I mean that—everything is fiction. When you tell yourself the story of your life, the story of your day, you edit and rewrite and weave a narrative out of a collection of random experiences and events. Your conversations are fiction. Your friends and loved ones—they are characters you have created. And your arguments with them are like meetings with an editor—please, they beseech you, you beseech them, rewrite me. You have a perception of the way things are, and you impose it on your memory, and in this way you think, in the same way that I think, that you are living something that is describable. When of course, what we actually live, what we actually experience—with our senses and our nerves—is a vast, absurd, beautiful, ridiculous chaos.
– Keith Ridgway, “Everything is Fiction,” featured in The New Yorker, 8/8/2012
There are a lot of things I just really don’t do.
I don’t drink tea. I don’t run 5k races. I don’t read much fiction.
(Not fiction that actually calls itself that, anyway.)
If you’ve ever wondered why I love my work with Tweetspeak so much, this is one big reason why. I work with amazing, creative, fearless folks who conceive brilliant ideas, then coax them all the way through the birth canal to the world.
T. S. Poetry launched a new app today that lets you play with words and gorgeous images that you can share with a friend, or the whole universe (well, at least the universe on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest).
Go to WordCandy and sample a little something sweet.
You might even find it sweetly addictive, with zero calories. A little like Turkish Delight, only you won’t have to betray all of Narnia to snitch another piece.
(Note: The app is currently in Beta, so if you find a bug here and there, please report it so we can get it fixed right away. Like, for instance, the intermittent disappearance of the image, which is being feverishly worked on as we speak.)
After pounding another ball toward the green, he stomped away, looking to the sky as if to curse the mythical gods of the game for abandoning him to flail on the fairway without hope. We followed behind and caught a glint of the Callaway with the orange chevron in the grass. It had bounced off the bridge and cleared the trees, playable but found too late.
I picked it up, feeling an ache for my son. At thirteen, he was among the youngest that day on a cruel, rigorous course. As the day wore on I reached often into my pocket, turning the ball and fingering its dirt-crusted dimples . . .
Read the rest over at TweetSpeak Poetry today, where we’re wrapping up our book club on L.L. Barkat’s Rumors of Water. And maybe you’ll be surprised to find out what we’re going to do next . . . I need a couple of weeks off to brace myself.
It’s tough to get me to unfold my arms from across my chest. My brand of fun almost always comes with a hint of reluctance and a straight face, and words like stoic, droll and deadpan come up often in my company. But some will see the quick-flashing glint in my eye, camouflaged by the stuffed shirt I often wear.
Make no mistake. Much of life is serious business.
But sometimes, a little permission to play opens a valve and lets loose a new thing or two.
The same image plays in my mind every time I think about writing this post. Pages full of exquisite words bound with the cover that wears a certain girl’s delicate floral designs are mangled beyond recognition by rough, heavy hands in a scene that calls to mind Of Mice and Men.
Like Lennie Small fretting that mice are so easily broken, I ask too many times if she’s really sure she wants to entrust her book to my clumsy hands because I’m just certain she shouldn’t.
Enduring my doubts, L.L. Barkat answers in her best George Milton voice, “You get another mouse that’s fresh and I’ll let you keep it a while.”
The book club discussion of L.L. Barkat’s Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity and Writing begins this morning over at the Tweetspeak blog. To read the rest of the post — including, perhaps, irrational fear of toothless purple moths, and a glimpse into the kind of beans I keep in my own cupboard, stop by and join (or just enjoy) the discussion. The full post is right here.