Writing is like finding stars

kj 013

We are in Nebraska and Karen, Terri, Charlene and I have agreed to meet at the bar for martinis pretty soon here. Mark’s coming too although martinis aren’t his style.

Nebraska is very cold, but it’s been colder. It’s actually in the thirties. Nebraska is a very flat state; from the air, you can see it all spread out like a pancake on the plate. The fields stretch away. It’s a good place to be a story teller, but really stories can start anywhere. You just have to start writing.

The thing about being a writer is to find the place where you can do your best writing. If you like writing in NY, leaning over your laptop in a Starbucks, hunched over a bench in Central Park, thinking up story as you run down the Hudson Parkway, then go there. You might live in a tiny space in Manhattan or in Brooklyn, but you get the noise and crowds and dirt and you can’t write without noise and people everywhere. Go to the city that never sleeps. You like an impressive male city with lots of art museums and heavy architecture and without that you can’t write? Find your way to Chicago or DC. You can’t write without being in a lovely feminine city with a beautiful arc, the lovely lines, the women moving through the city like grace, with all that, you can write. Move to Vancouver or Portland, Sydney or San Francisco, and be a writer there. You want a place where ideas stretch out for miles, move to the Midwest. You can’t write unless it’s hot and wet. Move to Colombia, be Marquez.

For every writer, there is a place of diffusion, a place where ideas bubble forth, like the soup on the stove, like magic happening in a magician’s fingers. The magician’s hands open wide and out comes a new creature that didn’t exist before. That’s what story making is, that’s what we should do, whether it’s a poem, a short story, a novel, a piece of non fiction, open up your hands and bring out something that wasn’t there before. Magic.

We’re here in Nebraska to play with the lines of story. It’s cold and the air is clear. You can see a few stars opening up windows of light, some of those are planets, some of them are other suns, shining for other planets, other habitable life zones. Each story is another place you could live.

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Published in: on December 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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