Note: The beauty of blogs is that one can revise. I thought about Ken’s question a lot over the weekend and expanded on my thoughts.
I had lunch with Dr. Ken Sarch, a music prof friend a Fulbright Scholar who has taught around the world. We were sitting in Night & Day on the corner in Mansfield, talking between bites of Greek Chicken Wraps and talking about art, music and computer viruses. Ken bought four copies of Vengeance for Christmas gifts. He read the preface page which says: “In this novel I aimed for three things:
To make the characters real,
The language precise,
And the violence pure.”
“What is pure violence? He asked.
I had given a lot of thought to those lines, but when he asked me for a definition, I couldn’t give it to him. Human interaction is never pure. Life isn’t pure, and violence certainly is not pure. All are messy. But I strove to clean out, to edit the messiness as much as possible. Hemingway has always been a model for this, which he did very well, until the end of his life. That was messy. Or maybe one shotgun blast was quick and clean.
I don’t know. I just know I aimed, with every word, every thought, every action, for the cleanest, most concise way of telling Nora Hawks’ story.
A story of absolute, total loss and from that, clearing a path of unfettered, unwavering, pure vengeance.
Let me know what you think.
“I Feel Energized”
I ran into a faculty friend on campus today and she mentioned how much she was looking forward to reading One Woman’s Vengeance.
“You know, I sat down to write to a friend the other night,” she said. “We hadn’t talked or corresponded in years and I wound up writing and writing, filling her in on my life and memories of our time together.” She stopped and smiled. “When I finished I felt, refreshed, energized.”
I feel the same way. Writing is not a chore; it’s a joy. Writing is playtime in a land of thought, expression, feeling; finding the right words and phrases to create and reinforce the meaning of your life.
Fiction is the art of bringing lives into meaning.
Writing to yourself or to a friend is meaningful conversation, increasingly rare in today’s world of thought bytes.
You reminded me of advice for writers with “writer’s block.”
That’s for the next post.