For anyone wanting to hear about anything other than social/physical distancing, the news, protests, elections, corona-this and corona-that, (and I sincerely hope everyone is staying safe, sane, and smart during all this) I’d like to share something wicked that did a fantastic job of taking me away…somewhere else.
Permission to Breathe
I, and my current work-in-progress (along with another WIP I’ve been tinkering with), needed to breath. Writing feels kind of like the beginning of a new relationship. It starts out in a rush—hot and heavy, can’t get enough of each other—then the relationship becomes work. Hard work. Most definitely worth the juice coming from the squeeze, but still work.
Four months ago I, once again, sent my book off for another round of edits. In the meantime, I cooked and I cleaned and I worked out and I worked from home and I cleaned out closets and I took my dogs for long walks and I binge watched shows I’ve already seen… But nothing filled the void that only writing could fill.
I got my book back, and after a round of my edits took place, (yes, their edits and mine are negotiated, then applied; it’s one long process toward perfection that’s rarely attained), I sent it to my amazing formatter again. And just like that, my precious WIP was in someone else’s hands and I suddenly had too much time on mine, especially since we’re all staying-the-fuck-home. What to do? What to do?
I looked at my stack of TBRs, and a worn-out spine with red lettering jumped out at me. A beautifully used book I bought in Tucson cried out to me. So, I turned to the first page of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and completely lost myself.
That Old Black Magic
Ray awoke something in me. He reminded me that I, too, have a certain desperation fidgeting within. Some type of…stir that makes me want to jump out of my skin. Reading the dark poetry he weaves into every paragraph effortlessly, I suddenly remembered something very important: while I was elbows deep in my own writing—my own ideas, my own word strings—I’d forgotten all about my favorite authors, and their ability to sweep me right off my feet.
Something Wicked is a must-read for twisted Sci-Fi weirdos like myself, and for any writer who’s dying to see old grammar rules busted to shit. Not only is the story itself excellent—very quickly sucking me into this creepy, traveling carnival of twisted schemes—but I am simply astounded by Ray’s writing style and the way he repeatedly breaks the rules of grammar.
About writing he said, “you stumble upon it mostly. You don’t know what you’re doing and suddenly it’s done…it evolves out of your own life and night scares.” I would have loved to compare his night scares with mine; many a bad dream has shaped my writing.
For the Writer in You
I read a quote a while back that’s stuck with me, and fellow writers, you’ll appreciate this, “…in order to write anything well, even the presentation of absurdity, you have to learn the laws of English like a master, so you can break them like an artist.” Ray does this without even trying. Well, I guess I can’t say that. I wasn’t there. I didn’t see him write. He could very well have yanked his own hair out while sitting at the typewriter (I highly doubt it). Yet! he reconstructs grammar just so, that he makes writing look damn easy. (See how I didn’t capitalize the word ‘he’ after the exclamation point)? Ray does that and it just…works. I don’t know if it works for me, but I’mma do it anyway. Fuck it, this is my blog.
If you’re a fellow writer needing to see the rules of grammar busted wide open, things that make no sense but work so well—READ THIS. He follows his gut and writes what brings him the most joy, and you can literally see it. Even feel it. If you’re an avid reader looking to be swept away—READ THIS. Seriously.
And if you’ve already read it and you’re thinking, “jeez Rebekah. It’s an old book. How are you just reading it now? I read it in high school, college…” then my answer is, “if you’ve read any of my older blogs you know how I was raised—with a Watchtower-Only approved reading list. I may be forty-two and perhaps I should be all caught up with the rest of the world. But I’m not. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and so is my book. I and it will be ready when I say we’re ready.”
While you’re staying-the-fuck-home, get some reading done. Tell your TBR list, Beck sent ya.