Here’s a very charming version of “Julia,” a song that John Lennon wrote for his mom.
I’ve just dusted off and started re-reading my novel that I haven’t worked on since last year in the hopes that I can begin properly writing on it again by November 1st, the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, for NaNoWriMo. On reviewing it, I’m very happy with some of the passages and how they were conveyed, yet at the same time there are so many ideas that I wanted to express that came out sounding confusing or really awkward. Hopefully with some careful editing those can be smoothed out and the story can be more organized by November.
There are also different writing styles that I needed at different times. Some parts of the story were carefully planned out and some of them were simply stream-of-consciousness sections that helped me get past writer’s block.
Upon re-reading the story, I can see that during the times that I was reading more literature, I was definitely a better writer. So I want to start this season by saying that I’m forever grateful to all of the incredible authors that I grew up with who fostered a deep love for writing in me, especially Amy Tan for all of her works and Joseph Heller who wrote one of my favorite books, Catch-22. It is a book full of intriguing characters, great humor, and an anti-war premise that brings attention to political as well as some theological complexities. I wouldn’t say that I identify myself with any particular character in the book, but for whatever reason, it is the most moving book I have ever read.
This week something made me think of this WWII fighter pilot scene in Catch-22, perhaps this scene captures the essence of both me trying to iron out the confusing sections of my story as well as the complex state of the world, but it is the pivot point of the book. For me, it’s like a scene in a movie that one rewinds over and over again in an attempt to grasp a better understanding of it. It’s the scene where, and this is a spoiler so you may want to stop now if you haven’t read it, unbeknown to Yossarian, Snowden is seriously injured in the back of the plane and Dobbs calls over the intercom:
“Help him, help him,” Dobbs was sobbing. “Help him, help him.”
“Help who? Help who?” Yossarian called back. “Help who?”
“The bombardier, the bombardier,” Dobbs cried. “He doesn’t answer. Help the bombardier, help the bombardier.”
“I’m the bombardier,” Yossarian cried back at him. “I’m the bombardier. I’m all right. I’m all right.”
“Then help him, help him,” Dobbs wept. “Help him, help him.”
“Help who? Help who?”
“The radio-gunner,” Dobbs begged. “Help the radio-gunner.”
At this point of the book everything changes.
Stay creative. Peace.
It’s a wonderfully cool, fall-ish morning here and I’m listening to one of my favorite songwriters and also an artist who has one of the most beautifully distinct voices I have ever heard – Bill Callahan.
Here is Bill Callahan’s song “One Fine Morning” from his 2011 album Apocalypse. When he was interviewed by The Guardian at the time of the album release, he said he had finally accepted that he was an entertainer:
“A couple of years ago, I realised that I was an entertainer” – he pauses for a moment, as if waiting for an unseen drummer to round off a punchline – “and that helped me immensely. From the first time you can look in the paper and you accept that you’re the entertainment for some people that night,” he continues, “it becomes so much more enjoyable to play live. Before that I was always wondering, ‘What am I?'”