Wednesday, December 15, 2010

theft, ideas, muse

As I was falling asleep a idea came to me for a series of vignettes based on a writing exercise I have assigned on the rare occasion I've been asked to teach. Maybe poems, maybe prose. Perhaps a little of both. I remembered a manuscript a friend sent me, how at first glance it was nothing special but after a second read I couldn't get the stories out of my head and to this day I think about them. My imagined project is similar in scope. I like it. Epistolary.

Last night B and I had dinner and talked for a long time about how ideas of ours have been taken from us. Stolen. I readily share ideas with loved one and don't mind inspiring or being muse. I believe the Picasso quote is Good artists borrow, great artists steal. An idea was taken from B recently and received a lot of good press and it bothers me. Recently I saw a line of mine used in another writer's work. It doesn't bother me but I wouldn't have minded at least an email sent my way in gratitude for the 3 words. The theft of B's idea is ugly, the theft of mine was mildly annoying.

Back in the claws of a short story I've been wrestling. I have the entire damn thing outlined and just need to get it out. A mentor told me earlier this year not to force my writing. But Jesus, I've been labor with this one forever.

I met an old friend yesterday afternoon. We talked about writing. He is pretty damn established and has always pushed me to establish myself more. He's been trying to convince me to get into an MFA program as long as I've known him. Nope. No thanks. No way. There was a long article in Slate a couple of weeks ago on MFAs. I don't want one. I can't see myself wanting to teach in an MFA and take time away from writing. Why go into a career about writing that doesn't give the writer any time to write? I don't get it. Go work at the Home Depot, don't waste your intellectual energy on others. Come home revved, write.

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