brown dress with white dots
"It's hard convincing yourself that where you are at the moment is your home, and it's not always where your heart is. Sometimes I win and sometimes not."
-- Jonathan Carroll
One of the great small pleasures in life is getting something for free. A free ride, a free meal, a free sample of something cool or expensive, a free day off from school, a free tip from an expert. On the other hand, many people resent others who have been given free gifts from God, the Fates, or whatever is in charge. I’m talking about the resentment felt towards gorgeous fashion models, naturally gifted musicians, athletes, artists, or intellects. We look at those exquisite faces or innate talents and think they didn’t *do* anything to get it. They didn’t work for it, discover it, or develop it— it just happened to be in their chemical makeup from the beginning, like long eyelashes. Yet it allows them a free pass to a world, a special elite, that I’ll never know or experience. How come them and not me? It’s so unfair. Yet if I’m an innately good dancer, or win millions in a contest that costs nothing to enter, do I ask why me and not them? Do I question the unfairness of my new bank account? Rarely.
— Jonathan Carroll
Mark Roper
No matter how old you are, the relationship with your parents is like a dog being walked on one of those retractable leashes. The older we get, the further we wander. Years later we’re so far away that we forget we’re on their line. Predictably, though, we do reach the end, or they press the rewind button for some reason, and a second later we’re back at their side with a bad case of whiplash and once again hoping for their approval. No matter how strong or distant we are, Mom and Dad still have that power over us and never lose it.
— Jonathan Carroll / The Wooden Sea
Part of the act of creating is letting go. I remember very vividly when writing The Land of Laughs that I reached the part in the story where the dog speaks for the first time. I wrote the passage and stopped. I thought— the *dog* just spoke— that’s crazy. But a moment later I said okay, let’s just see where that goes. In an essential way it was the turning point of all writing I have done since then. My paradigm moment came about because I simply let go, accepted the nutty for fact, and kept moving. The Germans have a nice phrase about trust in romance— ‘fall back and I’ll catch you.’ The same could be applied to writing or any art, as far as I can see: If you believe you have it in you, write whatever it is you want and stop thinking about approaches or limitations or or or… Just *write* it. Clear your mind of hesitation and everything other than the sentence you are trying to write and do it. Then write the next one. The more you think about it, the less well you do it. Start with a phrase or a character you like or who intrigues you. Then begin to spin a spider’s web out from that center point. But don’t *think* about it. Very often when I begin a book or story, I only have a single line or image which I put down and then think—who is this? What are they like? ‘Haden was in trouble again’ is the beginning of GLASS SOUP only because I liked that line. After writing it I thought— who’s this Haden? He’s a handsome asshole. Okay, what does he do? He’s a tour guide. Where does he do it? Etcetera. Don’t think about it— just be a spider and spin the web only you can design.
Jonathan Carroll
Mark Roper
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