Monsters and dreamers and gorillas, oh my! Have a look at the art
of Jennifer Davis. She's known for being fond of putting animals
into human situations, starting her paintings with the eyes since they
are the "soul" and anchor of a painting, and completing much of a
piece before suddenly painting over all she'd done. "I enjoy the
repetitive labor," she says, "finding the bravery to paint over it and
uncover something fresh." (LazyCobra)
In that way, painting may have a common thread with writing...
Repetition, starting over, multiple drafts, discoveries...
In the fairy tale an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an
incomprehensible condition. A box is opened, and all evils fly out.
A word is forgotten, and cities perish. A lamp is lit, and love flies
away. A flower is plucked, and human lives are forfeited. An apple
is eaten, and the hope of God is gone.
I've been reading Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut, edited by
William Rodney Allen. Here are a few tidbits, Vonnegut's
thoughts on writing, short stories, and so on, that I rarely see on
other websites spouting bits of his wisdom... Enjoy...
"As a rule it takes me quite awhile to figure out precisely how the
novel will end… I find that, as a writer, I share a problem, perhaps
you could call it a tragedy, with most human beings: a tendency to
lose contact with my own intelligence. It's almost as if there were a
layer of fat upon the part of us that thinks and it's the writer's job to
hack through and discover what is inside. So often it's this belief, or
some such belief, that keeps me going after a day when I've been at
it for hours and am dissatisfied with what I've produced. But I do
keep at it and, if I'm patient, a nice egg-shaped idea emerges and I
can tell my intelligence has gotten through. It' a slow process,
though, and an annoying one, because you have to sit still so long."
"That's the horrible part of being in the short-story business - you
have to be a real expert on ends. Nothing in real life ends."
"Usually what you do is you obsess the reader: Is the boy going to
get the girl? Is the person going to get revenge, or, are they going
to find the money, whatever. Once you get bogged down in plot,
on rails like that, that's all a reader can think about."
I've been reading some horror and dark fantasy short fiction lately,
and then I came across the work of Aris Moore, which struck me as
perfectly dark and subtly horrifying, its cutting, absurd mood the
same as some of the stories I've been reading. Check it out and have
a go at some darker kinds of writing...
And if you want something to read, check out Lisa Tuttle's "Objects
in Dreams May Be Closer Than They Appear," which is very creepy
..found in the House of Fear anthology and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2012.