Archive | Quoth the Raving

White Flags in the Literary Tunnel

Exposed lady (Milton Avery)

I’ve been a stuck author for weeks. The following quote, from Philip Roth no less, is giving me strength by endorsing my surrender. It’s good to know my darkness can shed real light. Goddess let it be so.

You’re looking, as you write, for what’s going to resist you. You’re looking for trouble. Sometimes uncertainty arises not because the writing is difficult, but because it isn’t difficult enough. Fluency can be a sign that nothing is happening; fluency can actually be my signal to stop, while being in the dark from sentence to sentence is what convinces me to go on.

Have You Seen This Cat?

From Jeffrey Henson Scales’ “House’s Barber Shop” series, 1987-1992

I’m sitting in the writerspace today, everyone click-clacking all around me, and big tears are silently sliding down my face.

I don’t know how to work on this book without letting in all the big feelings, and right now that means I am assaulted by the breakdown of the environment and our country and my relationship. Really, it’s my relationship. Sometimes I wish I were an ER doctor or an air traffic controller, someone whose work entailed putting out so many fires that there was no room for reflection or, goddess forbid, feelings. Sometimes I wish I were an actual firefighter. Continue Reading →

Bittersweet Apples for 5779

I’ve posted this Louise Erdrich quote before but it bears repeating for the Jewish New Year. It’s how I always hope to live.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy