Saturday, December 05, 2009


On my trusty Kindle, a birthday present from the Aussie, I am currently reading Barbara Kingsolver's Lacuna. The first two chapters are confusing and since I know what the story is supposed to be all about, misleading. I love it. I have enjoyed Kingsolver since High Tide in Tucson.

I love reading without being able to really tell where she is taking me. I know Trotsky is in these pages somewhere, but of far more significance, the young narrator has captured my curiosity, the metaphors shadow the tale, the immorality draws me back time after time.

I lay on the bed with the fan breathing at the foot, chasing away midges who are thrilled at my return to Oz – alien blood whets their appetite. I am so engaged with the story that I forget to swat, silently hoping the fan drives the interlopers away, I read on.

I am reminded that my exercise book these days, The 4 A.M. Breakthrough – unconventional writing exercises that transform your fiction by Brian Kiteley, comments that:

'Writers ask questions. The best stories and novels are full of more questions than answers . . . George Bernard Shaw occasionally apologized to his correspondents for not having had time to write a shorter letter . . . In science, feeling confused is essential to progress. An unwillingness to feel lost, in fact, can stop creativity dead in its tracks . . . I am not one for plots . . . somebody . . .remarked that the word 'plot' itself gives off a whiff of burial dirt and I find the concept of 'cause and effect' to be tediously overrated.'

And finally why is it that of the fifty American agents to whom I have submitted book proposals, only one so far has taken kindly to the fact that my co-author and I agree with Kiteley on all three points?

Perchance good writers just understand these facts while good agents are mostly looking for the same ole, same ole.