Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bare -- no bears

All the yellow and red aspen leaves have fallen, and the landscape is pale gold and bare. Interesting that all the deer and elk we would see on our usual two hour walk are hiding-- it's hunting season-- they must have switched to a nocturnal life style. Smart.

I went to the library in town today and got 5 books: two local history books, two by Lee Child, and another by Annie Proulx.

Kate recommended "Bad Dirt" by Annie Proulx and I liked it very much. It's a group of short stories set in Wyoming. A funny thing was that one story which was particularly long. I thought, "Gee I've read another story that was so much like this. Kind of uninspired." Realized later I'd read it a few years ago in the New Yorker. It was in her grim Wyoming style.

Do you like to read short stories? I do. I like shorter ones better. If they're too long I start counting pages till the end, and sort of resent when they wrap up too.

In some of the stories she gets a bit experimental and it's really fun: slight elements of fantasy woven in, instead of just the grim folks of Wyoming. Like two badgers talking about humans. One of the stories seemed to have been inspired by the punch line of a joke, (didn't quite work.) I wonder if her work is moving more in this direction of these more experimental stories, kind of goofy fantasy elements woven in without being too whimsical.

I haven't read the story that she wrote which the movie "Broke Back Mountain" was based on. Even though the screenplay was co-written by a sometime favorite author, Mr. Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry, I didn't care for the movie.


Mean Jean said...

OMG! I love short stories. I keep several volumes around, especially in the guest room. Have you read Micro fiction? Extremely short stories.

A Wanderer said...

I love short stories.
That's why I write 'em...
I don't have many finished, though. It takes me years to finish things. I actually only have one I feel completely finished with, and a few others which are in several complete drafts, but none I'm satisfied with.

ShantanuDas said...

I asked something in another post.. can u help please ? thnx

Sally said...

okay, now I have two books to order from amazon, thanks mean jean. The other one is handicapping races for dummies.

Keep writing a wanderer! But don't be too much of a perfectionist! This is something anyone who makes an animated film has to learn, because you always get better as you go along, but can't keep refining and refining the early parts.

A Wanderer said...

Thanks for the encouragement Sally, and the advice too! That is something that it is very easy to get too caught up in, and I try to keep it in mind (and anybody in a creative field, writing, animation, film-making, etc. should).
Still, when I write, I generally try to find a place where the story "clicks" for me, like how you hear math problems described. I can do two, three, full drafts of a story, totally separate from each other (no copy-and-paste from previous drafts, original wording each time) and just not "feel it." So far I've only hit that feeling on the first try twice in my life: once in the 9th grade (yikes) and once last year. Once I hit that plateau there is generally still editing to be done, but often more proof-reading and minor stuff. I love getting to that point, where it's "all down hill from there."
I sent a draft I'm not satisfied with (but don't have time to re-work right now) and the one I'm totally finished with (more or less) to a short story contest yesterday. Here's to hoping.