Art, writing

Reading, Writing, and Priming the Pump

Since the end of school, I’ve been catching up on my reading. It’s been a pleasant two days, so far, and today winds up my scheduled ‘break’ before I kick off a summer writing frenzy. At first I was reading for the sheer joy of having time I could waste on books that made me happy, now I am guiding my reading into the work I want to flavor my own work. I plan to finish Tanager’s Fledgling up, first, so I am going to collect and re-read all the Heinlein Juveniles with notes. As dated as some of them are, there are still elements that are compelling and well worth studying for incorporation into my own weavings.

It’s a bit like looking at art, to see how the masters made their brushstrokes, blended their colors, and then plucking aspects to use in one’s own art. I have no desire at all to faithfully copy the work – it is, after all, not mine, and there are things I want to add from other angles and develop. Take, for instance, Citizen of the Galaxy, which I love, but which you must admit has a weak ending. I do admire the father-son, master-apprentice relationship developed in it, and plan to add some aspects of that to the book I’m writing.

So I’m reading with intent, and taking time to think it through, rather than just getting lost in the stories. It’s so easy to lose myself, and hard to pull back so I can look at the structures objectively. Which is part of the reason I’m steering toward books I’ve read a few times before, and recently enough to not be sucked in. Hopefully I’ll be ready on Monday to sit down and write, really write. I have a daily quota now, and I intend to stick to it. I need to finish this book and start on the next.

I’ll continue to blog daily, and when the book is done, or near enough, I’ll start snippets. The blog may not be much – today is going to be short as I have got to run some errands – but I’m hoping that the routine will help me, and bring back some folks who got out of the habit of stopping by every so often. ETWYRT will be on Weds, after the short hiatus I had to take for school stuff.

What would you like to see here? I haven’t been sharing art much, that’s appearing on facebook daily. I figured it didn’t make sense to put it here, a lot of you get the blog in email and aren’t interested in the art. I know I should write some in-depth essays – I have one floating in the back brain about White Knights – but as I recover some, that should happen.

And the art can always get attached to another post, like yesterday’s fit of whimsy!

Punk Rock Dragon
Punk Dragon: watercolor on 98 lb paper. I had a fit of the giggles all the way through this one! The inked design will be a page in the second Inktail book.

4 thoughts on “Reading, Writing, and Priming the Pump

  1. I’m not the best to comment on what to share on the blog. I’ll just say I enjoy it for the daily slice of life perspective you bring, to reading, writing, art, and everything. Some days I delve more deeply, some days it is just a nice distraction from my own hectic pace — something to help me surface and see the sun, as it were.

    So stay eclectic, what you are passionate about, interested in, and doing right now.

    And keep writing. I haven’t had enough of my own free reading time to catch up on all of your past works from before I learned about you, yet, but I want to see new ones coming out.

  2. Reading, as a writer, is such a fascinating subject. I have found–in the past as well, but especially recently–that if I don’t read (fiction, and for fun), no matter how much free time I have (or don’t), I can’t write. Not physically, of course. I can still BIC and move the fingers, but the words won’t come. I reach inside and there’s nothing there.

    So reading seems to be as much about filling the well in the first place as it is about priming the pump. Wish I could figure out why that is. It’s not like the imagination ever goes on vacation, only the ability to translate it onto paper/pixels that seems to ebb and flow like the fog in a bayou, only with less regularity.

    And for the record, I like the art. I’ve never commented before, but I’ve been a reader for a little while now. Watching the evolution of your artistic abilities is something I enjoy. 🙂

    1. Maybe that’s why I have so much trouble writing during school. It’s not just that I have no time to think, I have no time to read.

      And thank you. I struggle with it, because yes, I’m getting better but I know my limitations and want to be better.

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