Curses and Guts…


Curse the time I scoffed at the poor writing of that teen novel I read (and reread a dozen times)!

Curse the time I thought I could make a better rhyme in that picture book!

Curse the time I thought I would’ve made the superior illustrations!

Curse the time I widely criticized the dialogue of that successful series!

For, now, I sit cursed by my own condemnation. I fear.

At least they had the guts to be bad. At least they had the guts to put it out there, in front of strangers. For others to love or hate, isn’t that what you want to do, Barbara?

You say you want to, but do you really?


So curse that day and summon the humility because today I write badly. My dialogue is overdramatic, my characters weak, and my metaphors stale. But I sat here and wrote three pages anyway, not much. But maybe I got a little better? And at least I had the guts to be bad.

2 responses »

  1. Puts me in mind of Rebus by Jane Hirschfield:

    You work with what you are given,
    the red clay of grief,
    the black clay of stubbornness going on after.
    Clay that tastes of care or carelessness,
    clay that smells of the bottoms of rivers or dust.

    Each thought is a life you have lived or failed to live,
    each word is a dish you have eaten or left on the table.
    There are honeys so bitter
    no one would willingly choose to take them.
    The clay takes them: honey of weariness, honey of vanity,
    honey of cruelty, fear.

    This rebus – slip and stubbornness,
    bottom of river, my own consumed life –
    when will I learn to read it
    plainly, slowly, uncolored by hope or desire?
    Not to understand it, only to see.

    As water given sugar sweetens, given salt grows salty,
    we become our choices.
    Each yes, each no continues,
    this one a ladder, that one an anvil or cup.

    The ladder leans into its darkness.
    The anvil leans into its silence.
    The cup sits empty.

    How can I enter this question the clay has asked?


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