I, Larry A. Gibbons, also further hereby declare, that I was not friggen impressed by the April Fool’s joke of another snowstorm. Ha, ha, and who else is laughing?
Finally, I, Larry A. Gibbons, hereby and finally declare, that this is my last hereby declaration. Which I hereby declare to be declared.
that our baby Christ came to be born
in the middle of mabou
or any other such community on cape breton island
what i am announcing is that
in the sacred and incredible act of creation
our beautiful island was immensely blessed
by the heart and hand of god
over five hundred and seventy million years ago.”
So, hello to all my friends in Ontario, Alberta and Michigan.
C’est la vie, mes amis. May we someday enjoy a Gamay together at our favourite aunt’s place.
On Saturday, I was talking to an Aboriginal friend who lives off the reserve. This offers him a different set of problems from
those who live on the reserve.
I was thinking, what if this fella was a writer? He’d have lots of emotional material to put into words. Because, as you know, I believe writers need at least some chaos and uncertainty in their lives for them to have the material to incorporate into their blood and guts creations.
However, it may be difficult to write about a crisis such as a relationship breakdown, if you are in the midst of one. But once you’ve put it behind you and are trucking on down the road, well, the pen will, at some point, be ready to burn, baby, burn.
Many writers, like myself, get discouraged. Sometimes I’ll read a short story or a novel and I’ll think, “Shit, I can’t write like that. Hell, I don’t even think like that”.
Take many of the literary magazines. So many of their stories have been diced, spliced and sautéed into an urban gruel. They’re the ones that seem to grab the publishers’ attention. Put a character in a bar, a bedroom, a downtown apartment, a subdivision, a jail or a whore house on Yonge Street and your odds of being published rise. Of course, I know this is not always true, but these thoughts do occasionally bounce around inside my skull.
And hell, we live in a forty-five-foot mini home in the forest. My main conversations are with crows, squirrels and Ben, the dog down the road. Now, I’ve seen birds and squirrels getting amorous. And I’ve seen a crow eating a dead squirrel while the squirrel’s family members run up and down the branch trying to get a look at who it was that was killed and is being devoured. We suspect the perpetrator was the black cat who creeps up to our house in the early morning and waits for breakfast by our bird feeders.
But, really, there are so many good writers out there. Urban or rural. Which leads me to a point about my marketing savvy. By the way, don’t spend too much time trying to find my marketing savvy, because I don’t have a lot. And, I don’t know if I will ever get myself worked up into a marketing frenzy. Which, I think, is a problem for many writers. Because the various forms of social media, with their unlimited potential, are so powerful that writers feel they have to be involved in it all the time. If not, they worry they are going to be left behind by a massive herd of social media-savvy key-tappers. Which must have some deleterious effects on their energy to create.
Here’s an example of my marketing enthusiasm. When I was a kid and thought as a kid and didn’t look at myself in the mirror very often, I used to have a paper route. The newspaper would hold subscription drives. I hated the door-knocking, the persuading and the rah-rah sessions. I did, however, win a raincoat at one rally, but they had to draw twenty times and there were only about twenty-five carriers in the room. Plus it was a dry summer. Ha.
I’m also humble about my vocabulary. Which isn’t gigantic, although it’s growing. People generally use the words they heard when they were growing up. So, if you hear a lot of words when you are a child, you will most likely use them when you’re older, along with the dialect you heard.
Note, that doesn’t make a person with a larger vocabulary more intelligent, but it will open up more opportunities for them. My warning to those with a big vocabulary is to not resent having to drop your vocabulary by a thousand words so you can communicate with the likes of me. Because isn’t it the luck of the draw as to what family you have or don’t have? Just buck up and enjoy your view.
Stephen King has pointed out that a person shouldn’t wait to write until after they have acquired a greater number of words. The words will come with the writing and the reading. However, you must read.
Finally, what amazes me about writing, is that the creative activity involved in this pen to paper thing, opens us up to universal bits and pieces. Maybe because a writer is someone who keeps an eye out for these messages and surprises. Most writers are always on the job. Therefore they recognize more clues and bits of unusual info.
Like last week. I was travelling down Disheartened Highway 104. I was questioning my vision and my style and indulging in other downer thoughts, when I stumbled upon a Walter Whitman poem. It’s called, “Quicksand Years”. (I do this stumbling thing all the time.) Here’s the poem:
Your schemes, politics, fail, lines give way, substances mock and elude me,
Only the theme I sing, the great and strong-possesse’d soul, eludes not,
One’s-self must never give way-that is the final substance-that out of all is sure,
Out of politics, triumphs, battles, life, what at last finally remains?
When shows break up what but One’s Self is sure?