Thursday, March 18, 2010

Written on the Wind

By Kelli

Writing is the sweet science of words on the page instead of dancing in the ring. It beckons always, sometimes just beyond your reach or your ability to capture the fleeting images that play out like an old 16mm film, mind's eye, dreaming, awake, early morning or late at night or with a cocktail in a favorite restaurant.

It's magic, it's murder, it's pain and it's ecstasy. And my dream is to be able to do more of it, to be able to wake up and go to my keyboard and let the images and demons and emotions cascade over me like a waterfall and somehow shape themselves into symbols ... pixels on a screen, letters on a page.

Until then ... well, I write in my head. Keep the story going, keep the subconscious open to stimulus, and there's always plenty of that in San Francisco. Riding the bus, walking to work, taking the dog out by the ocean, watching cars drive by, or downtown and the glitter of neon against dirty yellow masonry. I write when I sleep, I write when I dream, I write when I should be concentrating on other things.

When things go badly, a voice tells me to remember what it feels like, to use it someday, to translate the agony or the anger and share it.

When things go well, same voice, same direction.

And when things don't go at all ... well, there's an unopened bottle of Old Crow on my desk if writer's block sets in. In case of emergency, break glass. ;)

No day is typical for me, because no day is typical ... and I fight for every bit of writing time I get. Til the bitter end ...

Now, in case you need a good chuckle over the more comedic aspects of writer's block, let me offer Paris When It Sizzles, a charming 1963 farce with William Holden as a screenwriter and Audrey Hepburn as his secretary/muse. I've seen this film more than once--and let's face it, anything with these two, Tony Curtis, Noel Coward and a cameo by Marlene Dietrich simply has to be entertaining. ;) Enjoy!

8 comments:

Shane Gericke said...

A lovely commentary per usual, Miz Kel. And anything with Paris in it automatically has to be good, oui?

Terry said...

I loved the empty pages. Thanks for the, Paris When It Sizzles, scene! And Audrey Hepburn got involved with another writer's block case in Breakfast at Tiffany's. She may be jinxed.

I'm like you, I write in my head,sort of like hearing voices, but we're not mad, we're writers. It's different, right? Great title, btw.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks, sweet Shane--how was your St. Patrick's Day? Full on green beer and leprechaun suit? ;)

xoxo

Kelli Stanley said...

Ah, Terry ... thanks as always!! :)

I think all writers are a little mad, no matter what we tell ourselves. Voices in the head, compulsive writing, staring at the computer screen ... but hey, it's a mad, mad, mad, mad world ... :)

And Audrey was something, wasn't she? The end of Breakfast at Tiffany's ALWAYS makes me cry.

xoxo

Terry said...

So right, Kelli. It's a mad, mad, world, and if we aren't at least a little bit mad, we won't be able to cope.

Yes, Audrey was so special, So Darling... I loved that ending, too. xoxo.

Shane Gericke said...

St. Patty's was fine, thanks. Hope yours was equally good. I dislike dining out on holidays, as restaurant service can be so iffy, but some dear friends wanted to go, so we did. We went to a restaurant with a St. Patrick's buffet. Which, sadly, blew kinda like I expected: so many people showed up I got exactly one two-inch piece of corned beef before they ran out. Sigh. But our friends are lovely, so it was all right.

No green beer, though. Not a lager fan in any shade of color. To channel dear Sophie, I loves me some of that chewy stout and porter.

Kelli Stanley said...

Oh, Shane ... you are so missed!!! It's been way too long. There's a big bottle of porter (English, of course) waiting here with your name on it. There's also a local stout (Anchor Steam) made in SF that's pretty damn good.

And today is definitely not bourbon weather ... it's cloudless, warm, bright, even the ocean is calm. Breathtaking.

Of course, we San Franciscans get suspicious of 24 hour periods without fog ... we whisper "earthquake weather." So as much as I love it, part of me will be watching anxiously for that cloud to come in from the west ... so I can bring back the bourbon. ;)

xoxo

Sophie Littlefield said...

i think one of the reasons none of your days is "typical" is because you are juggling so many different things, K. it's a wonder - and an inspiration - that you get it done.