Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Write Stuff

In case you're wondering Part 2 is coming but I came across something oddly blog worthy and just had to point it out. I sometimes entertain weird dreams of writing something really worth reading but when I peruse even the idle thoughts of true writers I find myself too in awe of their talents to count myself anywhere close to them. Case in point, Neil Gaiman. (For the non neo-goth-pulp-noir fiction lovers that missed the gem of a film called MirrorMask and sadly don't recognize Mr. Gaiman's name, expect to hear more about him this summer with the film premier of his novel Stardust - if the movie is half as good as the book it will be a real treat.) I know he's not Twain, Steinbeck or Keats but he's one of those authors with a gift for finding the perfect words to describe the ultimately mundane things of this world in a way that brings you a glimpse of a new sort of reality and makes you wish you could describe life as he does. On his blog he describes the simple task of walking his dog like this:
"Tonight we walked under a sky hung with a million billion trillion stars, and a perfect crescent moon, and watched the constellations of fireflies blinking greenly and magically in the trees and hedgerows like a tiny magical cityscape. Other fireflies would fly up, and arch across the sky and come down like falling stars."
It's the kind of description that just made me sigh pleasantly. His true genius though lies in following up a poetic piece of prose with something like this:
"I sang Stephin Merritt's song "100, 000 fireflies" as we walked, or all of it that I could remember. Dogs don't mind if you forget bits, and the fireflies were too busy flashing and floating and glowing and dreaming to care."
I count it as a sign of literary greatness to bring me to an image of peaceful serenity and then make me laugh out loud.

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