clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Thursday, November 29, 2012


At right is the view from my window last week. I occasionally get to watch the turkey walk across the enclosed little garden. I'm on the crest of a hill and the trees are on the ridge as it begins to slope downward.

Yesterday, I had a dinner out with a writer friend. It was great to talk about our various projects. Energizing. We went by a cafe where some new novelists were to be churning out their nearly-instant-prose but alas, they had broken up for the evening.

I'm not knocking the Nano folks. Getting a first draft out is a pain and anyone willing to do it in a month has my applause.

The point here is that most of our collective creating comes with a view like I show here. Oh - it might be of a brick wall or a neighbor's tree or even an interior wall of our own house. The writing comes in a solitary fashion with a view usually devoid of humans.

Do you recall _The Days of the Condor_ ? [ Book _Six Days of the Condor_ by James Grady, Movie _Three Days of the Condor_ directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway ].

In it,  Redford abducts Dunaway as an expeditious means of escaping some prying eyes with guns. They're in Dunaway's character's condo and Redford notices how all of Dunaway's photographs are of places without people. I remember that clearly as Redford's character was a "reader" and here he was commenting on photographs without characters.

I'm thinking of characters I have enjoyed and the very small and sparse details that made them special. They were sketchy little figures for the most part. I like Marlow and we have little enough of his distinctiveness but the narration and smart-ass attitude. He's perhaps the best described of the lot.

I am going to think about characters and try to remember those who have most appealed to me. Oh - here's an odd one : the character Flint from the book of the same name by Louis L'Amour. he's stuck in my memory for nearly forty years. We should all be so lucky.

We might need a list.

With that, I have a fire and some clam chowder. The pets are asleep and I've nothing to do but write. Tonight I'll not squander that chance. There is a new _Tin House_ within arm's reach. I might look at that as I eat.

You should subscribe to it, also. Tin House.

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