Singled out

In Animals, Artists, Current reading, Drafts, Local projects, Once in a parking lot, Revision, Sanford Meisner, Visual artists on July 18, 2014 at 6:31 am

Skim the titles. The New York Times, for instance, but any paper will do. Don’t read the articles, but don’t miss a single title, and take good note of the total effect.

Look out the window. Listen to the sounds around you. Single out the one detail that grabs your attention. Let it go. Let your gaze wander again. Over here: morning sky reflected in open window pane. Doves cooing. Occasional car. Titles, just read: bombings, pedophiles, flower arranging, house hunting.

Reading Simenon again, all these years later. The stories don’t matter. I’m interested in the technique. A detail singled out. A flow. He uses too many exclamation marks but the French use them to convey the sound of French speech. The up note at the end of a sentence, where an Anglo-Saxon will favor a deadpan delivery. Many useless words, too. In Pietr le Letton, for instance. Maigret walks into a scene of mayhem, checks for a nonexistent pulse on a colleague. Maybe readers were more dim-witted when the story came out. Maybe they needed Maigret to specify the colleague was dead? No matter. For all these reasons, the Omnibus is an excellent collection for bedside.

Revision: a longer story into a shorter one. Perhaps as a stand-alone short story.

Real life: discussion with a friend,  yesterday afternoon, on how best to lay out some photos (album? frames? wallboard?). Funerals are like that when you’re at the organizing end. Theatrical productions. Getting the details right, then letting events roll on and emotions do their thing.

Singled out: a Don Quixote made of twisted plastic-coated wire. Riding his Rossinante, made of the same material. The street artist didn’t provide a Sancho Panza. Shouldn’t be too hard to make on my own.


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