Saturday, October 15, 2005

TEN ROUNDS WITH JOE LOUIS


99, originally uploaded by R.Kawazu.

"In my own case, I certainly don't walk into my room and sit down at my desk feeling like a boxer ready to go ten rounds with Joe Louis. I tiptoe in. I procrastinate. I delay. I come in sideways, kind of sliding through the door. I don't burst into the saloon with my six-shooter ready. If I did, I'd probably shoot myself in the foot."

This quote from Paul Auster, which I found on The Believer Interviews, gave me not only one of those laughs of recognition, it also provided me with some comfort. If Auster can produce all those masterful novels while experiencing all those familiar doubts and hesitations, maybe there's hope for some of us 90 pound weaklings.


As for me, I'd love to step into the ring for another round with one of my unfinished writing projects. But right now I have to don my waitress disguise and head out to do another wedding. Not that I'm complaining. There's something very salutary about physical work, I love my co-workers, and at least once during any given shift, I hear a song that absolutely demands I stop everything and dance (discreetly, of course). But the best part is that every wedding is both the culmination and the beginning of a great drama. With any luck, I might even come home with a story.

15 comments:

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Weddings always have great stories and subtext. There's always so much hope and love in the room. A veritable treasure of emotional dramas.

Paul said...

Hope you've got a "marketing platform." Spent 25 years on a piece of nonfiction I'm well qualified to write by education and experience. The book exceeded my best expectations, and even some of the publishers and agents that have passed have paid compliments.

But at least for nonfiction, and especially in a saturated market like "religion and spirituality" where everybody's cashing in - you may have noticed Madonna and Jane Fonda, for example, have become spiritual leaders and authors - you don't get published unless you already have some public standing to guarantee the publisher a profit.

I've been told it's getting the same for fiction, so I'd say hurry up with your writing unless you've got a platform or connections. Or start seeing to the platform - doing some public speaking, for example.

lucky said...

Your almost there. Faith and Hope can affect transformations beyond your wildest dreams.Don't rush your work. Your best is yet to come.

Vickie said...

Hell, you made a story about possibly getting a story. Well done. I agree with the last comment, don't rush it. You're having successes along the way. When that big book comes along (might it be the one you already mailed out?), there won't be any stopping you. Your work is wonderful. It will happen.

I wish I could say the same for some of mine. I'd really like to do something with Night Lights, but after I worked on it a couple of months back, I don't feel quite so tempted just to get the first chapter published. It has turned into a little gem in totality.

Do what you have to do, Patry. That book will get written and will get published. I still have to purchase something you've written, but Christmas isn't too far away...

easywriter said...

You will succeed. you will finish your writing and you will succeed.

Queen Neetee said...

Think of your uniform as a disguise and that you're just being humble in your already successful writing career. :)
Sometimes our desires require more feeding than necessary. And with all that noisey chewing, we miss hearing the important words. However, from words I've read of yours, there is no doubt that your desire will come to fuition. To 'hunger' for something means that you're empty. To 'believe' it means that it is real with time. Believe it!

Patry Francis said...

Thanks to all of you who left such lovely and supportive comments about my writing.

Paul: You are right in many ways. Publishing is incredibly difficult to break into and there are more voices clamoring to be heard than ever. In the end, the only reason to write is because you love to do it (even on days when it feels like ten rounds with Joe Louis.)

r.d.: Yes, great subtext. Since I work so many weddings, sometimes I have to take care not to tune it all out, not to slog through one, impervious to the joy--and sometimes the complications--swirling around me.

Myfanwy Collins said...

I love that you take a moment to yourself and find a song to dance to. Thanks for the Auster quote. It's a comfort, indeed.

Perfect Virgo said...

Tell us that story when you bring it home Patry. I love your tales of life, they are breath-takingly real.

gulnaz said...

with your fine observation and story telling skills, you will come from the wedding with a couple of tales for sure! i don't doubt your talent one bit, nor should you.

P. A. Moed said...

It's true we find stories where we least expect them. Being open to them, no matter where you are and what you're doing is the hard part, but it sounds like you've got it right...dancing when you feel like it and keeping an open mind. The important thing is not to let those projects wither.

finnegan said...

Having catered on several occasions (albeit never for a wedding) I'd have to assume you are an octopus. Catering makes the time go faster than the clock.
I never remembered anything but a blur!

finnegan said...

I wanted to throw in the ironic note about the Louis/Schmelling pic.

After all was said and done the two became good friends.

Maybe there's meaningful lesson about the path of least resistance.

Oh, and I've finally made the banner I'd been long meaning to. If you don't like it, just let me know and I'll see what I can do. In any case, it's good and visible sandwiched where it is.

I'd attempted "marvellous garden", but everything got too clustered and I put it aside. Finally got the genius idea of using your name.

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