Saturday, July 5, 2014

...and bleed and bleed and bleed.

Buckwheat volunteers -
Tall as the mulberry (almost)
A two season story by itself.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Once upon a time there was a person who wanted a thing.  After deciding to overcome obstacles and objections, facing down an adversary or several and achieving their goal (and reaping rich reward) they lived happily ever after.

Sounds pretty terrible right?  There's no information about 'who' so we can choose to love them or hate them, no details about why so we can decide if they are 'good' or 'bad', no 7th son of the king with no prospects, no simpering princess waiting for her emergency "rescue marriage", no faerie godmother, no goofy sidekick, no musical number, no evil stepmother, no magic... no story.  Maybe if we knew what the protagonist's goal was or what kind of adversary stood in the way?  Maybe the story isn't about whether it is a prince or a princess, not about the once upon a time or the happily ever after? Maybe it's the details that are important, the difference literally between a hackneyed formulaic cliche and an engaging narrative?  No maybe about it, I think. (continued)
Well, ain't nobody got time for that.  No time for a real story, how about the movie adaptation?  What, your story doesn't fit into the Disney feature film prerequisites?  Can you compress it into a facebook post?  I'd ask for a 140 character tweet, but you're so wordy LOL, well you ARE haha. (-.-)

I'm done with the sheltered princess, the imprisoned princess, the rebellious princess, the bookish princess, the "ugly princess", the cursed princess, the one dimensional princess (now I'm just being redundant).
The male options are just as bad (if somewhat less explored) as the well meaning rogue, the incompetent fool, the insecure oaf, and the distant non-person of princely perfection top out the list of otherwise flawed male figures in these "stories".

There is no "working girl who prefers to research the science and reasoning behind her projects before moving to action but is nervous about how her halitosis impacts her mostly imaginary relationship with her barista crush" movie in the works.  Of course, that does sound like a setup to the all too overdone "makeover movie" Hollywood you can get your people in touch with my people.  Even less likely is the "quietly competent but emotionally crippled young man trying to hold his family together as he attempts to start his small business while being unable to express himself with anything approaching a complex sentence." These aren't meant to be examples of real people, just real characters.

These would be real stories. Stories that don't fit into boxes. Archetypes that aren't entertaining, or moneymakers.  Stories, people really, that don't fit into boxes and should not be put into them.  Our brains like stories, human thought literally evolved to process, handle, and produce stories and narrative.  When presented with facts that don't make sense we try to fit them into a story even if the result is completely fabricated hogwash.  Collectively the stories we listen to are increasingly brief, ever shrinking segments of eye catching words and flashy thoughts.  As a symptom of the changes to the modern lifestyle this is not unexpected.  As an indicator of what it means for us as people individually and our culture as a larger society I'm much more worried.

My posts will be about stories but only when they aren't literally stories in their own right.  Some long, some short.  None will belong in little boxes.  None of them deserve petty labels and none of them do, or will, deserve to be treated as if they can distilled into a single word or predictable category.

It is not insulting to ask me what I write about.  It is however a bit insulting for someone to assume they know the answer already, or that "everything" and "anything" isn't acceptable since it isn't narrow scoped so it can conform to a label.  I have the pleasure to be looking forward to shattering expectations and disappointing naysayers.  I also welcome those who have come to share in the process, and thank you for coming along for the ride.

There is more to my story than what I do to pay the bills or what I hope to get done today,  more to it than my accreditations, certifications, or licenses, more to it than my investment in money or sweat equity.

Anyone making assumptions to the contrary is in for a bit of a disappointment, hopefully a bit of shock, and no shortage of the sound of my laughter at their expense.

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