Monday, March 10, 2008

Portrait of the artist as a lucky sh*t--Or: Trust your own style



Something out of my own novel:

She was lying face downwards on her terrycloth towel, a breeze toying with her fine blonde hair. I reached out to stroke that hair, so spanking clean, and the woman turned to face me with her full pale blue eyes, wide apart and a little crazy, the high California cheekbones and a mouth as wide and pretty as an idyll’s.
We were lying in the grass before a Mexican spa, one of a dozen in the central plateau, the hot springs of Los Antes, lush and tropical in a benign late February sun. Before us steamed a pool, hot as a bathtub, fat old tourists squatting therein like latter day versions of souls being cleansed in Dante’s purgatory..”

Hah. Any excuse. :)

...Anyway, that's what I threw into SOUTHERN FRIED CHICAS while Tanya (SHE'SAWRITER) was hosting that group blog.

Tanya had been concerned about "Wham-Bam-Thank-you-ma'am" writing when it comes to love scenes in romance novels. This gave me a perfect excuse to forcefeed someting on friendly Tanya while she was host .
The response was good.
I should write romance?
Egad, I'll have to rewrite all my books, the subject of most of them being Rejection, Failure, Pain--the good stuff.

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws.

T.S. Eliot:

We are the hollow men
We are the hollow men
Heads made of straw
Heads made of straw
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang
But with a whimper.

Yikes.

36 comments:

Billy said...

Nice piece of writing, Ivan. And I like the quote from Eliot. (And btw, okay, yeah, I confess I liked HOWL, but liked Ferlinghetti mor than Ginsburg LOL)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Welcome, Billy.
Yes, it's really hard to beat Ferlinghetti's "The Emperor of Ice Cream" and other poems. He's not as down as Ginsburg.

..I see we've worked in similar vinyards. Wanna be a masochist?
Teach in the Pain Industry. Teach english. :)

H.E.Eigler said...

I agree, it was a very nice piece of writing. And you should write a romance for it is the heartache that makes a romance worth while. From what I understand you been there done that :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Some would say that all writing is romance, either of the requited or the unrequited variety.

This was a very nice paragraph. Beautifully done. My God, man, you are literate. Therein, perhaps, lies the problem.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Heather.

You must have tremendous bounce-back capabilies, new mother and all. I am told it takes a long time to get back that ole writin' form after having a baby. But you're goin' already!

Writing a romance?
Oh yeah. Been through, win and lose.
Picking up on what you said, it seems almost axiomatic (Like Henry VIII?) that you have to actually lose before the romance is any good.

Sorry about the Tudor pun--I just had to use it. :)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Charles,

Yeah. Some Montreal writers told me I was too wordy.

That's what happens when you train a man beyond his intellect. :)

Anonymous said...

Problems caused by you tiny PE?

Get MegaDick

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Heh.
Yes, Spammer.

All of my problems have been caused by my tiny PE.

Monique said...

Please Ivan, do not become another ghastly Barbara Cartland (if I spelled that name right). You are too good a writer for that sort of nonsense. But what is left eh? Virtually everything has been said! The most important thing, I think anyway, is keeping with your own style. I hate those critics who say you are too this or too that. Please .... most critics can't even string a good line together and that is something you do really well.

hug

the walking man said...

Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, HOWL ah shit and then you add TS Elliot what and the fuck is the matter with you?

Ferlinghetti Kept Brautigan out of the "beat scene" so he can kiss my ass and Ginsberg probably would have wanted to kiss it back in the day. And anyone who could write a whole pamphlet on CATS for God's sake.

But your writing, Ivan, is ok if it was in a romantic piece of a larger whole; yeah it worked very well.

Just out of curiosity have you heard of the school of "New Generation" Poetry? Now there was some overlooked poets, almost Dadaist in their outlook towards the written word...love those writers.

Peace

mark

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Monique,

Thanks. I needed that.

I think my old prof, Eric S. Wright came to his juncture at about my age, when, after a great short story in the New Yorker, he wasn't doing much more, so he went into mystery writing with his Inspector Salter series for Collins Books, U.K.
I always thought genre writing was sort of tame, but Eric made a great success of it.
He suggested to me that I should have a private eye of Ukrainian background and he was prepared to act as my agent. I played with the idea for two years until some guy from Winnipeg had indeed crafted a detective whose name ended with a "ski" or "chuck". It was at about that time that I decided to write a straight novel of world travel, love among the Mexican ruins, and loss at love. The result was Light Over Newmarket, which can be clicked onto (above). Got an Ontario Arts Council grant for that one...Straight novel, no chocolates or light fandango.

Thanks for the encouragement and I'll be sending something out your way once I stop this vainglorious hlogging and decide to write something.
Cheers,

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,
You have been reading good stuff, all right.
But, to risk a bad pun, our hearts probably belong to Dada.
Vonnegut was one Madrechingador, no?
I loved Brautigan, from beginning to end. Why did he ever off himself? Poet friends of mine wept in the streets.

Donnetta Lee said...

One of my very favorite quotes from Eliot.

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Nice writing, sir.

Donnetta

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Miss me Ivan?


soft love,
T

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

...You the sweetest thang.

ivan@creatif\vewriting.ca said...

Donetta,
Thank you.

ivan said...

Whoops" I'M getting puchy over here, folks. Good night all.

TomCat said...

Great writing, Ivan. Too many writers today seem to have forgotten that the our most sensitive erogenous zone is between the ears.

ivan2ivewriting.ca said...

thanks folks.

I think the dentist ust took a
sledgehmaer to old ivan's head

ivan2ivewriting.ca said...

thanks folks.

I think the dentist ust took a
sledgehmaer to old ivan's head

Anonymous said...

sorry , guys.

Very extiremely sick

Anonymous said...

seei
f
f the old typefinder works. it dont egad
ivan

Anonymous said...

seei
f
f the old typefinder works. it dont egad
ivan

benjibopper said...

love that TS - some have said i have an excellent TS detector.

what's romance without pain and heartache eh? it's like neapolitan without the strawberry, bowling without pins, english lit without pomposity.

benjibopper said...

ack, hope you feel better soon! rest up, drink soup.

eric1313 said...

Ivan!

Sorry to hear you are under the weather. I was a bit fugged up myself.

I was starving so I had to follow work to Escanaba MI, like an Okie migrant in "The Grapes of Wrath". It didn't work out and I couldn't be happier. Escanaba is like living on a iceberg.

I'll try top get back to writing as soon as I can, my friend. My poet parts broke, but I have some crazy glue and a bottle of Wild Irish Rose to patch it up with.

Wish me luck!

Peace out

and hello to everyone who cared and even to those who didn't.

Anonymous said...

my poetry part broken too
H0pe we both recover

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

::loving hugs to Ivan:: I hope you are feeling at least a tad better. I am beginning to think I got recovered just in time for you and some others.


rest easy love.
T

Anonymous said...

thanx benji, eric,tara. rcovery seem on way, but it might be booze induced..I think i might have head a mini stoke

Ivan

eric1313 said...

I really hope the mini stroke is not the case, but do take care and do see a doctor! I'll drive up there myself if you need a ride! Yep, the car is back in action and I have my passport. I can't believe one needs a passport to go to Canada now! What kind of screwed up world are we in???

Anyway, recover and I hope you are back soon. We're all here and we all give a damn about you, you old russkie bear!

Heck, times like this, and I can forget about everyone's trespasses, as long as they can forgive me mine.

Just do take care, Ivan. You're important around here, you know!

ea monroe said...

Hi ya, Ivan. I hope you are okay! We might all show up on your door stoop right behind Eric! Hey, Eric, it's good to see you back again!

Anonymous said...

hi liz,
hi eric,so far so good

ivan

Anonymous said...

josie,
liz,
donetta.

got
t
t vertigo
hope it.s passing.

Josie said...

Hey, Ivan, we have been worried about you. What are the Quarks without an AntiQuark? I guess that should be UncleQuark, shouldn't it?

I hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

thanks, Josie,Donetta.

Got throuh all the flak

I am getting spammed here.

ivan

Monique said...

Blimey Ivan! Really worried! Come baaaaaaaack ....

:-D