Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 233 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis




First of all let's look at what the dictionaries say:
The American Heritage Dictionary defines author as, "n. 1a. The writer of a literary work. b. One who writes as a profession. 2. One who originates or creates something."
And writer as,  "n. One who writes, esp. as an occupation."
How about the New Oxford American Dictionary:
author, "n. a writer of a book, article, or report: he is the author of several books on the subject."
And writer as, n. a person who has written a particular text: the writer of the letter."
What's the point? I think, if you look at the slight difference in the way the words are presented, you notice a trend. The word author has weight, force, presence. Writer is thin, flaccid, less than remarkable.
There's a lot of writers out there now. Thanks to self-publication, nobody has to wait for validation. Slap your name on a cover, strike a deal with a major on-line distributor, and you're a...writer. If you're at all realistic, you've written something. You've done something to occupy yourself for a while. Sort of like basket weaving, finger painting, clay sculpture - something occupationally therapeutic. It kept your hands busy without having to think about anything significant.
Go ahead, stand up on your hind legs and wag your damned finger at me. You haven't hit the level of a professional yet, and I'm not talking about whether you're making a dime from pedaling whatever soporific distortion of real art and craft you're pushing on the audience like street smack that's been stepped on a dozen times and is near impotent.
When it comes to being an author, there's no road map. There's just that moment when you let go and feel. I'm talking about the kind of writing that is this side of suicidal. Stories filled with the type of characters and emotions that are composites of every encounter you've ever had with real people. With the kind of pain, and struggle it takes to make it through this one day without being ground into gutter slime. The type of heart searing self-examination that can work a finger into your guts and knot them up like macrame.
Don't look away when the bum walks up, hand out, and asks for a buck. Look at him, or her. That's a human wrapped in that grime. There's a story there, unless you shut it out. Go ahead, turn away - and you may become the inspiration for others who write about the egotistical panic that constipated bastards wrap their feelings in while hoping that snot-smeared hand doesn't actually touch their sleeve.
I'm not saying you have to crawl through a mile of shit to be able to tell me it stinks. But you do have to be familiar enough with it, and the way it turned your stomach, for me to believe you. You have to know that, above all the artistic bullshit they taught you in creative writing, you have to be in touch with that drooling loony in the far corner of your mind to write about what is really painful.
All this might make you a friggin' author. But I'll give you a hint, if someone else doesn't recognize what you've done as having an iota of talent (and I'm not talking about your Mom, or best friend, or the people on facebook), then you've probably missed the mark. Somebody who has the power to break you on a new audience needs to look at what you've done and ask, "You got anymore of this?"
So, what's the short route to where I'm going? Writers make up cute, fairly saleable stories, that entertain and occasionally attempt enlightenment. Authors rattle the god damned walls and scream in the empty hallways of your unconscious mind. They empathize and they sympathize, but mostly they cry the same tears as the mother of the dead child because somewhere inside of them, they died at that very same moment. If you're not bleeding inside while you're putting it all down, you're cheating the world and your self.
Just a helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.
Dane F. Baylis
It is simple affirmation
Embracing frailty
Standing before mirrors
Face covered in lather
Looking like some bloodshot
Santa Claus
Ten minutes a day
Except those
When the shakes were so bad
Suicide would have been a
Natural result.
Something of such consequence
Should never be accidental
Never reduced to such banality as
He was cleaning his shotgun
Didn’t notice it was loaded.
I have
And this should now be
No revelation
Stood in morning steam
And pressed hand to handle
To feel the easy parting of skin
Watch the first red trickle
Rivulet on cheek
Or chin
Or throat.
Shaving with steel
Is a concise treatise
On the existential.
Meanwhile...live, love, write. Like you fucking mean it!
Want to follow or subscribe to this blog? There are gadgets for that on the right side of the page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at dbaylis805@gmail.com . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis,

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