perfection. This guy's a great damn writer -- and he is slow. I've known that since the mid 70s. It's his process. I read the first book in the set and reckoned the telling may take 15 years or maybe some more. That's groovy and I'm normally a results kinda gal in other things. This guy's not the Kinkaid of writing, factory churning out boilerplate books like Kinkaid does his paintings along with a large team of other hired artists and technicians copying and pressing as he goes along adding swooshes of paint here and there to canvases of those pretty houses in the woods swathed in light. Gag me. I'm thinkin' "Fuck y'all, ya clods.." Theres nothing like being sick to have things that irritate ya come to a hot head of steam.

And I went off.... "you go into any working painters, sculptors, seamstress, or any other kind of creative artists studio and you will see not just one, but maybe even dozens of projects in various stages of progress and development. When musicians of all stripes go on tour, they are leaving some of their studio projects unfinished so they can earn their bread and butter that fuels the 'studio' time..."

When did people forget that writing stories evolve? That stories can take lives of their own and not follow "the plan". And ya can't force them back into it either. Tom Robbins has 5, 6 years between some of his novels. Ok, they're not serialized, but so what? The stuff my guy's writing is meatier and more nuanced, too. Let me get this right -- you want my guy to write a great, award winning story that keeps you turning the pages to the end yet he's gotta churn it out like Krispie Kremes or a Thomas "master-of-mass-reproduction-genuine-painting-light" Kinkaid?

ACK! Civilization has ended! Y'all have given me proof!

So I fired into the crowd.

I hope my friend forgives me.


tommy said...

I'm glad you said something in his defense. If, by some blessing of the gods, I ever find myself in a similar predicament, please feel free to chastise any selfish, rapid fans that may be heckling me. ;)

Morgan said...

I will. I promise. Solemnly.