Sunday, November 21, 2010

Never write nothin' ugly--But in a nicotine fit, I feel ugly today

I forget which blog comment I picked it up from--probably somebody commenting into Razored Zen, or The Walking Man( some of my favourites)--but over and over again I hear echoes of the late and great writer, Joyce Cary: Your plan no good. God's plan rocks.
This seems echoed by a Russian trapeze artist and tightrope walking lady.

You have the skill. But what actually happens is up to God.

How many times have I burrowed like a mole underneath all obstacles, trying in my own underground way to get where I'm going, only to hit a big boulder, and instead of going around-- going mano a mano, rock versus nose, and, of course, ending up with a frazzled nose...Like a young dog attacking a porcupine head-on, with the inevitalble yelp of "Arrowfff, Fuck!"

Heh. Hate that when it happens.

Old Newfie expression:

If at first you don't succeed--give up. No sense making a fool of yourself.

Now we come to writers, seasoned and new.

If at first we don't succeed, we try again. And again, and again, sometimes a much as seventy times. And what do you know, on the seventy-first time you make it.

But you are by now a different person.
You are now like other professionals who themselves had attacked that rock in their path until they picked up an almost woodpecker technique that through sheer vibration (and a by-now very calloused nose)--actually cracked the rock. Perhaps with a resulting crack in the head. No sissy. Sisipus triumphant at last.

I have met these people in Education. Seventy resumes. Seventy no's.

Finally winning on the seventy-first application.

Myself, I had the smugness of getting in first-time out. Three million words in print trumped any PhD.

It had been my philosophy that in life, you don't take things. They are given to you.

...Until I met the seventy time loser who took my job.

Prick bastard.

Now, I will have to go your way and take on ant-like qualities.

But army ant.

Because you are unproven.

You forgot god.

No, not me. I am not God. He is.

It's really up to Him.

And you forgot to take God into the equation,
dead guy.


Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, I wonder when it's all over whether I'll think to myself how I should have sat on the deck more, did anything else other than waste the energy I have on trying to write and sell. said...

I can't find Humpty-Dumpty's quote ouf Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.

But there is this sound when you get it just right. You'll hear that sound, and you'll be quite content.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I'm three years shy of fifty and my employer already views me as old; although a tough egg for them to crack, hairline fractures have already formed. Dealing with the criminal elements is a young person's game. Also, with the two-tier wage system, I'm viewed differently than my younger coworkers. May need to do some real writing real soon; may need to update that resume; spice it up with some real fiction.

the walking man said...

It becomes what we make it. Success like Buddha is a state of being not a place of attainment.

I am but a small light in a vast dark sky that occasionally someones eye rest momentarily upon and in that I am warmed, content.

That and spell check have made me a better writer than I thought I could ever be Ivan.

PhilipH said...

Nothing is what we should aim for.

Eventually we shall hit our target. said...


I am tempted to be with Kipling.

...Just the will to say, "hang on." said...


Spell check?

On this rainy day over here, its more like Cancelled Czech. :) said...

Philip H,

Welcome again.

From your brief biography I know that you're speaking from experience,
...Suddenly, almost inexplicably, it turns up roses, donnit?

Donnetta Lee said...

Something of God in all of this?? Lord, I hope so. D said...

My turn to be a little dark, Donnetta.
De Debbil ain't so beautiful.
But as he told old Ivan Karamazov, "I am sort of necessary to the scheme of things.
"I mean, when God threw us out,I at first, applauded!" Heh.

ivan said...

Belated PS to JR,

I finally found that quote from Humpty Dumpty out of Lewis Carrol's "Through the Looking Glass":

The Noble Egg talks ( I think)of the sound you hear when it finally happens, the sound of success, The "outgribing", In Humpty Dumbtyl's words that you are supposed to finally hear:

Well, "outgribing" is something between bellowing and whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle: however, you'll hear it done, maybe -- down in the wood yonder -- and, when you've once heard it, you'll be quite content."

Maybe someting in the mail will make you "outgribe" :)

Gets darkest befor the light. (No, not he other train) :-)

ivan said...

Hi folks,

Just wanted to pass on a great review of Drive-by Saviours in Atlantic Books Today magazine. My favourite line from the review: "Drive-by Saviours is confident proof that great Atlantic Canadian literature need not involve kilts or Cape Breton." The review was written by Jon Tattrie and if you can't access the magazine you can read it on Jon's blog at

Also, for those of you in the Bridgewater area, or who know people in the Bridgewater area, I'll be signing books this Sat (Nov 27), 2:30-4:00pm, at Coles Books in Bridgewater Mall, 421 Lahave St. Please pass it on, bring your friends and all that.

Happy reading!