Monday, June 13, 2011

Writing: What Next?

One of my favorite modern writers is Walter Mosley. Very effective at what he does, and I enjoy his work. I also enjoy his interviews. One of the best pieces of advice that he gives is to incorporate your life into your fiction as much as possible. Subtly, of course, since most writers of fiction aren't penning autobiographies (Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski excepted). One thing he said in an interview was to write every day, even if you're sick. If you're sick, make one of your characters sick. You surely damned well know what you're writing about if you do that.

Lately I've been sick a lot. The old body's wearing down, especially in my line of work as a laborer as I approach my 54th birthday. If I could possibly retire, I would. There's nothing in the world I'd like more than to write full time (and not in a notebook in a cardboard shack in the woods). For now, I have to write when I can rather than when I want to.

The past couple of years have seen me with a lot of health issues: pneumonia, surgery, etc. Now I've torn my knee and will have to have surgery within the week. That's going to put me off my feet for a few weeks of recuperation and rehabilitation. I'm not looking forward to it. However, I will try to make it as fruitful as possible by using the down time to work on my fiction. I have several projects in various stages of completion, and I need to choose one of these to try to finish while I'm not able to deliver the mail.

I'll take Mosley's advice and write while I'm sick.

In a footnote, as if all of the other stuff wasn't bad enough, I was made miserable this past week by discovering that I'm highly allergic to the special detergent that we have to use in the new Maytag washing machine! I was on fire for days with waxing and waning welts. Finally, a trip to my physician solved the mystery (I thought it was related to the recently faded poison ivy I encountered in the old growth woods above Curtis Creek). I got a shot of cortisone that gave me relief and we have to stop using the "he" detergent (high efficiency).

In the Curtis Creek old growth forest, where Andy Kunkle and I discovered giant trees, an unknown waterfall, and poison ivy. (Click to embiggen.)

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