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Thoughts on Inspiration

Thoughts on Inspiration

A group of my LiveJournal friends did an impromptu ‘Ask Me Anything’ day last week. One of my friends asked me, “What words of inspiration would you share with the world?”

What I would share with the world is this:

We are all born on this earth to create. We needed a God to look up to, so we created one. We needed to capture the beauty around us, so we created art. We needed to preserve the thoughts and feelings in our hearts, so we created writing.

Creation is our birthright – it’s what defines us. And it is different in each person – we all have different creative talents. We are born with them; we can nurture them and hone them, but they are gifts – and gifts are meant to be shared. When you create, you bring something completely new into the world.

And when you do, be it art or writing or food or whatever, it needs to be shared. When you share your creativity, you then inspire. And inspiration is the greatest gift we can give to another person. What we create isn’t truly our legacy; it’s  that inspiration, passed from one to another like a wildfire, that we will be remembered.

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Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Reading and Writing

 

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Thoughts on The Deification Of Books

I’m a writer. And before that, I am a reader. I love a great story; if it’s very good, I will read it over and over. A good yarn, like your favourite vacation spot, should be returned to again and again. You will always find something new to love about it.

I sometimes find that folks get a wee bit precious about the actual book itself. To some, a book is a sacred object, which should be kept pristine, should never show signs of wear, should never look as if it has been touched by human hands. They swear that e-readers are the devil’s spawn because they want to feel the pages between their fingers.

To me, waxing lyrical over a book is like showing reverence to a banana peel. It’s not the reason you buy the banana.

I love books, but I don’t believe in the sanctity of them as a physical object. Popular books are cheap; they are essentially disposable. I don’t believe in treating books like holy relics. If I wear it out, I can buy another one.The best books are the ones that look the worst, like a much loved teddy bear. If there is a book I want to keep pristine and unused, it’s usually because the actual item is a souvenir, a gift, or an artifact. A book I treasure and keep in perfect condition is not a book I want to read.

If it is a story I love, well, that’s different. I read the hell out of it. If I love a story, I will read it until the pages tatter and it falls apart. I treat it like a whore at a frat-house gang bang. I write in the margins, I dogear the edges, I crack the spine. I take it into the bath with me and let it blow up with moisture. I drop food in it and get it grease-stained and smear the ink  – because I don’t want to stop reading it for any reason.

I will mangle and devour and ravish it until it’s wrung out and panting and lighting up a cigarette and gasping, “Was it good for you, too?” I may respect it in the morning, but I’m going to give it a damn good seeing to in the meantime.  It is my greatest hope that, if I am ever published, my books will look like the beloved, ransacked, dog-eared messes that is the hallmark of all my favourite books. Comfortable, faded, overwashed and overworn. Those are the books I love over and over again.

A book is a vehicle – the story within is the journey. It’s the story that takes me there, not the paper and ink that prints it. When I go on a trip, I concentrate on the scenery, the activity, the weather, the sunsets and the great food. I don’t come home and talk about the car that took me there and brought me home. That’s what it’s supposed to do – whether it’s an actual physical book or an electronic file, it’s job is to deliver the goods.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2015 in Reading and Writing

 

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