Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10/31/12 Blip Journal; the progress of a NYC writer by Odilia Rivera-Santos

The hurricane is one of those occasions on which you can say "If you want to make God laugh, make plans." Whatever plans we all had for this week -- no matter how intricately choreographed -- have now been rerouted like traffic on a major highway during construction.
I guess we can say all of life is a highway under construction with detours and unexpected potholes and someone hopping out when you least expect it with an orange flag waving to slow or halt your 'progress.'

Progress is one of those things we constantly choose to pin down and measure the way researchers trap dangerous animals in the wild, drug them and measure them to see how climate change affects the fertility rate of an alligator for instance.

How does an artist measure progress?
Perhaps, the true measure of success as an artist is receiving frequent paychecks for one's work or accolades or gaining a big following on Twitter. We could also say the true measure of success as an artist is praise and not being understood within one's lifetime and whiling away the hours, months, years as a clerk, copying data from one oversized notebook to another like Kafka did.

Gratitude is something worth expressing on a daily basis. Having achieved at least part of one's aims in life may be enough. .. just a thought to ponder for those who rejoice or tinker with the thought of suicide at not getting exactly what they want. There is something especially petulant and childish -- in an unappealing way about those who refuse to try something different when the old methods no longer produce desired results. Life is about experimentation and desperation is for children. Children have no means of escape from uncomfortable or undesirable situations, but most adults in the United States do.

National Novel-Writing Month 

And on the experimentation front, I have decided to write the worst novel ever written since the lovely esoteric ones remain unpublished and I still haven't felt compelled to self-publish them -- something I am ninety-eight percent sure I will do.

Here is a bit of my novel

The edge of the river

The two women walk side by side down the dark street leading to the railroad, not knowing what to say next as they digest the idea of being related through a philandering father. María looks at her sister's glistening black braid leading down her back and thinks how it reminds her of the Evangelists in the family and her schoolgirl years -- obeying her mother's endless rules about how a proper Christian girl should behave.

Let's walk down this street ... it's a little bit better lit. It's spooky around here.

You just don't feel comfortable in a small town. This is the way it is after seven at night -- people come home from work and go inside to warm up by the heat of the TV. Look over here! We walked in this area when we were very little. I remember how the road curved here and those stone walls near the maple trees. Do you remember, M?

Not really. 

Well, you were about four when our moms stopped hanging out. .. maybe, that's when they figured out what papi had done. Dating best friends has got to be some kind of sin and that's not a word I use lightly, or at all, really. 

We can't only blame him; our mothers kept the secret too. It's always amazing to think of the worlds people carry around, their secrets, and motivations only they understand.

Maybe, they were just horny bitches and he was a good lay... ever think of that?

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