Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

WriteClub recap

Playing in the background: Something on the "History Channel" about the Kennedy assassination (a local obsession), and my significant sweetie, ranting at the various commentators (also a local obsession)
Weights lifted today: Lots.

The sixquithizillionth meeting of WriteClub, or The Write People, took place today at the house of one Aunt Sally, who isn't my aunt. (She's everybody's aunt.) Sally read a piece about the calico cat, "Ferrell," who's been known to hang out in her garden. Jackie didn't show up (Jackie, you suck), but that's because she had some church thing (okay, it's Lent so I guess you're excused, but don't let it happen again). Juno, ie, Junkill, read a screamingly funny piece about various slang terms for certain portions of the male anatomy. See what I missed, being a female in high school? Who knew this topic took on so much urgency? Who knew there were even secret meetings about it? I'd give my left webble to go back and do it all again. Okay, no I wouldn't. Apparently, being female, I don't have webbles.

And as por moi, I read Chapter the Twelfth from Spellbinder which seemed to go over pretty well. Generally if I hate a chapter (and I loathed this one with a passion I usually reserve for newscasters who break in with exciting news about the election that's still eight months away) everyone else will like it. Which is good because Chapter the Eleventh fell kind of flat. This can be summed up in a word: Narrative. I suck at it. Well, maybe that's a little harsh. This is fair, though: My dialogue is a zillion percent better than my narrative. And here I'm churning out an entire chapter of unrelenting narrative. Not exactly a winning formula.

I think my narrative impingement started out as a rather ordinary visual defect in childhood. Oh, I can see fine (ie, correctible to 20/40 with lenses as per Texas state vehicle code), I just can't see the forest for the trees. I knew a guy in college who was mildly autistic and he said that if he's talking to, say, you, he can see you, he can see the shirt you're wearing, he can see the pattern on the wallpaper behind you, and every single one of those things is equally important so it's hard to know which one is most deserving of attention. I have the opposite problem; none of it seems important, at least compared to whatever I'm thinking about at the moment, which is almost never about you or your shirt or your wallpaper. So my imagination is kind of one giant field of white space, as it were.

(Incidentally, am I a bad Buddhist or what? Laserlike focus? Mind calmed through meditation? Ha. Well, I do meditate, and it does calm me, but that whole laserlike focus thing--Hm, I guess it could happen.)

So, anyway, that's the thing with narrative. If I could skip it entirely, I would. After all these years I'm smart enough to do a little "camera pan" of wherever I happen to be before everybody there starts yapping, but it's never my favorite part and I always wish I could just skip to the dialogue. Somebody ought to open a "Narratives R Us" around here so I could pick up a package of gently used, but clean and pressed narrative. Right after they open a "Rent a Toddler".

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