13 March 2009

Exiting the Closet

Howdy. I have been crappy this week with the time change and this lingering migraine/sinus thing. I hate when I haven't been writing. Of course, if I were to cultivate them, I probably have enough writings stashed away to last till my hundredth year.

I have been reading though. I plugged through The Golden Compass quite quickly. Philip Pullman is a genius. I thought J.K. Rowling was masterful in awaking the magic in us, but Pullman takes it to a whole new level. The Golden Compass isn't fanciful, but dark and slightly gloomy. It gets the mind ticking. I started The Subtle Knife which is the second book of the trilogy and already, I am finding confirmation and validation of my belief system through Pullman's cleverly disguised fiction.

See, I don't remember movies well, and I saw The Golden Compass when it came out on DVD in summer 2008. Since I saw the movie, I forgot many of the sequences and reasons why things happened. My subconscious didn't though. I didn't know anything of the books nor of the author, Philip Pullman. Last week or so when I first started thinking hard on the movie but before I read the book, The Golden Compass, I did some research. Pullman is a controversial writer, but if you are going to write, is there any other way?

The first thing I read was on Snopes.com, which I thought was a rather reputable source. After reading what it had to say, I felt a little worried, but something didn't sit right. I could not believe what I had read. Though I wasn't familiar with any of his works and I couldn't remember the movie, I felt strongly of exactly the opposite of what Snopes said.

I next read a random interview with Philip Pullman and within seconds, I realized that Snopes had it wrong. This is not the interview that I originally read, but HisDarkMaterials.org covers what I read in that random interview.

I truly believe that fiction is a great tool for education. In the interview that I posted above, a person named, Muhaimin, asks Pullman an interesting question:

Muhaimin: "How do you imagine such an epic world in “The Golden Compass”? Did you look for it or did it come to you?"

Hello, Muhaimin: This is an interesting question, because it’s something I’ve often wondered about myself. When I’m telling a story I know, with part of my mind, that I’m making it up; but with another part of my mind, it feels as if I’m discovering something that is already there, in some mysterious way, and I’m learning about it rather than inventing it. So I can’t give you a definite answer! The one thing I do know is that if I don’t work steadily and try to write every day, no story will get written at all. So I try to do that.

How I relate to this. From a young age, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first play in 4th grade, but I didn't go on to do much else. I didn't submit work to the school newspaper or literary journal. I studied creative writing, briefly, in a privileged class at Loyola where the only objective was to write at least one short story. I wrote a small epic, which embarrassed me to read some time back. I don't even know if I have it anymore. I tend to burn my work at times. I have worked intermittently over the past 30 years keeping most of my broken work in hidden journals. In 2006, after spending a week alone and in retreat, a story hit me. It came to me in a full block like an epiphany. This has never happened to me before.

I know that I am at a zenith in my life as I discover many new things about myself and about the world in opposition as it was taught to me my entire life. I feel open and alive as so much of the natural world awakens within us all. I hope to use my writing as a tool for education and awakening. Will it be controversial? You can bet on it.

I would like to introduce you to the beginning of the story. I have kept in hidden for years. I have struggled as to whether or not to put it out there, but the urge to do so is overwhelming. I don't share freely these things, but the time has come to act without fear.

I hope you enjoy Stillwater Farm.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I'm intrigued enough to read more. That left me wanting to know the answers to several questions about these two characters, which is exactly what a good opening is supposed to do I think. Nice work!

    I'm not brave enough to post any part of my fiction attempts yet, mostly because I haven't yet gotten one of them much beyond the beginning.

    It takes a lot of courage to put your work out there like that.