John Gardner On Life and Writing #3

Quote about John Gardner: “The late John Gardner once said that there are only two plots in all of literature. You go on a journey or a stranger comes to town. Since women, for many years, were denied the journey, they were left with only one plot in their lives — to await the stranger. Indeed, there is essentially no picaresque tradition among women novelists. While the latter part of the twentieth century has seen a change of tendency, women’s literature from Austen to Woolf is by and large a literature about waiting, usually for love.” ― Mary Morris, The Illustrated Virago Book of Women Travellers

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john-gardner-on-writers-writing-cover

john-gardner-on-becoming-a-novelist-cover“People will tell you that writing is too difficult, that it’s impossible to get your work published, that you might as well hang yourself. Meanwhile, they’ll keep writing and you’ll have hanged yourself. ”
John Gardner

“Fiction does not spring into the world fully grown, like Athena. It is the process of writing and rewriting that makes a fiction original, if not profound. ”
John Gardner

Quote about John Gardner: “It was [John Gardner’s] conviction that if the words in the story were blurred because of the author’s insensitivity, carelessness, or sentimentality, then the story suffered from a tremendous handicap. But there was something even worse and something that must be avoided at all costs: if the words and the sentiments were dishonest, the author was faking it, writing about things he didn’t care about or believe in, then nobody could ever care anything about it.” ― Raymond Carver, Call If You Need Me: The Uncollected Fiction and Other Prose

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john-gardner-1933-1982
John Gardner (1933–1982) was born in Batavia, New York. His critically acclaimed books include the novels Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues, and October Light, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as several works of nonfiction and criticism such as On Becoming a Novelist. He was also a professor of medieval literature and a pioneering creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson. When I worked at Bennington College in Southern VT I would often see him walking across the campus during the Summer Writing Workshops. Or when his white hair was flowing as he rode his beloved motorcycle on campus or away.  –  j.kiley

Weekly Writing Prompt #81

Weekly Writing Challenge
Poetry and/or Flash Fiction
Mar 20th – #81

DOOR Template Instructions=====================

(5) Words: | CLIMB | CATCH | SMART | VOTE | POET |

*A brilliant idea has been brought to my attention regarding the (5) word prompt. Please feel free to substitute any of the words with a synonym.🎈 🎭 ✨

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Poetry Suggestions
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Haiku (5 – 7 – 5)
Tanka (5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7)
Shadorma (3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 7 – 5)
6 lines – no rhymes – multiple stanzas [your choice] – just follow meter
Villanelle (19 line poem[no word limit]–2 repeating rhymes & 2 refrains)… Excellent example is Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night”
Nonet (9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1) progression downward of syllables
Cinquain (2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 2) five-line poem on any theme – syllables
’28’ Form (4 x 7) or (7 x 4) lines & syllables or lines
Free Verse – No Limitations
See [POETRY PAGE] for further instructions

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Fictional Suggestions
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Flash Fiction (500 – 300 words)
Any Genre: Mystery – Sci-Fi – Fantasy – Horror – Literary

SUGGESTIONS FOR FLASH FICTION
***One main character
***Room for one scene
***Main conflict in first sentence
***Room for a single plot
***Room for a single, simple theme
***SHOW anything related to the main conflict
***TELL the backstory; don’t “show” it
***Save the twist until the end
***Eliminate all but essential words

Use your best judgement
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Proust: The Moment Is Always Now

“Remembrance of Things Past”
Mar 19th Part #90

THE MOMENT IS ALWAYS NOW

“People claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.”

― Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
ghost of proust at grave

“It was such a lovely day . . .”

it-was-such-a-lovely-day

w-somerset-maugham-photograph

bio-w-somerset-maugham

“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then (wo)men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil

Are There No Heroes?

It is important to stand up to tyranny. Those who choose the tyrant’s path are nothing more than cowards and bullies. No more. It is a more than appropriate message for all to heed. Times are changing. And change is not always a good thing. Only when change leads to better circumstances does it deserve to be brought forward to thrive. The US leaders are killing with their changes and must be stopped. Are there no heroes left to stand up to bullies who want nothing more than to destroy what is good and thriving. They must go now. They were never meant to have power. Their weakness will take over their minds and destruction will be their own. – j.kiley 2017

Alpine Adventure | a short film

A short film with a natural magnificence of stunning beauty. The story is the captivating nature one views. A magic castle suddenly appears and is gone. The bravery of a sole walking out on the water frozen from a cold winter giving the appearance of a looking glass. Sometimes we don’t need a written story. Nature contains more tales than writers can write. The ‘AWE’ factor fills all the frames for the eyes delight. I am partial to trains. One appears making me recall ‘The Orient Express’ of Agatha Christie fame. It is a delight ‘The Alpine Adventure’ – and a feast for the eyes.

A Reminder: OPEN TO FULL SCREEN for a Complete Immersion into viewing ‘Alpine Adventure’ and to better appreciate the film maker’s capturing of the fullness of the textures of nature in Winter. – j.kiley

Alpine Adventure
from Joshua Cowan

“In January i took a road trip through Europe visiting mountains, frozen lakes and steam trains in the forest.
Follow my instagram to see more stills from the trip”: instagram.com/joshzoo

Music by Max Brodie: maxbrodie.co.uk