November 30, 2010

[writing an application]

and it's hard to be, to remember
through all the silent things that happened
but I've lived a different kind of grace
and I can hide away, loved
without the words to prove myself

November 28, 2010

There's a fierce delight, a fearsome pain
in loving someone you may never see again.

November 23, 2010

"when more than was lost has been found"

I would never give you
what you wanted
just because you asked me to.

But now you aren't asking
and I find myself wanting
to give you my gratefulness.

I think this is freedom
to be falling deeply in debt -
there's a love I can never repay.

So we'll owe eternally
but when these loves overlap
the extra comes out as praise.

November 22, 2010


The longing clears my mind,
draws me forward.
Let me out into the living world
fresh flush with the city,
the rush of wind meeting my face.

Today I have an energy to make something, and it's refreshing. This feeling is somewhat of a response to this post, and somewhat of a pleasant swing from feeling very uncreative lately. There's such a vast difference between doing things out of routine and gloomy obligation, and simply expressing the life inside.

I see three reasons for creating. I've moved from the first, the desire to have the making done, to the second, the desire to make. The third is the desire to make for the sake of what is being expressed. This I have not yet reached - I don't know how to climax my novel, I don't know what inspiration I'll find. But I suspect that the idea can sometimes develop through the workings of creating. Something is behind the desire to create, I hope, a story longing to be told. And the advice to the artist is nearly always, show up. Do your work, and the miracle of creation will happen again.

November 14, 2010

a small disaster.

I'm grieving for one of my characters, who just died.

Dorothy Sayers writes of the tension between the sovereignty the maker has to shape the story according to a controlling idea, and the characters' free will to do what their natures necessitate. And in a true story, the characters' natures acting in free will aligns perfectly with the author's idea and message.

But today I realized that Tarvas's character didn't accord with my idea for the book, and his personality made the plot impossible. I tried, (really, I tried!) changing my idea, but it simply ran into dead ends. So I've killed him. It wasn't a dramatic death; it happened silently, and he'll simply disappear from the story.

I'll keep his memory alive in the photo montage I made last week of my characters before this development came along. I'll still cherish him, especially in the delightful cooking scene he was in. But I'm afraid he's pretty much gone, and the closest I'll get to resurrecting him is in the character who will replace him. Yes, that character will be closer to the true nature of the character the story needs. I certainly hope it makes the story more meaningful and more true. But I miss him already.

November 9, 2010

three idea poems.

I imagine the ticking of clockwork,
of sanitary steel and manufactured surfaces
spiders of cerebral connections
stimuli dropping like miniscule beads
clicking through machinery.

Then the rough heartfulness of earth
warm like sheep's wool
fertile and red.

For the mind is the sky
and the earth is the body
held together, fact and feeling
by what's deeper than both
below the earth's core and beyond the sky's expanse
all shall be one.

Could not love shake the ghost from me
With its flaming accuracy?
Dispel the specters with whom I spoke,
Purge the air of crawling smoke.*

you made the music glisten
with a sharp needle and a silver thread
sewing in what we've made it be
and now I cannot listen
without seeing, too, that sparkle
in my persistent memory.

*Note: This one is inspired by a poem by George MacDonald, which was inspired by a painting called "The Haunted House." My poem also correlates with a part of my novel. 

November 6, 2010

that was fun.

November 3, 2010


When I get to the last lap, I run as hard as I can.
I was looking at Makoto Fujimura's paintings, and they were so dazzling, I could barely take them in. "Soliloquies - Joy" kept moving, clicking like beads. So do I turn away, glad, or stare longer and learn more?
Discipline. Maybe it brings a higher sublime.

Yesterday, I read a short story by Dr. Reynolds. And I didn't know why, but I was shaking by the end of it. "I realized that I served Dad, I did not love him." I do not think it would be wrong to say I am very conscientious about the principles I live by. And I had been caring, very much that day, over expressing things rightly and creating something worthwhile. But my idols were now knocked over, and joy came in.

Today I was reading a book assigned for school, Green Mansions, and I was frustrated by it, the style of writing was tedious and the author seemed very self-absorbed. I told my mom what I thought about it, and she told me to trust the author at least a little longer. I saw that I was thinking myself so above, so superior, when instead I was again dealing judgment rather than mercy. I returned to my book, and the entire mood of my reading of it was changed.

Be faithful. Give mercy. Love God. And remember that every moment can crack open to let in grace.

November 1, 2010

Procrastinating on writing by writing.

NaNoWriMo is supposed to be about writing without restraint. So far, I've been writing a lot but very slowly, and I'm not sure if I should try to keep up the thoughtfulness.
This year's novel is very character-centered, and so I feel like I'm acting when I write. I have to keep in my mind who the characters are and switch between them. But it's very enjoyable, even though it's slow and hard. It makes me feel like I'm writing something worthwhile.
It interests me to think what makes action in a story. Today, I'm kind of passively tired [from an awesome weekend of being  in the city :D] and the productive things I've done include sitting at my computer writing, sitting on the couch studying psychology, and sitting on my bed reading books. That's not a lot of action.
Similarly, I wonder what kind of action to talk about in my novel. I realize I know a lot more about writing than I did last year. I've read Don Miller's book on editing his life, I'm halfway through Dorothy Sayers's book about the creative process, I'm paying more attention to Reading Like A Writer (which is the kind of book that's been in my radar for while, on an off). It reminds me of how much more exciting watching movies is when you pay attention to details, and ways the filmmakers are subtly communicating.

So this kind of writing is easier than my novel, because I care so much about telling a particular story and making my characters come alive. I am beginning to like my characters very much, because they interest me. Perhaps I'll post an excerpt on here later in the month. Right now I can't decide what to share without giving it all away. I can say the theme I'm thinking about is Love Conquers All.

I think I'll go back to writing it.