Monday, July 29, 2013

Having Nothing To Say

It's somewhat baffling to me that lately I have nothing to say. I could post stuff just to be posting, and there's nothing wrong with that if it accomplishes what you want with your blog. But I don't find that appealing. That's just work, possibly without inspiration. I'm used to writing from my emotions and deeper thought processes. So, what does this mean? Have my emotions and deeper thought processes dried up? I don't know. I only know that I have nothing to say right now (although, ironically, I'm saying something right now, but I think you know what I mean).

What does this mean for my blog? Is my desire to blog dying? I don't think so. I still read a lot of blogs, or at least take a look at them. But truthfully, I've read enough author interviews to know that we're all experiencing the same things. Some authors succeed while others struggle on. I don't think I'll learn a whole lot new by reading more author interviews.

I've read quite a few book reviews. But they're usually not books I would ever read. I've attempted to read some of the books that I read about that were highly praised, but usually couldn't get past the first few pages. Of course, there are some successes, that is, some books that did capture my interest and I read them all the way. So I usually don't read book reviews on blogs. (Goodreads is a different story.)

I've  read enough "Should I Give Up?" posts. Of course, we should never give up. (And the truth is, maybe some of us should give up and move on with our lives.)

To be honest, I've done no fiction writing for several months. I think this is probably why I'm not writing so many blog posts: I'm not sure that I'm still a writer. I wonder sometimes if I'm one of those people who should just give up and move on with my life? The desire to write is still there, but, like my blog posts, I've always written from my emotions and deeper thought processes, and they seem to have disappeared. So I could just write to be writing, but I'm not sure it would be satisfying.

My blog reflects my writing life in general. Fortunately, I've been doing quite a bit of art work. That's something I find interesting, even fascinating. So I still have an interest in creativity, still exercising it to a good extent.

This is one of those posts that writes itself. I'm just along for the ride. I hope you're still enjoying the writing process. I hope you succeed. I'll be waiting to hear about your success.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Organizing Social Media Sites

We're almost all suffering from social media overload. I know I am.

I'm more or less organically organizing my social media like this.

I'm keeping Facebook for family and friends now. I'm not adding writer friends anymore.

I'm using my blog primarily for writing and some art and general info that comes my way.

I'm using Bloglovin' for keeping up with my writer friends.

I'm using Google+ primarily for art; I have some writing friends on there, but I doubt I'll add any more.

There is some blending, but it can't be avoided, I guess.

I don't do anything hardly at all on Twitter. I've yet to see anything on Twitter that I give a damn about. It's mostly people pushing something. In my case, it's their books or their editorial services. Oh yeah, there are girls pushing their bodies (or pictures thereof); for a price, I suppose.

There are many other things that I just don't bother with anymore. No time, and they don't seem to help me in my life, anyway.

I've come into this organization (by default, I suppose) in the past week or two. We'll see how it goes. Social media is not living your life. It has it's usefulness. But it has to be in the background of your life. Your actual daily living comes first, way first.

That's my take on it.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Goodbye, Columbus, The Quintessential Movie of My Generation

[Goodbye, Columbus, movie review]

I've certainly not seen every movie made during my years of living, so someday I may feel differently but, for now, Goodbye, Columbus is the quintessential movie of my generation. Nothing I've seen with John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, or any other actor comes close to qualifying. Their movies are genre movies for the most part and do not reflect the essence of my generation's cultural concerns. Goodbye, Columbus does so in spades.

Goodbye, Columbus works on several levels. It portrays the American version of the class system. It reflects my generation's concern with authenticity. It asks the question "Who's responsible for birth control?" It even dips into racial relations. And it all works together brilliantly. The movie is a close version of the novella by Philip Roth, a story I read and reread several times in my youth.

In some ways it's stereotypical: the frivolous rich versus the  self-conscious middle class. But the psychological precision of the conflict between Neil and Brenda, who "love" each other, raises it to a universal level. These are two people who love each other for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps they don't really know what love is.

And which person is responsible for birth control, the man or the woman?  This is not an irrelevant question even today. I think today, we'd say both are responsible, but back then it was assumed that the woman would be. The pill had liberated women and given them control. So it was their responsibility. At least that the way it was in the early years. In reality, it still may be so.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pilgrimage: Our Lives Are Not Fixed Until the End

I recently finished reading the travel book A Sense of Direction, Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful, by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, a most interesting one. I'm taken by one paragraph that seems to say a lot about pilgrimage and life in general.

"There is no such thing as knowing, once and for all, where you stand with someone. Life has no fixed points. But pilgrimage does; that is the point. And the fixed points of a pilgrimage allow people to exist for each other in motion."

Life is constant motion. Two people, or even a group of people, can never be doing anything but meeting each other in motion. We're either moving toward each other, away from each other, or walking together in the same direction. Even when we meet, it's only a temporary meeting. We can never know each other except as fleeting, perhaps even elusive, beings.

If we buy into the concept that life itself is a pilgrimage, then we learn to live as if we're on an adventure, a journey, along with other people. Yes, our lives have a beginning, a middle, an ending. It may even be scripted out in advance without our knowing the script. So we're discovering ourselves all the time on our pilgrimage, our journey through life. There is no one event, no one experience, no one moment that defines us. We're constantly being defined by our journey. We're constantly discovering who we are.

Of course, we need to realize that our fellow human beings are also on a pilgrimage, one that may or may not coincide with ours. We need to honor that in each other. We're all still discovering who we are, and will be until the end.