Monday, November 7, 2011

"I lit a cigarette. It tasted like a plumber's handkerchief."

Stephen King looks like Michael McDonald.

"Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic."

Inspiring words, right? That’s Stephen King. He writes something like 10 bazillion words a day. (It’s funny, because I thought bazillion wasn’t a word, but Word is convinced that it is, so we’ll let it lie. I thought I was just being cute.) But it was sort of prophetic that I read that quote when I did, because it just so happens I'm reading Farewell, My Lovely right now, and in this same article, Mr. King referenced a line in that novel that is meant to inspire young writers. "I lit a cigarette. It tasted like a plumber's handkerchief." So, I guess I'm catching Stephen King's frequency in more ways than one. And Raymond Chandler is almost as gifted as I. Or I'm insane. Probably all three.
Raymond Chandler thinking mysterious thoughts.

But this quote is meaningful to me, as I intend to write until my fingers bleed. I’ve already had carpal tunnel (and it turns out you don’t get it from typing like I thought, but rather from sleeping, sitting and driving like you have limp wrists or bear claws for 28 years—there goes all the proof I had that I’ve been working hard at my writing skills) so bleeding is the way I’ll establish how much I care. About what? Writing! So this may end up being kind of weird and/or boring. We’ll see.

And frankly, I don't really intend to bleed. Gross. And in what possible scenario would typing make my fingers bleed? I think Mr. King was being dramatic. Hyperbolic, even. (I just learned that word.)

I want to go back, for a quick moment, to the carpal tunnel. I was also informed that hormonal birth control can lead to carpal tunnel. Hmmm. (So what then, God? What should we do? Diaphragms? Sponges? Sterilization? What’s the plan? Just give me a sign!)

The feelings I’m feeling are not ecstatic at the moment, but I’m working on it. And that’s all I have to say just now.

Sit tight.

1 comment:

  1. All of your quotes are thought provoking! Sitting tight, can't wait to see what's next.