Wednesday, September 28, 2005

notes on process and human nature, or “ugh”

Whenever we were assigned to write a poem in school, someone would inevitably write something like:

I have to write a poem
But what to write about?
My paper’s blank and so’s my head
Like all the thoughts fell out.

Or something. In my strolls through “Next Blog” territory, I’ve discovered a lot of online prose variations on that theme. Topics like “ugh” and “what to blog about” and “same old same old.” Which is funny because I doubt any of those people were blogging at gunpoint.

Nevertheless, I can relate in a sort of backward way. Lately there is so much to blog about. I have so many Important Things To Say about books (I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots by Susan Straight—so far, so beautiful) and TV (Everyone Hates Chris—warm and funny and pretty edgy for network) and people (a guy at Long’s this morning continued the
trend of semi-flattering comments that ultimately imply I’m old: “Hey, that tattoo is trippy. I throw parties at my house, wanna come? Do you smoke bud? Or did you, like, back in the day?”).

I am a verbose blogger right now because, during my alleged creative writing time, all I do is reread passages and delete like two sentences an hour. So I’m not even writing, I’m un-writing. That’s the opposite of creation. And yeah, yeah, while it’s an important part of the process, maybe, it is soooo boring. But the two projects I’m working on both require a lot of this staring/deleting process. I have a very full deletion plate at the moment.

In college, when it was time to study for finals, I would itch to write short stories with an intensity that creative writing class never provoked. (I would also watch a lot of Real World marathons.) Now that I’m actually “required” to write, all I want to do is write something else. If I were a professional chocolate taster, I would start craving broccoli. Human nature is lame.

Anyway, if you’ve read this far, you should be rewarded with a real piece o’ writing, like my friend
Noel Alumit’s story “Guest List Girls” in Lodestar Quarterly. My undergrad creative writing teacher once told me I wrote “sorority stories,” and Noel proves that that’s not an insult. Although my professor definitely meant it as such.


thelastnoel said...

Hey, thanks for the heads-up in your blog. So, you recommend the Chris Rock comedy?

Cheryl said...

Yeah--I've only seen the first episode so far, but it was cute.