“To take dust for gold” : Chronicle 21

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
Katharine Hepburn

 

I talked ten minutes with an old man, an organ maker. I bombed the poor man with so many questions! One was : “As the organ’s sound is made with pipes, how do you standardize the sound?”. Well it was interesting. He was really happy to tell me these things, and admitted he was writing a book. “Organs & Frigates”. Boats?? He gave me some hints :

  1. In the 18th Century, the two more complex machines were organs and sailboats
  2. These needed complex building and craft
  3. Both use the wind to run on

mu9

Write a short story of a person, after a break up, who is angry to be stalked on the Internet – but he/she is not.
Similar pattern : a TV star is stuck in an elevator with another person… who never watches television and thus has NO CLUE the first one is a celebrity expecting to be recognized.

mu9

My father had a first aid certificate. He taught me that a wounded person absolutely needs a beautiful dressing, a clean and well done bandage. A real need.

mu9

“Words are nothing. Actions are everything. Don’t tell me. Show me.”

Ahhhh we like that, right? Dumbsimple and satisfying! I found another outrageous quote about that :“Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove”.

Blah blah blah. My sarcastic mind agrees, nods, and immediately jumps over the fence of fake simplicity to see what happens “really” in life. The facets of plain stupidity are innumerable… because :

Words are nothing? Ah lalaaaa… These motivational quotes are so moronic that I want to die. Or to hit the author on the head with a good hammer. BIM. Then I die, scouic.

Talk to your lover, silly. Don’t be that “He’s silent” type! Act when necessary. If your spouse is like “Don’t tell me show me”. Well : climb a ladder if you like…

mu9

If you hide a Family Secret, it will seep out messily and everywhere in your story…

mu9

She puts her hand on her heart, to show she is wounded
Montherlant

 

Bonne journée, messieurs dames !

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(filthyratbag)

 

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Proust : “Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”

“Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”.

 

Isn’t it true? What about other textfields? Articles? Theater plays? Dialogs in a movie? Blogs?

It’s about style, but not only. It’s about strangeization (adding little strange elements in the words flow to raise the reader’s eyebrows) but not only.

 

I blogged for eight years in French, and then now I write in English, precisely because it’s not my native language. I have to stay simple, to let go, I have to admit I’m not skilled enough to write as I would have liked to. I wrote an article about it : Writing in another language.

…until I realized it can be pleasant or funny for English readspeakers to read my warped little articles here :

  1. I make mistakes (I’m sorry for that!)
  2. I make mistakes on purpose
  3. I add French words in the phrases (so there), et voilà !
  4. I often hesitate between two words and then I aggregate them in a forfun way…

 

But I think Proust says more. I like this idea of inventing a slightly weird style in your own native language, when you write. This is a little string in the harp of writing creativity, I agree, but to me it’s an important string.

When I discover a new blog, I explore the ideas it presents, of course, but I really LOVE to find little leaning elements, the raising eyebrows kind…

written in a kind of foreign language

Yes sometimes it goes a bit far. I remember my shock when I began to read Faulkner, with his risky unpunctuated flows of conscience pages. Or Joyce, of course.

 

In France, the infinite, complex and delicious pages of Marcel Proust, the false spoken style of Céline, the gorgeous style of Colette or Jean Giono, the toxic pleasures of Marguerite Duras. I’m French. I read them in an awe, surprised and amazed by how they dare to write.

I do wonder how translators try to… transmit this in English!

 

Tools :

Is it a tool? Do you think about it when you write? How?

 

I could hands can see cooling fingers invisible swan-throat where less than Moses rod the glass touch tentative not to drumming lean cool throat drumming cooling the metal the glass full overfull cooling the glass the fingers flushing sleep leaving the taste of dampened sleep in the long silence of the throat I returned up the corridor, waking the lost feet in whispering battalions in the silence, into the gasoline, the watch telling its furious lie on the dark table.

Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

 

(yes it’s about a guy in the night searching of the carafe of water in darkness)

 

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<< Virginia Woolf would sit down to thank a friend for sending her a slab of nougat from Saint-Tropez, but, put in mind of France by the package, she soon found herself talking only of the novel. “My great adventure is really Proust,” she wrote, “I am in a state of amazement; as if a miracle were being done before my eyes. How, at last, has someone solidified what has always escaped—and made it too into this beautiful and perfectly enduring substance? One has to put the book down and gasp. The pleasure becomes physical—like sun and wine and grapes and perfect serenity and intense vitality combined.” >>

 

 

“This” Tropism : what you read understands you

The King of Kings of the world, for this, is Marcel Proust.

Buy, one day, a good translation of “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu” (In Search of Lost Time). If you want to explore Proust, buy first How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain De Botton, it’s a really great book, and a great key to this author. Buy it for your birthday! Say it’s from Jean-Pascal, OK?

I try, here, next to my little tools, to talk about “very little movements of the minds”, what we call here “Tropismes”.

There is ONE tropism you know pretty well, you blog reader, it’s this one :

When you read an article and you jump off you chair saying : “It’s true! I feel that too! Never seen it written though!”.

It’s lovely to suddenly see someone who struggles with the same tiny mind movements as you, right?

Someone wrote one day that

We read to know we’re not alone

Isn’t it true?

 

Jean-Pascal

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Minuscule Patron or Sponsor

When you become rich, you wonder what to do with your Scrooge McDuck money. Of course, it’s smart to invest most of it to… make more money, right? That’s what people do.

If I had millions, I have a fantasy, though : minuscule patronage.

I have a problem of vocabulary here. In France we call “un mécène” a person who has money and decides to help a cause or an artist. In the old times, Queens and Kings were helping musicians and painters. Dictionaries give me “patron” or “sponsor“, maybe “donor” or “granter“. Come on! What do I choose here?

I earn millions every month. Instead of putting my money in BIG causes, I spend 15 minutes a day looking for a good person. A small restaurant, a cook beginner, a smart blogger, a broken heart, a photographer without a good camera, etc…

When I find him/her, I give $5000. Once. Then goodbye, I go in my day. Until the day after. Or the week after, it depends on the money you want to give!

OK, I volunteer (to receive, or to help choose-and-give) 🙂

 

Have a  nice day!

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Instagram : __bodylanguage__

“#Blog for yourself and not to please an audience” – wait a minute…

I read many times about big success youtubers who “lost their soul” because they stopped being themselves – instead of it, they began to blog to “please the audience”. That’s baaad! This makes sense, right? Bending their style or their personality to what they supposed to know about the viewers is probably wrong. And each time, the article I read told it this way. Bad bad bad. Nah. On the naughty step!

When I think of that, though, I hear a bell in my head. That’s so precisely evident that my senses are on alert. I know, it’s a reflex.

There’s something similar in poetry. The “poet” is supposed to be “inspired” (by what?), and peeing gorgeous metaphors because… he’s a genius. BUT even the greatest poets agree to say that there’s probably a critic inside their magic brain. Like “another guy” inside, who analyzes and channels/canalyzes the flow.

Let’s listen to Baudelaire :

I pity those poets who are guided by instinct alone: I regard them as incomplete. In the spiritual life of the former a crisis inevitably occurs when they feel the need to reason about their art, to discover the obscure laws in virtue of which they have created, and to extract from this study a set of precepts whose divine aim is infallibility in poetic creation. It would be unthinkable for a critic to become a poet; and it is impossible for a poet not to contain within him a critic. Therefore the reader will not be surprised at my regarding the poet as the best of all critics.

Charles Baudelaire

This is a perfect pattern, a tool for this article :

Here, we’re searching for a frontier between “I write for myself” and “I write for my audience”.

  • If you write 100% for yourself and you’re successful, good to you! You can stop reading this article and have subtle sex with your muse. Take your time, she likes it.
  • If you write for your audience, you’re a backwoodsman losing yourself on the paths of wrongness and your audience will sense it. You forgot why they loved you. Kill yourself.

BUT

Think about Baudelaire, our French poet. You are probably aware that you never REALLY write for yourself : you, from the beginning, took care of the readers TOO. You analyze, you think, you weave your words, YOU are your first audience, this is it. It’s a radioactive pattern. You write, you work daily, you throw a bunch of arrows, you write for you AND you take care of your audience. You want to be loved, that’s all! You know the trees, and you also know there’s a forest. You’re great, because you dance with both. That’s great!

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : mariakdolores

 

Writers & Bloggers : Pleasure of bad books?

(Sorry for my wobbly French today…)

Bad books (and blogs) can be useful for a writer – but I suppose it’s a low level thing.

  • It (possibly) can make your brain move, like this :
    • I would have written it better,
    • in another way,
    • I would have added this and that, etc…
  • It makes you angry, and you can try to use this strange gas-oil which is anger.
  • You can say that the author is a spirit-enemy (the useful thing of feeling or “inventing an enemy” is an old trick), it triggers your mobilization. Fight him… and write.
  • Any negative feeling (next to anger is bitterness, hate, sarcasms, etc) can be used too. Your clockworkbrain is activated. Some guys (in your head) will step into the breach. Geronimo!
  • After all, you could maybe find a good idea or a pleasant formulation in a bad book or a bad blog, it’s really the idea of a seed found within dust and rocks. Steal it and make it grow your own way, haha!

 

I suggest you prepare and foresee an antidote (a good book) – to clean your head, by Jove!

This, of course, is an exercise. You can not separate books and blogs between “good ones and bad ones”. It’s all relative, silly. It depends.

You have to consider that what YOU write can also be considered the same way by another reader. Your wordings as a bad place, as a bad example, inspiring better things? Awwweee! That’s a good (low level) thing, right? 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

From time to time, meta-blog.

We all at times ask ourselves why we blog (to document a crisis, to seek approval, to gather knowledges, to get love?). “It’s what I do that teaches me what I’m looking for”, says Pierre Soulages (painter).

Reasons we blog. How we get motivation to blog. And what’s the subject of the blog… all are good questionings.

It’s simple when you have a good simple subject, right? Food, fashion, traveling, poetry. You’d better be good not to be lost in the ocean of the same-subject-blogs.

Then you have the combination-of-subjects blogs : Veggie in Dakota, anorexic bipolars, Turkish poems of the 13th Century, traveling Asia with my cat, photos of cars under the rain, etc… Document your passion or your crisis, and you’ll have interesting followers.

 

My blog has no subject, really. I gather ideas like seashells. I like to share and I work a lot. When I find, I’m happy, I keep, I write, I make it short, in a nut. I want people to read it fast.

My blog has no subject, BUT I hope that you, my readers, little by little, in my collection of “tools”, will find a few patterns to help them, something to use.

  • “Things have many faces”.
  • “Subtlety is better than false simplicity”.
  • “Disillusions are part of the game”.
  • “Rules are mostly movable/beware of mindsets”.
  • “It’s funny/useful to compare or weave separated things”.
  • “Art is a great buoy”.
  • “Watch in the now/around you/the propensity of things”.
  • “Finding structures as intelligence”.
  • “You can quit the surface of new things”.
  • “No one is a prince in every Kingdom”.
  • “Keep aspects hidden/Be a Waldgänger”.
  • “Consider other ways to change/Know how to wait”.
  • “We need to be disturbed/There are many ways to deal with problems”.
  • “Stay a dilettant/Slide and don’t bear down”…

 

Finder, keeper, sharer. I suppose all this draws a subject for my toolbox, a skeleton at least?…

What about your blog? Do you have a simple subject? Is it about a crisis or a passion? What do you seek? Do you blog for you or for your followers? If “for yourself”, how do you take care about your audience? Is there something you build under, a way of life, a vision, a pack of tools? Do you blog to try to change something, or just to offer a few seeds?

Thanks for reading!

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