Sunday, October 22, 2006

Must artists protect themselves

...against the commercial world if they are to remain powerful and true? Of course there's the matter of prizes and the so-called "economy of cultural production and prestige" to consider.
Thanks to these two articles, my period of procrastination has stretched well into the evening. I think procrastination is part of my writing process. A necessary part. Sometimes I picture myself as an elastic band on the thumb of my muse. My muse will pull me back, aiming, until my patience is so thin you'd think I'd snap. Then he lets go and I fly off, hitting the target or missing, but flying just the same. It's great. Other times, when he hasn't positioned me quite right, I smack into his thumb. Not so great.

24 comments:

Ariel Gordon said...

So...your muse is an adolescent boy?

Anita Daher said...

That was my question! Well, almost. I picture him older. Details, please!

Rhett said...

Taken from an interview with Grace Paley:

I remember you saying you wrote a book every 10 years; are you a very slow writer or were there always so many other things going on?

There really is a lot going on -- raising children, political activities, teaching -- and it's also that I never developed good habits. My husband, Bob, always says, "Grace doesn't have a single habit." I do have habits [laughs]. It's just all my habits are bad.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Good grief. I never thought of that. But I can see him clearly now. My muse is a rubber booted, cap backwards brat. A detention happy spit ball shooter. Ugh. That explains everything.

Rhett, are you suggesting I might have some bad habits? Ok. Sure. I do have a cake habit. And a hockey habit. And a fitness habit. But thanks to recent chit-chat, I did revisit DeWitt's translation of Horace's Epistle to the Pisones (Ars poetica) today prior to my workout and prior to the chocolate and prior to the hockey. Anyhow, maybe Horace got to Paley, made sure her work was "weighted down in storage, put away between the leaves of parchment for revision in the ninth year." Horace is pretty persuasive after all. Like he says, "you can always edit what you haven't published: the word that is uttered knows no return." In lieu of parchment, I plan to use the leaves on my lawn. Then I'll rake up my poems in the spring and see what's left of them.

Berlynn said...

Thanks for those articles, B. I related more to the first, being one who doesn't buy into trends and fads or care a lot about material possessions. (OK, well, except for my books and my van, but they don't really count because they're part of the family.)

I can also relate to smacking into your muse's thumb and think you're fortunate that it's not the brick wall that I smack into when my muse has me mis-positioned.

Finally, you remind me of the 1996 Keynote talk that Sharon Pollock gave at Sage Hill. It was the first time I'd heard someone talk about writing and flying and she referred to it as running off the edge of a cliff. Sometimes we fly, she said, and sometimes we fall and get right back up to do it again. I went back to my room and bawled my eyes out!

Tracy Hamon said...

I have bad habits, a dead muse, and I'm sitting on the ground after falling off the cliff.

Anita Daher said...

Oh Tracy! This sounds like a job for Muse 911.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ok. I think we need to throw a party. The first annual Muse Bash.

Speaking of bashing, this is exactly what I look like when I smack into my muse's thumb.

Rhett said...

I'll come!!!

Berlynn said...

B, I've seen worse.

And I'll be at the par-tay!

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ok, let's party! Since it's been proven that I'm a complete Guy Smiley, I can't really be trusted to throw the type of party that a bunch of Berts and Elmos and even a Snuffleufagus might like to attend. A Bert should be in charge of this, seeing that Berts are very organized, though Elmo's "you only live once" attitude would make for a lively party. The Guy Smileys, being extremely self-absorbed, will be jittering about yelling "cake, where's the cake!"

In addition to cake, I'd like music, dancing and, in honour of our muses, a piñata that we'll gleefully poke.

Anita Daher said...

Can Fraggles come? I think I'm a Red. That running into a stalagmite thing sounds familiar.
http://www.fragglerocker.com/info/characters.asp?chrName=Red

Brenda Schmidt said...

Of course Red is welcome. What's a party without Red? I love Fraggle Rock. I see myself more as a Doozer. I was very excited to see there's a Fraggle Rock movie in the works.

Fraggles aside for the moment, did you do the Sesame Street Persona test? I still can't believe I'm Guy Smiley.

Anita Daher said...

Cool test! Turns out I'm a Snuffleupagus

Yeah...I can see that.

Brenda Schmidt said...

I always liked Snuffleupagus.

berlynn said...

The par-tay will be lively. Elmo will be there.

Tracy Hamon said...

We should do a Talking Fresh muse bashing par-tay then, a precursor to the convocation bash. Practice makes perfect.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Perfect! Remember, I want a piñata.

Tracy Hamon said...

That sounds like fun. Seriously.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ok. Must find a how-to site on constructing piñatas. Must fill it with goodies that writers will like. Hm...

Brenda Schmidt said...

Wow, that Martha Stewart can make anything. We're good to go.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ok. Seeing it's a Muse Bash, I propose we have a contest to see who can construct the best muse piñata. We'll have judges. We'll have prizes. Once the judging is done and the winner announced to great applause, we'll bash the muses to pieces.

Tracy Hamon said...

Now you're talking. I was looking at Martha's directions, and I don't know, this may be just me, but, wouldn't it just be easier to buy a round balloon, rather than her convoluted directions on getting a round shape? And why do we have to have round?

This could be the the lanterns-on-the-lake project, where everyone made their own lantern. Here it could be a muse-inspiration--everyone bring your own muse-piñata.

Oh, such a great idea. What a-muse-ment.

Brenda Schmidt said...

"Inflate the balloon, coax it into a round shape"

I dunno. I think she's referring to my ego here.

Well H is on-board. Our muse piñata will rule. You might as well award us the prize right now.