Killing your Mojo
So, we are about halfway through the Fool’s Mandala, I have Best Adventure Ever open on the lower tab, Lucifer Ogilvie is now hanging about the desktop, and I have acquired twelve or so history and philosophy of the Conservative Party books from the University Library, so I am all set.
A lot of what you do as a creative person involves fantasy. Making the transition from a life held down by poor self image/fear of insanity/lack of encouragement for many people involves Dutch courage, a helpful friend, or a mammoth ego. It was particularly difficult for me as an artist’s daughter, since he advised me at a very early age to do anything but art.
His reasoning, as a former school truant who used to jump on the bin lorries, destined for Troon, to get to the harbour to draw the boats, was that if you wanted to make art your career you are better in a fine art situation, or some alternative means of actually expressing yourself. He loved working, but much of his career was spent doing things he did not want to do (like hand drawn whisky labels and engineering drawings) rather than loosening up emotionally and artistically to do something more fun. The grandson of a (quite literally) revolutionary communist, he had already rebelled by falling in love with a militarist Conservative. Hence, my father was constantly hiding, hiding his emotions, hiding his background, hiding from his horrible children.
Lucifer Ogilvie is the best idea I have ever had. At long last I have randomly selected a means of actually using my education. Thank heavens for Wolfe, or I would not have the confidence or the ‘moxie’ to just go ahead and do it, and to hell with the consequences.
Chatting with Twisty today, he again attempted to re-orientate me to the reality of being a nothing. I don’t feel like being a nothing. Nobody should decide to be a nothing, no matter how bleak one’s future looks. “Man must strive” as my grandmother used to say, as she brought up two children as a single parent whilst feeding the poor people down the hall. She worked day and night, as did my father, as did I, in the course of considering my mother and her charmed yet lazy life.
Depending on your methodology, writing can be a bit like method acting. The Boris experience project is very different from the Sheep in Wolf’s clothing project, because I understand the process far better this time. Clearly, I like thinking about boys. Preferably naughty, well developed characters. I have no problem with this, although I am well aware that people of both genders, particularly those bound by the constraints of a ‘free’ life, will have.
There are limitations to this curious method of working, however. Good sketches take a long view, and it is important to omit as many details as you include for the purposes of your narrative. What you leave out or distort for your creative purposes is as important as what you choose to include. Style has to be considered. My American readers, for example, could not understand that my gentle and flattering satire on the life of Wolfe was not, in fact, a savage attack.
This rather touching difference in communication, divided by a common language, may well suppress the growth of my American market, but my British readers complained that I had not been savage enough! Poor Wolfe has slaved away for all these years without considering that communication is vastly different between our nations. He probably wonders to this day why I laughingly compared him to Liberace.
So, then, if you are friends with a writer, an actor, an artist or even someone with a keen sense of whimsy who has not discovered their particular spark, do not discourage them. Eventually a bud will peep forth, followed by a flower. It’s all good.