I don’t understand Master of Fine Arts degrees in writing. It seemed to me that I learned to write in elementary school. Well, at least I learned the basic tools, to which I would add a non-credit typing course I took in High School. This and reading prodigiously all my life (to date) composed my formal training as a writer. To those who might wonder at the use of a ‘typing’ course, I would add that computer keyboards are laid out on the same basis – the letters and numbers are in the same spots. I am doing what used to be called ‘touch typing’ as I write this blog post – I see the words appearing on the screen but I don’t need to look at the keyboard. My fingers are just hitting the correct keys. Mind you, computers have all sorts of special characters that typewriters didn’t – later electric computers had type wheels with special characters that a typist could add, but nothing so convenient and adept as the modern computer.
Anyway, to meander back to my originally intended point, I am reading through a four installment blog thread by the author Hugh Howey, posted on Goodreads.com . I am, therefore, violating what I just said in the first paragraph of this post. What is my excuse? Hugh Howey writes excellent pragmatic blogs about writing. He has been published by major publishers, small publishers and has gone indie also. He earns his living writing novels without being the kind of name that would sell toothpaste on TV. I have no problem with apprenticeships, of taking advice as a journeyman author from a master craftsman. I am not then actually violating my puzzlement that anyone would go to school for several years to learn to write. I am merely seeking advice from a master craftsman in order to further hone my own craft. It does not matter that I write in what he calls a different ‘voice’ or in genres entirely different from his – writing is writing and writing is a craft.
i suppose I should finish
The Man who fell from the Sky
one of these days
the words are there
and the pictures too
though I do want some music or sounds of some sort
i will add audio so the blind can see
and i have one mysterious blank page
that needs to be filled
but somehow it needs something
i’m not sure what
but ready or not
The Grey Lady sat forlorn /remembering songs no longer sung/dry and dead the leaves above/ tapped a beat /the death march for her past
I am listening to a CBC radio podcast from the Ideas program called 9 Minutes that Changed the World. In it the work of Claude Debussy is analyzed and posited as the beginning of the 20th century. The hypothesis is that the music that went before was ordered and structured and technical. With Debussy, music bursts boundaries and flouts technical rules for composition. This musical revolution leads the vanguard of a new western world where rule breaking or perhaps more accurately thinking outside the box, ignoring old rules is the rule. Debussy is sometimes called a musical impressionist where music creates mystical impressions in the manner of Turner’s paintings. Poetry is mentioned in passing, but I would guess the Beats of the 1950s at least, but free verse for sure are included. All this is then at least 60-70 years old for words but actually dates back to Symbolism in late 1850s France. So…. my poetry is out of date. My playing with integrating words, images both moving & still and music in single word paintings is merely a re-arrangement of old standards. Not that this realization will stop me…..
i painted green leaves on a tree in my yard
they grew on a tree that was savagely cut
naked it was as it seemed to stand dying
but sun and rain and kind words
sent it growing