clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hungry Little Fellows

At left is my friend Harry. He sits through the night with me. Not a big conversationalist. Good company for a fellow writing about dead guys once in a while.

He's a little thin. I think it's hunger.

I have an bit from Hemingway in A Literary Feast given to me nearly twenty years ago. The essay is "Hunger Was Good Discipline" as an excerpt of A Movable Feast.

You got very hungry when you did not eat enough in Paris because all the bakery shops had such good things in the windows and people ate outside at tables on the sidewalk so that you saw and smelled food.
When I first read this and the rest of the article, I had the impression that Hemingway was indeed talking about the city and the culture and the fact that hunger for him became an element of it during his time there. After a reading it a couple of times since then, I suspect it was more metaphorical than E was likely to admit.

In being around writers and working on writing and talking to writers about writing, I come to find a sort of hunger in wanting to tell my stories and tell them well. I'm not so driven by recognition ( indeed, I use a pseudonym specifically to insulate myself from any attention. I don't need any ) but by a compulsion.

Being around writers who are having some success fuels that desire to tell my stories - any stories really. I want to be able to tell stories, tell them well with a kind of craft that is honest and insightful. I've spent all this time watching. I want to get some of it down on paper.

It's bloody odd to want to spend time here in a darkened room alone (sometimes cat, sometimes dog, always Harry) so as to communicate things I've seen or things I've known as if they are meaningful. They aren't meaningful any more than your Uncle's odd twist of the head as he goes for a forkful of mashed potatoes might be meaningful. It's just something you've seen. Tell somebody you noticed it ? That's the sort of odd bit that I think sets us apart.

It's the sort of difference that makes us "mostly harmless"  to Douglas Adams.

I'm hungry to write. I'm hungry for a little success. I'm not as hungry as Harry but I'm getting there. Writing in a library is like Hemingway says up above. Even though no one is here - the evidence of good and successful writing projects are all around me as books.

I need a snack.

I did have a good idea today. I've just taken it out of my pocket. It's good to have these little markers of thought at the end of a day.

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