Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, April 21, 2003

Failure of the Day: Susceptibility

For all my whining, I love Easter. We had a lovely time with Chris's family and Lisa's pals yesterday, and I did a swell job of making nice with the normals.

It's hard for me to not respond to a resurrection holiday, for fairly obvious reasons, I think. It affects me (or rather, it impacts me, to use the jargon du jour). I got most of my tattoos on one Easter or another, until that got silly, but I feel like I was on to something with that. What's not to love about a day when everyone is celebrating freedom from death? And more than that, a certain revitalization; a new life.

That's how I feel. I'm reading Chris's copy of The Art of Fiction by John Gardner and I tell you what, it's pretty seriously doing it for me. Last night's reading before bed gave me, I think, the thing—that one piece of information I needed to finish my novel. There were about 2 paragraphs in the chapter on Interest and Characterization, and after reading them, I knew exactly how each of my chapters needed to be structured, I could picture in detail the arc of my overall narrative, and finally figured out the crux of the story, what it is that I'm really trying to say. (you know—the theme: the thing you're supposed to know before you start writing.) And I might even know how to do it, theoretically at least. I dunno if I can make the words do what I need them to do, but just the fact that I know what I need them to do is a pretty big breakthrough for me.

So yeah, I'm feelin' it. Revitalization. It'll probably be long gone by tomorrow, but for today, I'm just going to soak it up.


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