24 May 2010

NEVЯLAND—The Making of Literary Sausage

Dear Curious Reader:

Imagine watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, starting with the blank ceiling, adding the outline to the figures of God and Adam at the moment of Human creation, and then as he slowly added hue and texture to each scene until he produced one of the greatest works of art in history—the story of Human creation and even destruction in one tiny space in the Universe.

Imagine listening to the first version of “Please, Please Me”, the Beatles first big hit. I’ve heard it. The original is slow, lumbering through a maudlin strain of boy-loves-girl teenage angst. It wasn’t very good until they sped it up and added tonal color to produce a celebration of boy-girl teenage love.

Or, imagine watching a building go up, from ground breaking through foundation laying to framing, and then finally the building is finished. We’re doing that now at Altus High School as we witness a nearly 80-year-old building being transformed to meet the needs of 21st Century students.

And when the project is done—whether the Sistine Chapel, a great hit song, or a new building—it all looks like magic.

That’s what writing is—hard work that looks like magic in the end. Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

And how many of us have read a good book and said, “That’s easy. I can do that.”

Lebron James makes “easy” clutch shots, eh?

Most readers don’t get the inside look at the making of a novel.

Maybe they shouldn’t. Maybe making a novel, like making sausage, isn’t something people should witness. I love sausage, but I really don’t want to see the butchering, the skinning, the gutting, hack-hack-hacking, and then the squeezing into the casings.

It’s not a pretty sight.

That’s what this is: NEVЯLAND—The Making of Literary Sausage.

I know what you're thinking: Wow! This guy is something else. He's comparing himself to Michelangelo, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

No. I'm just using those greats as examples to get your attention, to help those of you who are not writers better understand that no finished work of art or craft comes easily or appears as if by magic, that even the great artists and artisans start from a spark of an idea and go through the phases of butchering, skinning, hack-hack-hacking, and then squeezing into the casing to produce their best work..

Yes, I'm confident in my story—my characters, my plot, my conflicts, my over all scheme—enough so to share it with anyone who wishes to witness the making of NEVЯLAND from the beginning.

And I realize that others look at this confidence as arrogance or even conceit. So be it.

This is new to me, too. I'll stumble in the process. Unlike others, I'm stubborn enough to get up and keep troupering on until I reach the end, one way or another.

Will you like the story? Reading is subjective. Either you will like it or you won't. Or, you'll be stuck between liking and disliking. Maybe you won't like the way it is told. Maybe I use too many adjectives. Maybe I don't use enough adjectives. Maybe I don't show enough or I tell too much. We'll see.

Let me know what you think. You won't hurt my feelings. Well, maybe just a little, but I opened myself up to the slings and arrows.

Even cooks at five-star restaurants have their critics and detractors. I'm no different.

In my previous publications, I've received raves, and I've received rants. It happens. I live with the fact that not everybody will like me, like what I do, like what I create. And this gives me the freedom to go ahead and create freely without the fetters or manacles of popular opinion.

I do welcome feedback—both praise and problems. Something you may not know is that writers don't write in a vacuum. They workshop their tales, letting others read bits and pieces and wholes, receiving feedback, changing and shaping their tales until it's «readable».

While a writer writes first to please himself, he writes secondly (more importantly) to please the reader. A writer without a reader is like an ocean without a shore upon which to crash it's mighty waves majestically.

Here's the link: NEVЯLAND (RAW) Chapter 01

Read well. Read faithfully. Just Read.

Thank you for allowing me into your crowded space of time. I am most grateful and humbled indeed.

See you on the bookshelves.

Larry Mike

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