Friday, 11 May 2012

On Using Quotes to Hide a Lack of Material

Hiya folks, 

So we're back round to Friday again and I'm playing the same track again and again here with another quote for your consideration and gibberish for you to ponder on.
This one comes from the legendary Kurt Vonnegut - someone I have to admit I've not read half as much of as I would like, unfortunately.
"The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something."
 Now, if I may, I want to pull out a few points from this - the first being that this is a sound piece of encouragement - practice and trying things out is a great, and sometimes even better than a didactic one, approach to learning how things work and how we can play about with forms and genres.  Whilst I still hold out some hope I can one day make my living off of books and stories, Mr. V is right here - the arts are not about business and industry - they are, and should always be, about expression.  Expression of emotion, experience, ideas and dreams.  This is why, though I won't go on blog-record naming names, I hate with a passion all the regurgitated crap that is pumped into our libraries and, eventually, our cinemas and TV screens that sells because it panders to a skewed and apparently majority market-group through a particular kind of aesthetics and stylings.  
Now, I can see where the argument falls down, and, believe me, I want to stay away from the Daily Mail-reader stereotype that is borderline fascism and elitism, but where the arts are concerned, where our 'human' expression is concerned, we have to preserve our attitudes a little.  Everyone deserves the right to express themselves uniquely, I think this is something fundamental to what the majority of the world holds as human rights.  That uniqueness, though, in my opinion comes out best through a self-expressive kind of experimentation.  Through just playing around with words on a screen, or colours on a canvas, or crayons on a wall.  They're not going to always be the best they could be, or be transferrable so that others will appreciate them as well but that's the key - they don't have to be.  If something was true for you then it has, in itself, something of its own universal truth.


Now, maybe I get too carried away with the sound of my own pretentious typing here, I want to present you with a quick idea where some of this comes from.  I now give you a choice: you can be patient, read over the ideas to come, and weigh and test whether you agree with them or not and, if not, then we call it ok and we just move on with our lives.  Or you can skip this next paragraph and cut to the outro and I'll see you next week.  You have the right and power of choice in this, exercise it.
Still reading? Then I'll get on with it.  I wanted to show you an idea that is not, unfortunately, original; many have had it before me and given it in much better ways but here is me going on record with it too.  There's, in some cultures, in some faiths, in some minds, a belief in a Creator.  A Creator who kick-started things into motion and has their signature on the fabric of the universe, (don't worry physicists - you'll see it, you just need a reeeeeally good microscope to see it...)  I, and quite a few others believe that the Creator's skill and art was also imparted into nature and human beings - people - us.  The thinking goes on that, as we also create, we are imitating, and fulfilling something of our own design that the original Creator made us with.  I personally believe it's so ingrained in us that, even for people who aren't/don't think of themselves as particularly creative or expressive, it can manifest itself unconsciously and instinctively.  I believe it's for all men and women everywhere, that there aren't necessarily age restrictions beyond normal limitations (i.e. a baby can't hold a pen and write with it) and there should be the least-possible restrictions or guidelines placed around it.  Yes, I believe something like this could offend people but I also believe that it's their right to be offended, and to hold an opposing opinion.  It's also in my thinking that Mr. V was edging up to this kind of expression - a natural, inborn, instinctive kind of experimentation that reflected our fundamental natures.  It's already in us to be expressive, to try things out to do things others don't; or do but not as we do.  As, then, with Mr. Vonnegut, I encourage you, dear readers, to try things out that maybe aren't perfect but are fulfilling and enriching.
I'd like to state that the thoughts and opinions of Neil Faarid are not necessarily those of Elsewhen Press or any other publication group I have or will become associated with.  This is my personal blog, what I write here should not affect or reflect them in any way.

Ok, folks, it's safe to come back again.  I'm winding up here.
These were my thoughts today and you can agree, disagree or not care at all.
Until next time, folks.  Be well, most excellent to each other, and try things out.

All the best, 
Neil 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

On Coming Up with Something in a Rush

Hey folks, 
So I'm on a bit of a rush to just about get something before 12 (ack, didn't quite make it!) so I can just get in with a Friday update.  I don't really have that much to talk about so I may come back to this post and edit it a bit later on.  Watch this space. (Ugh that sounds so cheesy!)

So I've been enjoying reading and stuff lately you might be interested in but I don't really have that much by way of writing to talk about this week.  I've recently fallen for Garrison Keillor's amazing storytelling capabilities, maybe more specifically his radio monologues and scripts but I'm also reading Wobegon Boy.  

Also, I've just finished a book by Chris Wooding which I absolutely loved! The book is Retribution Falls which had great characterisation and a wonderful twisty plot.  One moment you're happy with them, then you're wondering what they're playing at; hating that one then seeing things totally from their point of view.  It's fits nicely into the other-world steampunk fantasy which is heavily stylised towards the ariship/pirates more than inventors, etc.  Anyway it's great and you should go check it out!

Right that's me for now, enjoy life, folks! 

Neil