To Reach The Green Light At The End Of The Pier
FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES: "We are saving ourselves through the words," says Eleanor, the leading lady of a novel-in-progress. This exploration into the creative process -- which includes plenty of distractions/tangents /thoughts & rants by Eleanor, her Biographer, and selected guest artists -- will continue until Eleanor is certain her story is "right." (But we dare not jump ahead of ourselves.)
There will be the occasional typo (as Eleanor points out), and much of this is intended to be "original draft" -- what comes out of our mouths (heads) first, and then set down in that order. Not all of it will be included in the novel, but all of it is happening in real time.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The Little Room Is Moving To Atlanta: Post 203
During the past six years, The Little Room has traveled about, in different forms and appearances, but always filled with the very essence of the creative spirit, from Toledo, Ohio to Asheville, North Carolina, and then to Chicago, and, as I write this, Pittsburgh.
Next stop, Atlanta. (Thank you, Atlanta, for having us!)
I've gone from being a "Northern writer" to a "Southern writer," and then back again. As geography tends to place us into neat little categories, I guess I'll be a Southern writer again -- though at heart, I'm a Midwestern boy, and that's where my sensibility is, and where Eleanor's story takes place.
This said, having lived in the South once already (Asheville, the so-called "Paris of the South") and moving South again provides me with a kind of fractured "East of the Mississippi" view of the United States, so I try to take in everything. Ultimately, we are affected by our surroundings -- and this is the very reason for The Little Room, a la Virgina Woolf's Room, though turned up in volume, perhaps, a few notches.
It's also the reason, I suppose, for This Side of Paradise -- a Little Room on the page, from within a Little Room.
The 28-day period of "creative rehab" that ended yesterday was essential for grounding me, giving me foundation, and helping me set the course for the next step in the physical journey, while keeping all of the creative spirits alive and well and focused. So many visitors stopped by during those four weeks -- many from postings on craigslist and elsewhere, and word of mouth -- it's been amazing, this response, and although unexpected -- most welcomed.
Here's what's coming -- during the next week or two, the postings will come in bursts, as I have or don't have Internet access. Creation will continue all the while.
1. If you are visiting via a craigslist posting and want to see what happens to This Side of Paradise (we have an end goal of 500 posts on this one long Kerouac-ian page, and then we'll decide on the next project), please be sure to bookmark us, or otherwise keep the Thog (this blog for thinkers) address handy. Those ads expire, but we'll keep on going.
2. I have two novels in the works, with Eleanor at front and center, first in line. Some of her new pages will be sent to my agent in California today. The rest of the novel, which has been in the works for 18 years, as noted in one or two of the many postings below (my thanks to Flaubert's example of long years of writing, and of never giving up!), will follow those pages in due time -- but not before they're ready, and "better than good."
As much as I want the "commerce" side, I'm also aware that some 400,000 different books were published just last year in the United States alone, according to industry statistics. After 18 years, we don't want to be "remaindered" before our time. Eleanor will guide me.
We here at This Side of Paradise plan to post the work of some guest writers over the coming weeks, so I hope you'll give these artists a warm welcome.
And then it's back to the wild ride of creation -- the every-day creation and "process" with its ups and downs and everything else thrown in. With 297 posts left at This Side of Paradise, that's quite a lot of production, and I anticipate it'll work itself out over the next six or seven months or so.
Again, please continue to follow us, and if this is your first visit, all you need to do is scroll down. There's already plenty of reading to keep you busy for a while. And yes, it is a journey, as much as it meanders at times. (All good journeys meander.)
As for Pittsburgh -- ah sweet beautiful inspiring Pittsburgh, you have grabbed hold of me, and you will stay in my heart always. This is a city of culture, more than an outsider could ever realize. Just walking the streets is like walking the streets of any city with a soul, distinct and honest and "real." You feel the breath in the footsteps. You hear the voices, the many jumbled voices (but some of them with a clear sentence every now and again, so you need to listen closely), and you also hear the music of lives spent in hard work but also with no small measure of love. Pittsburgh -- we won't forget you, and we will return one day.
Now, a word or two from Eleanor, and then a Shakespeare Sonnet (seems fitting enough) to round out this posting....
Eleanor: "You give us belief and strength, just as my biographer says. You don't have to say anything. You don't have to comment. But by being here and reading the words and caring enough to come back again, you make us more alive than we would be otherwise. Someday -- I don't know when -- I'll be a book on your nightstand, or one you carry with you as you travel, or to the beach, or wherever. I can't wait! But until then, this is where I'll be living, and I'll do my best to free the other characters from The Spirit House too, so we can all find our place in the pages, among the words."
Sonnet # 27
by William Shakespeare
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body's work's expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee and for myself no quiet find.
ELEANOR says: "Please turn the page. Keep reading."
For more of Eleanor and her Biographer -- as well as the work of our many guest artists -- check out the older postings. "Everything is part of the process, and the process is the journey," Eleanor says.