Monday, January 28, 2008

Dig Your Own Grave

I'm often asked about writer's block, the horrible feeling you get when you can't think of anything to put on the page or screen -- it pulsates like some evil haint and none of the usual tricks work. I don't know what to say about this affliction except to say stay with things, that things return. My God, we have another fucking Rambo movie -- how much proof does one need that there are no new stories? And furthermore, how long can that dude hang out in the jungle with his bad case of post-traumatic stress disorder fighting mysterious dictators in countries that don't even have the same name anymore? But I digress. From where does inspiration come? What happens if it goes away like some ill-fated romance?

As far as romantic iconography goes, I love the garbage falling all around them scene in Sid and Nancy. It seems to me to be one of the loveliest ways of capturing that peculiar and disturbing intimacy, one of those moments that suspends time. And it gives me a weird hope about writing. Even when nothing is happening, there's still garbage all around. You can't escape or change it or beat it back for very long. It's yours to do with what you like. In the end, you work with the tools you have and if you want to use them to build a beautiful house or to dig your own grave, both will work.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I look for ambiguity when I'm writing because life is ambiguous." Keith Richards

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days (Lots of drinks on this one -- it's a grim ride through Romania in the waning days of communism. You can get this on on demand through the IFC channel.)

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday! Congratulations to The Sopranos (especially James Gandolfini and Edie Falco) for the SAG wins!


Lana Gramlich said...

I'm lucky in that when artist's block strikes, I can always just pull some paint colors I like & slap down some thoughtless, random abstract. They're not all winners, certainly, but at least they keep me painting.

Bob Vila said...

I love building houses!

Tony Soprano said...

Now that Kwame is on the lam, I loaned him my AK-47. And thank you for the recognition, Michelle. I couldn't have the SAG award without fans like you. All the best--Tony

Charles Gramlich said...

You work with the tools you have. Well said. Absolutlely right.

eric1313 said...

So right you are. I've been hitting a wall of various blocks lately, but tonight I think I can regain the glory if only for a second.

We write what is in our hearts and in our memories--good or ill aside, since it's all relative. If it's not there, we cannot fake it convincingly. We have to stick with what we know, and what we can imagine accordingly.

Your posts are as wonderful as ever. This one shows that no matter what, you are a great teacher.

sexy said...