Another from our final list

Literati!  Almost all our finalists for our contest “Like a Ton of Bricks” have (here it comes!  my favorite word!) SUBMITTED to me! They will remain anonymous because most of their names are too hard to spell.  But I thought I would start to give you an idea as to why I chose the prompt …

Literati! 

Almost all our finalists for our contest “Like a Ton of Bricks” have (here it comes!  my favorite word!) SUBMITTED to me!

They will remain anonymous because most of their names are too hard to spell.  But I thought I would start to give you an idea as to why I chose the prompt as I did.

Soon to be published is a short novel I originally wrote when I was about 20: Almost Avalon. I am completely confident in my own writing abilities, and to diffuse the statement of its arrogance, let me explain; when I write, when I am in the groove (cliche alert!), I mean that what I have put to paper perfectly reflects in my own mind what I wanted to convey.  The unknown, but of much less significance, is how what I have written will be understood and perceived by others.  Of course, I want people to “get it” but I find that not everyone does. Tha’s ok (sort of).

I made the mistake of reading a part of Almost Avalon to a writers’ meetup group The Word hosts every Wednesday. One professional writer said that I must have gotten all my stuff from the shelves of Cliche’ Mart, and that if she had read a half a page she would read no further.  But she viewed the work from the eyes of a mid forties woman.  My character in the book is 24 years old, and what we now might perceive as cliche’ and over-wrought  as chronologically progressed adults is fresh, pure, worthy and good when you first hear it. Love having the frailty of a candle?  Had you never heard such a thing, wouldn’t that adequately–and beautifully–describe how you might feel about first love? Or discovering the light within another human being? Nothing more profound than an Andy of Mayberry rerun.  EXCEPT for the first time you ever had that thought. Namaste: The light within me salutes the light within you.

So I wanted a contest that drew attention to the fact that there is original thought and purpose to the cliches with which we speak so much of our lives, and at their inception, there was power and glory.  They only fail us when they become Clift Notes in our true endeavors to communicate with our fellow creatures.  The flip side of this? I can never write the word “awesome” because it has become devoid of meaning.  A hamburger at Denny’s can be awesome. totally.  How can I tell you that Kieth Jarret’s Koln Concert is awesome without reducing it to the experience of a Denny’s hamburger?  How can I tell the woman I love that the way she graces a room or my thoughts is awesome?

Jerry Rubin said it best:  “How can I tell you I love you when cars love Shell?”

When I run for literary office, the sign in the war room will read: “It’s the language, stupid.”

This is a literary site.  The jester playing with his baubles from time to time wants to deviate from our mission statement: Putting Gravitas on a Lo Carb Diet.  Hope I remain your favorite deviant.  That would be awesome.

And also, idioms and cliches are almost the same thing, as this contest demonstrated.

So here is an entry from one of our finalists.  Anonymous until I see who is willing to bride me and Stang for thew honor of winning.

 

Enter-sections.

Halting red light. The boundaries are set.  The red light of life’s miseries lingers too long…thinking!

Yellow light has a little leniency. I need to dodge in-between traffic to cross. Pumped up on yellow adrenalin of danger. A caution of unknown could be coming… I trust my instincts.

Infamous green light…more shadows of questions– give birth­– where the hands of God’s placement are much more delineated.

How far should I go? How much do I really want to see? I plunge forward.  All I really want for Christmas is my detachment from outcome. Tis the season to let go…let goD.

12 comments

  1. To “get” a written work or not “get” it, is an individual shoot.  A writer can seize the day, thinking that what he knows will blow them away exposing charactrers in true light with all the esoteric or ridiculous trappings.  But what I have learned is the character’s understanding of the world (life, love, feats, disgrace, etc…) must be written to the reader as the character would say it to him/her self.  Tom Wolf, thee most character driven writer alive today (my opinion), writes dialogue that will set you on your ear.  Cliches, you betcha (that was one), redundant cliches, full of them, but there is no misunderstanding of his work.  Whether he takes time to explain it or not (usually he does), the reader is wet with understanding.  I so agree with Thorn’s 24 something–sayings.  I recognised this intuitiveness in Boy With A Torn Hat, Avalon is the grandfather.  He–Thorn–makes me stop and think how true I am to my characters.  Do I listen enough, do they live?  Thanks Chief!  One of these weekends I will have to sleep with the cats on your couch.

  2. Stars Fall On My Heart
    Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    Thorn:

    It took me several reads of “A Boy with the Torn Hat” to have a fuller understanding of your novel. I (mistakenly) thought maybe I just wasn’t “into” your style or that it just wasn’t “good enough”. Over time, I began to understand it as both a story and an artful literary experience. It took me a long time to finally 
    “get it” because I experienced the opposite of what the person said: it WASN’T like anything I had ever read before. “The Boy with the Torn Hat” didn’t just tell a story; it presented and arranged the English language in a way that is meant to be like a stroll in an art gallery. I find many stories these days are about telling an interesting story–which is fine because there has to be something about that story that makes us want to turn the page. But the art of literature is ignored for the sake of an interesting story, and I didn’t realize it until I read “The Boy”. From the clips that I’ve seen from “Almost Avalon”, I can tell it is going to do the same, while telling a different story.

    Point being: if I had shut down after “a page and a half” I would have missed so much.
    So THAT’S what you meant by the “low gravitas” thingy =)

  3. KYLE says:

     Mr. Sully.
    I don’t have a lot of time to walk among a dead forest full of gems of learning experiences I have no interest in. I don’t want to identify the rare sightings, so I can dig deeper in the landscape of my guides who are scholars as they straighten their bow ties and fluff their petticots of wisdom.
     Some times they are in that landscape so long, they can’t see the colors of anything else that may move you to the simplicity of what the human emotion of a story is. Which sometimes gets lost into overuse of language.Grab my hand and pull me in your stories. That is for me, your talent. I want to walk with you, as most of us do,   with your sense of knowing a reader and what we crave. To be taken away and fall in love with the author’s journey. I trust you to take me away! I read a lot of Almost Avalon. I was in love again, with the youth of love’s blindness. I didn’t care. Sometimes I was Melissa. But odd enough…I was mostly him. I was seasick with the promise that things would turn out,because I was young and didn’t know any better.(oh how i like to cast my cares to the wind again)  I was Lola ( because I sometimes see myself as the woman with the metaphoric limp)in ‘The Boy’ and wanted to be chosen and cried at the end when I was. Courtesans of Gods. Guess who I became?POINT IS: We all want to be taken somewhere when we invest our time in a novel. I want the tatse of the characters in my mouth long after I read the book.  You do that. Too candid? Well thats how I write.   Love KYLE

  4. Glclark says:

        Thorn et al, I told you this before and now I’m gonna tell everybody so it’s on record. When I read Almost Avalon, I heard Richard Harris’s voice reading the story to me – just like when he recorded “Johnathan Livingston Seagull”. I know you and your ilk hate Richard Bach but he’s one of my favorites – him and Rod McKuen – if you’re old enough to remember those guys. Rod McKuen’s CD “The Sea” is a perfect companion for Almost Avalon.
        But I digress…..Almost Avalon is one of the smoothest, sweetest, and sensual novels I’ve ever read. I don’t read much what I classify as Literary stuff – that’s the stuff with all the fancy, flowery words and stuff – but this story being told in my brainin the voice of Richard Harris blew me away. I was the frustrated, unworthy lover who silently went about his work all for her – everything for the woman he loved, feeling he wasn’t worthy of her love. I suffered with the empty lobster traps, shivered in the cold rain, and felt warm when he thought her.
         Five stars for this novel and five stars for AWwYP where those of who love writing and love each and every person who comes here can shed our real world personae and expose our raw inner self in our writing – knowing everything we write for the site is loved and appreciated by those we love and appreciate and it is ‘judged’ with the hands of friends and writers who have taken the time to know us and appreciate us as we are – with all our bumps and warts and beautiful words. I’m sorry for those who have moved on and are no longer sharing with us. I miss them and their contributions to the site and hope someday they will come back so we can share with them again.
         I’ll tell you a quick story and then I’m finished. My wife and I were coming home from Dallas two weeks ago. There’s a little state highway, Highway 34, that’s a cut-off between I-45 and I-35 and we use that because it’s a shortcut. About halfway down 34 is a little town called Avalon. I had just seen the sign, ‘Avalon – 5 miles” when my wife looked up from her novel and asked where we were. I just smiled and said, “Almost Avalon.”
        Funny how Art becomes Reality.

     

    • Thorn
      Thorn says:

       That is so Zen.  You are certainly no callous Tao-boy. Thanks Gary.  Hope to get the book out in print by chiristmas, and that Santa recruits Bob the Bull for his sled this year, and parks it in your lower forty where you almost have a lawn.

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