chronic romanticism and letter writing

The week-end before last, I finished reading Love in the Time of Cholera (by Gabriel Garcia Marquez) on a flight home from interstate. I finished reading it about half an hour before we were due to descend, and I spent this time staring out the window (I always choose a window seat if I can), reflecting on the events and characters of the novel, and also contemplating any parallels with my own life.

One of the principal characters, Florentino Ariza, is what most would call a hopeless romantic. At one or two points in the novel, his mother proclaims that the only ailment he ever truly suffered was love. Indeed, he is lovesick to the highest degree, as he waits over half a century for the woman he loves, even after she rejected him and married another man.  Continue reading

possibilities

Sometimes I wonder if my tendency to attach meaning to even the most ordinary things is a product of my being a reader or a writer.

Reading shows me many possibilities. Writing makes me want to seek more possibilities.

Symbolism, metaphors, analogies, lyricism…

Did I learn these from reading or writing? (I suppose the two go hand-in-hand.)

Lightning, butterflies, a speeding car, an ominous cloud…

Do I dramatise things because that’s what I’ve been shown, or because that is what I seek?

Still water, a familiar scent, refracted light, cautious footsteps…

How do I know if it is excessive? An affliction?

Nervous excitement, a poem, fallen leaves, a dream…

Of all the possibilities in the world, I’m not sure if it’s possible to really change this. I’m not sure if I would.

A waterfall, memories, a soothing melody, sunshine…

a story of a little fox

Things seem to have gotten rather busy lately. I feel like I’m not as active in the blogosphere as I used to be, but there is a good reason for this!

I have written a story.

Well, it’s only a short story — four pages to be exact, though it is handwritten and double-spaced too — but it has taken a very long time to write. I went through four drafts in total. (The number four seems to be a thing here. Too bad the story only has three characters.)

Continue reading

Bird by Bird

I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I borrowed a copy from the library, on a whim, several weeks ago. I’d heard about it before – I’d heard really good things about it. I’ve seen one of her TED Talks, and she seems like a really genuine, down-to-earth person. She seems like someone I could learn a lot from.

(Arguably, you could learn a lot from just about anyone. It just depends on whether you actually want to learn those things or not.)

I probably hadn’t even finished the introduction before I started considering getting a copy of my own. I almost made it halfway before I decided to buy my own copy, and returned the one I was reading to the library.  Continue reading

Birds Art Life Death

Last year I went to the Brisbane Writers Festival, and attended a panel discussion in which I practically fell in love with a book I’d never heard of before, let alone read: Birds Art Life Death by Kyo Maclear. All it took was for Maclear to talk about the book a bit, and I knew this was something I had to read. And it wasn’t that she was just really good at pitching it – she was just explaining what the book was about, and it seemed to be everything I wanted to read.  Continue reading

BWF: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

I’ve already sort of written about this panel discussion I went to during the Brisbane Writers Festival in September, but that wasn’t so much about the talk itself as it was about a particular author on the panel, and a particular book that I more or less fell in love with…

Anyway, the talk gave me quite a bit to think about, and it swelled my soul with so much inspiration, so, like anything that I do not want to forget, I’m writing about it.  Continue reading