Z: (If someone looked at Zi , they would think that after a long stretch of working without looking up he was coming up for air, or most likely a snack. He would have fooled all, for the philosopher had taken hold, or was it just one of those sporadic thoughts that sometimes popped into the not-as-young-as-used-to-be heads) Most writers begin by writing cathartic experiences.
A: (Blinks as she looks up, having been in her own writing marathon: figuring out lunches for the week) I starter with a journal recounting my life. A good part of it was in code. Mom thought I was a good writer and didn't make it a secret that she wanted to read my journal. But mothers are like that, their kids are geniuses. I wanted to keep my personal thoughts private. And, yes it was therapeutic.
Z: There are risks. How does one transcend from a journal to exposing their thoughts and feelings to others?
A: What risks? (She wondered what other risk there could be then Mom figuring out the code. Which she did, and was so disappointed her daughter wrote about food not boys.) I believed I wrote well enough that others might enjoy my thoughts.
Z: When we are in our own minds we have shortcuts that we take with our writing. So just being cathartic could be confusing for a reader. (He paused, stroked his beard, found Jamie's tiny toy caught on a few whiskers) Going from confusing shorthand is grown from painstakingly describing feelings or events via the ideal of placing the audience as the purpose of the writing.
A: We write for others. My journal was for me... and... well... I guess a little for Mom.
Z: Should a writer use experience to create or pure imagination? (He did the eyeball bounce as if in tune to a ticking clock and hummed that Jeopardy song)
A: Trick question. Both is the correct reply.
Z: Yes. Nose on. (He touched his nose)
A: (For a moment she wondered what gesture would have happened if he said balls on....) But what about the author's privacy. So many people believe authors are what they write and that is so far from the truth. We are not murders... scallywags... world travelers... fantastic lovers.
Z: Speak for yourself about that last one.
Z: Writing cathartic or living within the characters...the balance between the two is how an author protects their privacy... if the work is all cathartic then the writer is vulnerable...but if the written pieces are about the characters and the scribe uses their own life experience to act as if they are in the shoes of the dramatis personae [story characters]... the final product is personal but personal to the characters not to oneself or even sometimes skewed memories. We write about pain knowing pain. Not that we had ever been kidnapped and knew such fear.
A: “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.” This was written by Madeleine L'Engle.
Z: So apt! The fear of being vulnerable is why writers hold back. So separating the two forces of character driven feelings that the author can relate, is the key.
A: Can you write while stirring the stew?
Z: It is your turn to make lunch. (He thought huh, but let it go. Ang oft marched to the beat of a different toe tapper) Stew? Stirring? Literally or figuratively?
A: (She read from her screen) “They saw it like they lived it .... this was an ugly stew sprinkled with glitter, sugar and wax drippings, gasoline or fire, somewhere over an underpass, along the 101 freeway, bouncing between skyscrapers, 22-hour days cooled off by Coronas or some such piss at 7:30 in the morning in an old '50s Ford with religious crap scattered on the dash, chipped bones, fat lips, bruises, broken glass, sunshine-baked brain, dirty-sock-in-the-mouth-hangover.” was written by Keith Morris. Was he anal retentive... detailed-oriented... ditzy... stirring stew or was this an outline or not?
Z: Morris wrote from some place within his spirit and soul. He knew it and shared it.
A: Should one wear cologne while writing a love scene?
Z: Do I?
A: Maybe you should. (She spritzed herself) “The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.” I don't know who wrote that. Wish I had. But as writers when we give of ourselves we know the telltale residue of each idea. I remember moments a washed within the perfumed scents. It helps get in touch with a place I need. I wrote more sensuous if I feel sensuous. I suspect you do as well.
Z: “Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt of, not swallowed” I feel Josh Billings thoughts. “Sweat is the cologne of accomplishment” ... “Sex appeal is the keynote of our civilization.” This was written by Henri Bergson. So in order to communicate such depth of emotions one has to have felt them as well as imagined them ripening into glorious moments. To emote we have to have felt.
A: Artists must suffer. (She held the pained, breathy look for a beat too long)
Z: Then write for others about it.
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