Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Being Like Ridley

If you've been following this new daily-blogging of mine and you're becoming concerned that this habit's going to eat up another small chunk of your day (and mine) ad infinitum, fear not: for at least the next week, I'll be transplanting the daily habit from blogging to fiction writing.  I'm not in the least giving up on finding "real" (read: paying) work, but I'm eager to see whether I can write as regularly as I have been doing lately here, even if it's just a few paragraphs -- but in a different medium.  

As I've mentioned before, I have a reasonably good-looking CV of nonfiction writing, but I've also published one (very) short story and am eager to publish more.  I've finished a few others and started several more, but I need to quit stalling and follow through on getting these finished, polished, and published.  Why the urgency?  Three reasons I can think of offhand.  One: as new ideas for fiction and nonfiction writing bubble up, I worry that some of the older ones may fall off the back shelf of my brain, so I'd like to get them on paper and "out there" to see if they're worth anything in anyone's estimation besides mine, Karen's, and occasionally Chandra's.  Two: for those who've picked up on a resurfacing theme of mortality and fragility in my recent posts, that's largely due to the fifth anniversary of my father's death; I chose not to blog about it, but Chandra did so with tender depth here.  Our earthly father often dreamed up ideas for stories and novels, but as far as I know he only committed one of them to paper in his adult life, a novella that he attempted to publish but (again, as far as I know) took no further when it was turned down.  I'd like to get further than that -- preferably quite a bit further -- in whatever time I have left, whether that's forty days or forty years.  

Three: I like creating things.  That desire shows up in cooking and baking, and over the past year it's been evident in the satisfaction of taking on and completing tasks in our renovations, but it's most apparent when I write, especially when I write stories.  Science fiction has known many skilled world-builders, both literary and cinematic; one of the best-known of the latter category is Ridley Scott, whose place in SF canon would probably be secure even if he'd retired after making Blade Runner.  But here's something he said about building another richly detailed world, that of Gladiator"I love to create worlds, and every facet of that world has to work within the rules of the story. You must smell the battleground and experience the beauty and light of the golden city.”  Sir Ridley makes world-building sound lovely and poetic, and it is; but it's also hard work, fun work, and as he acknowledges, consistent work.  I'm not assuming here that I can create worlds as spellbinding as his (but taking the moral of The Lego Movie to heart, I'm also not assuming that I can't!), but with a little -- okay, a lot of -- practice, we'll see just what I can do.

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