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Good Advise (I Hope) January 2, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Books, Creativity.
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The book I’m reading right now (very slowly) is called “Bird by Bird” by a Marin writer named Anne Lamott. It’s subtitled, “Some instructions for writing and life.” I like the book the author has even less self-confidence than me and she’s managed to put together a few books.

The Advise that got to me today was a quote from Ethan Canin. When asked what the most valuable thing he knew about writing was he said, “Nothing is as important as a likable narrator, nothing holds a story together better.” I like this advise a great deal. Lamott also talks about how character leads to plot. This is something I’ve never been comfortable with. Character I feel an affinity for but Plot mystifies me. If she’s right there is hope for me.


Braver Newer World January 1, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Books, Movies, Personal.
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This personal renaissance I’ve been trying to have has its roots in 2004. I had ended 2003 pretty damn depressed. My marriage was officially over, my new job wasn’t what I had in mind when I took it and my best friend and roomate had just moved out and wasn’t really talking to me anymore because his girlfriend couldn’t stand me. In March of 2004 I found myself living pretty much alone and in the mood for a Spring renewal. After years of seeking comfort in my favorite movies and books I made a vow to read 50 new books and watch 100 new movies that year. I also started writing my morning pages again. Three pages a day longhand preferably before doing anything else. The journal writing sputtered out after a couple of months. I did keep reading and watching movies and keeping up a list of both of them. I made both of those goals that year. My book list from 2004 is already in My Links.

Karen moved back into the house in the bedroom next to mine and I struggled with writing while sharing the space again. But I did not abandon my desire to keep this growth spurt going. In Spring of 2005 I was back feeling restless. In April I started journalling again. I discovered the technical ease of blogging and my first one was born. I published online my list of 10 things that I could do every week to make my life fuller.

Well I wasn’t quite there yet. A couple of factors got in the way. First off I forgot how remarkably thin skinned I am. When my 10 things comment recieved some “anonymous” (best man at my wedding John) criticized my 10 Things as being more boring than dirt I retreated and didn’t write again for a month. By that time other factors started to play as my company got bought out and everyone that I liked working for bolted or got fired. My old boss rescued me and by the end of the summer I had my first job in San Francisco. My 20 year old dream of fleeing the suburbs was coming together. At the end of October it did finally all come together when I moved into my first apartment on my own since the late eighties.

Here I’ve tried to get back into my better habits. I’ve been journalling religiously (though not usually about religion). I’ve written more since September (about 300 pages) than I did all last year. I’ve started this blog and I’ve tried to recreate my list of new books and movies for 2005. It looks like I didn’t do as well as the year before but still not bad. I read 24 new books and watched 75 new movies. I’ll get the lists up later in my links page.

Which brings us to 2006. If 2004 was the plan and 2005 was the set-up 2006 is the pay off. My Braver Newer World.

Originally posted on Blogger.