Imagine the excitement an artist experiences when staring at a blank canvas. What to create; oh, what to create this time? Every color of the palette flashes through his mind. A landscape? A portrait? Something surreal, traditional or a young lady with two heads, four boobs, and three toes on all six feet? “Anything I wish,” he giddily, whisperers.
Then, there’s the sculptor. He inspects a large ball of rock (unfortunately, there’s no other way to say it) hard as stone staring back at him. Once the artisan decides upon the subject of his masterpiece, he knows all he must do is remove the material that does not look like the finished product. “Much easier said than done,” he muses.
Deciding upon his point of attack, a disastrous twist enters the recesses of his mind. In no way do I intend to detract from the painters unique skills: however, if the sculptor slips, his piece could be ruined after months of work. Whereas, the man of paint (I should think) would have much less trouble, initiating repair.
On the other hand… Wait a minute, I already used both hands… I’ll start over.
On the other foot, we have the author. Some spend a great deal of preliminary time forming the plot, developing characters, and outlining the entire book from beginning to end.
Others study diligently (forensics, espionage or military weapons and strategies) to ensure their novels are accurate and true to form for their readers.
I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. I stare at the blank page with a vague idea and begin writing. I seldom know what lies ahead as I write in real-time. I’m like a parasite attached to my character’s brain, and wired into the nervous system. I see, hear, feel and make decisions in tandem as we move along. (My psychiatrist says I should be sporting no more than a dozen or so personalities by the first of the year.)
Writing adventure, science fiction, fantasy and the like doesn’t require much preliminary study to ensure accuracy. What I don’t have, I concoct, and accuracy is what I deem it to be.
Of course, there are instances from the world we live in that coincide with the world I write in (a dimensional crossroad if you will) that require that I bounce down to the library to assure continuity in my book.
And what author wouldn’t be proud to have one of their readers quote a statement or incident from one of their novels using that same novel to back up their quote as fact?
All this talk about the arts has set my mind to wondering (like that’s some kind of revelation).
But you have to admit that slinging a brush full of pigment across a tight piece of canvas conjures images of Tom Sawyer suckering the neighborhood kids into slapping white wash against an old picket fence.
This in turn brings about thoughts of P. T. Barnum uttering that famous line, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
I immediately find myself sailing toward the Midwest during the spring in tornado alley. It was here during the 1996 movie, “Twister,” that Dusty coined the phrase, “the suck zone.”
So by my reasoning (something you should avoid) if you dabble in the fine art of painting you will inevitably end up hanging in a tree, stripped naked by an F5 tornado, somewhere in Oklahoma.
It seems perfectly logical to me that if one ponders an ashtray masterpiece being carved from a 50 ton granite boulder, their next thought would certainly gravitate toward the first carver of stone.
The picture begins to fade and blur then refocuses on a primeval setting. Strange animal grunts and growls, active volcanoes, and huge fern trees dot the landscape.
Amidst the noise a small sound cuts through unscathed. Tink, tink, tink…Tink, tink, tink…Tink, tink, tink, tink, tink. Why it’s none other than Grog fashioning the first wheel from (who would have thunk it) a 50 ton chunk of granite.
“Hold on there, Grog. It seems you left the bottom of your wheel flat… It won’t roll like that.”
Tink, tin… “What you mean, ‘no roll?’”
“It’s got to be round its entire circumference.”
“What you mean, ‘cumfense?’”
“Never mind, you big dumb ape, it just won’t roll.”
Thus, the first stone carver changed vocations becoming the first serial killer, something about instant gratification.
And now (I’ve said this before but evidently it bears repeating since I don’t seem to be listening to myself. Do not begin a sentence with ‘and’) we begin the ending of this storied tale.
I am working on my fifth book. One has been published. I decided to forgo dealing with the publisher myself and attempt to acquire an agent.
“How’s that coming?” you ask.
Well, I guess it depends on how you want to look at. Agents receive as many as 500 query’s each week. They accept less than 1%. I figure I have more of a chance being struck by lightning while riding in a plane. The jet continues on safely, as I am the only one ejected over the ocean, still smoldering when I take the plunge. I am plucked from the water by a sport fishing club who specializes in catching Great Whites. The one negative, they’re out of bait.
But that only strengthens (once again do not begin sentence with “but”) my resolve not to give up. Because you never know when that slightly quirky agent forgets their medication one day, picks up my query and realizes a bipolar Dr. Seuss is exactly what they’ve been looking for all these years.
When that day comes, they’ll call me, “eccentric.”
Until then, I’m just crazy Lynn.