Now

Starting on a new exercise book of reflections from the gospel of John. Reading John is eye opening as new thoughts emerge thus far. Also printed out several files from a story project that had its genesis in 2002. Hope to recover these in some way shape and form. Printing the writings out helps me organize my thoughts around the emerging story. A random, fitting quote from the Bible has helped to focus the narrative.

Own skin

How should a writer write? This is a question that’s perturbed me when it’s come to writing fiction, because you are supposed to write in a literary manner, which means to sound the literary way. Be that literature or fiction, there’s a way of sounding right. In literature, even use elevated language, sophisticated prose, and put on the charm. In fiction, you got to sound like you are writing a blockbuster, chunky and punchy. To get published, you got to sound published. But this week I have been comfortable in my own skin as a creative writer and it’s not about trying to sound literary and tweak an expression a certain literary way.

Moods

The class’s perception of my short story writing was important to me. After all, it would be my first ever feedback on a short story I wrote. After sharing (twenty-odd years ago), one person commented that my writing sounded noire. The piece wasn’t in the noir genre, it only sounded noir, so the person said. Noir or noire is the French word for black. I was a bit confused. This was never my intention.

But I was complimented because I thought my work might have sounded like a thriller of the classic Film Noir. This, of course, is with the likes of cinema’s hard-boiled detective stories. But my story was not truly noir.

The perception that the story sounded noir is what mattered, as the writer is supposed to communicate to the reader something. The reader perceives what that is.

How I had failed as writer, then. Actually, being told that my writing sounded noire, took me off-guard. Yes, the noir or black tone might have been how I was feeling about an experience, which was kind of negative and dark. But I wasn’t thinking through how my writing would be perceived as noir. I wasn’t anticipating it would be seen as black or dark. The reader’s perception matters to a writer and shows me that what I write is always communicating. The medium is the message.

Cool view

A powerful force arrested him

And pushed him down the alley

Where he heard a clown

Speaking jests

I must have been so fooled by the sight

Like a vision made me see a whole other world, behind the wall

It blew my senses

Then, I was lost in my thoughts

Intrigue surrounded me

And I slowly felt my myself submitting to the sounds

Of my heart beating

To the rhythm of another unusual sight

Then, I saw this man standing there, this awkward looking guy

I kept going back to hear his ditty

It was kind of magnetizing me

I could not resist

He was so uncool

Then he showed me how cool he was, just for a moment

I was curious and wanted more.

I am his editor