Hello dear Reader,
It has been much too long since I’ve posted. The holidays are already upon us and the new year is imminent. This then is a post to wish you a happy Winter and whichever Holiday or none it is you celebrate or don’t. I like to wish people a happy Solstice, because even if it is not a phenomenon they think about in celestial and cosmological terms, it affects them and their lives. The return of Light – something we can all appreciate and enjoy.
It has been difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year: Madison is unseasonably warm (and no, I’m not complaining) and the trees and ground are not covered in a blanket of sparkling snow. The streets are not even covered in dirty gray snow and sludge. Thus, I kept feeling like I had weeks before Christmas arrived. I was wrong.
A friend mentioned that it feels like we are in borrowed time, a borrowed November. I do not know whose November nor whether or not they miss it and want it back.
The solstice was only a few days ago, so really it is only winter just now. Anyone who knows Wisconsin, however, will let you know that it’s winter once we’ve put the jack-o-lanterns in the compost and the Halloween candy’s been eaten up. Two seasons comprise 75% of the year and two share the remaining 25%. If you know anything about Wisconsin you know that Spring and Autumn are all too brief; you can miss them if you for some reason don’t venture out of doors for a spell, such as if you have a nasty illness or a project that you must focus on and finish. Shut your eyes for a little too long and you’ll be lucky to see the tail end of Autumn as Winter comes barreling in. And yes, Winter comprises the majority of that 75%.
My goal for 2012 is to revise Daughters of the Spirits, my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel, and begin At the Table with Kings, the SciFi novel that’s been in my head and somewhat on paper, the one that was my first choice for NaNoWriMo but that I shied away from. Well, I shan’t shy away anymore.
Which is a resolution of mine, as a writer: I have resolved to write the stories that present themselves to me, the stories that swirl and crawl there way up my throat and into my mouth and into my fingers, the ones that have struggled through my insides and other untold spaces. They have worked so hard to present themselves, how can I deny them life? Who am I to say, ‘no you’re not publishable, look at you, what sort of a plot arc is that? How am I going to package this so someone will want to print you?’ I shall never tell a story, “stories don’t look like that.”
How often have I heard, as example, that how I acted or looked was unfeminine, when everything I do, by definition is feminine. What those people meant to admonish me with, is that what I did or looked like was culturally unfeminine… traditionally unfeminine wouldn’t have worked, because there are so many traditions and have been so many more traditions that such a statement is quite useless. Of course the same can be said for culture… unfeminine according to current dominant culture, pop culture (you’ll enjoy the typo that I corrected: “poop” instead of “pop”) which is no static thing.
Stories have every right to exist as they are without the imposition of a culturally faux consumer-driven publishing market dictating the shape and scope of their existence. Which is to say: my creativity and my thoughts are legitimate and beautiful as they stand. The worlds I create have a place in the Universe and are not inherently less privileged than any other worlds.
I will reread Emerson, especially “Self-Reliance”:
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts… Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.
We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. … Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind.
For non-conformity the world whips you with its displeasure. … but the sour faces of the multitude, like their sweet faces, have no deep cause,–disguise no god, but are put on and off as the wind blows, and a newspaper directs.
This critique of society and the sway of popular culture still applies today. It also explains why “bad” novels sell so well. Thankfully, there still are presses interested in intelligent stories, and publishing houses that appreciate well-written work, creative work, works of art and genius.
Circuitously to say – my resolution is to be genius, that is, to write the stories that are within me and express myself wholly. To accept the divine idea only I can represent.
Happy Holidays, warm wishes of Light and Peace, within and without.