A poet should leave traces of his passage, not proofs. Traces alone engender dreams.
A city on hills has it over flat-land places. […] This gold and white acropolis rising wave on wave against the blue of the Pacific sky was a stunning thing, a painted thing, like a picture of a mediaeval Italian city which can never have existed.
I’m a part, a portion, a sliver
of me. I act a person, it’s true,
but timbers shiver into splinters
and the rest of me is you.
A million times I ask you,
And then I ask you over again.
You only answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
We’re sitting in a hotel bar where I’ve said something stupid, or will say something stupid, when what I want to do is astonish. I want to be savvy. I want to say something intelligent and true, something that elicits a sentence like “Yes, exactly!”
The conversation turns toward creative work, to the business of being creative professionally, of getting excited and making things. Something comes out of my mouth. Words. They feel like loose, chewed spinach, spat and spattered when I talked. I say something grandiose and generalized, something that I can hear isn’t true as soon as I say it, yet there it is coming out of my mouth, hitting the table with a thud. I’ve mistaken a big statement for profundity, once again, and I hear it grind the gears of the conversation immediately.
You let me off the hook. You do me the favor of saying things we both know to be true, to walk me back, to have the entry-level conversation. It’s not because I’ve never had it, but because some part of me sort of needs to have it again, because that’s the way things are sometimes.
You fly home. You fly back to your work and your life and the things you make. And what I hope happens is that you forget what I said and how I said it. You forget that I stumbled on the pavement. You forget that I’m heavy and slow. What you remember not the favor you did me but that you are the kind of the person who does those favors. You remember your wisdom. You remember the entry-level lesson and the miles of road between that lesson and the life you built and you hear your own advice and you think to yourself, “Yes, exactly.”
Journey and change with this new tabletop game from Will Hindmarch.
The modest Odyssey game site is up now in preparation for … something.
Thief Concept Art - by Mathieu Latour-Duhaime
Mathieu is the jam. You’ll be seeing a lot more of his work!
I am excited for this game.
Jeff VanderMeer’s remarkable Wonderbook is on sale today. This eye-opening writing guide, featuring essays, interviews, and sidebars with writers like Neil Gaiman, Karen Lord, Lev Grossman, Nnedi Okorafor, George R. R. Martin, and me, isn’t like anything else I’ve seen. Get a peek at it through the book’s site, Wonderbook Now, which just launched today. Good stuff here.
Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook: The Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction is jammed with storytelling wisdom from some of world’s top fantasy writers…
As it happens, I have some material in Wonderbook. And this is one beautiful tome.