They look waaaay better than the glossy ones. But they feel … strange. Almost … greasy.
Am I alone in thinking this?
Still, not really complaining. It’s amazing to be able to print something this nice on demand. The quality is getting pretty darned close to what you’d buy in a bookstore.
Maybe I’m Scroogy myself, but I never paid much attention to this holiday perennial until a few years ago. It just seemed like one of those canned tunes or fake snow or whatever…just another decoration from a dusty old box.
But I am forced to say, the older I get, the more it seems like something close to a perfect story. Not my favorite by any means, and no longer groundbreaking (if it ever really was), but in terms of tried-and-true narrative structure, characterization, message, moral, pretty much any criteria you choose…it’s just really, really good. I can now see why it’s a classic.
Dickens strikes me as a great example of someone who didn’t overthink writing. Plot and character … repeat … he made it look so easy. Which is not to say he was a terribly writerly writer … just that he pushed the caveman fireside buttons pretty darned well. A Christmas Carol has a universal resonance. It is poignant. Perhaps you need to get old yourself before you start to get that.
Sure, it’s gotten a bit Groundhog Day-like, running as it does on a nonstop cycle, but still…I’ll take it over most of the saccharine schlock this season produces. I enjoy seeing different interpretations of it. You can really play up the simple grumpy old guy bit, or you can focus on the social aspects … there are a lot of possible directions in it.
And that, my friends, is as holidayish as I’m likely to get here. A happy season, every one.
The following paragraph, for example, will strike many of your readers as shrill. They will stop reading the article and throw it into the fire.
Here it is–a first look for my supporters–the working print cover for Evertime, a futuristic tale of love and unemployment with some serious twists.
Obviously a different direction from my last book. Thoughts welcomed!
Evertime: The Iteration of the Martingale
Many times, the projects I’ve begun don’t feel “real” until I’ve found a quote that acts like a pole star for the work, a kind of spirit that I keep turning back to. I like the feeling of linkage to other literature. How can other writing not be in our ears as we work?
[T]hey are not a talkative people, and are fond of expressing themselves in enigmas, so that the hearer has to divine the most part of what they would say.
I never know what people are talking about in a joint like this.
—Captain Harry Morgan, “The Breaking Point”
[U]nforeseen factors operate in the evolution of immortality.
—Thomas Hardy, “The Return of the Native”
Evertime has one that I particularly like from Goethe’s Prometheus. I think you’ll like it. (The book’s almost done, I swear!)
And the work I’m trying to get a handle on now found its guiding quote this week, from Virginia Woolf’s fantastic Orlando:
Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?
That’s the kind of quote you could write toward forever, don’t you think? It’s not that it’s exactly what I’m trying to write; it’s that it provides a jumping-off point.
How about you? Do you like to write with a quote in mind? Any favorite works that quote others?
Thanks as always for reading.