A Novel by Douglas Copland
Did a lot more posting last December (2006). Whoopee, eh. I was still in a blank then. After that, though, I finally got around to trying to actually write something cohesive again. You know, something not quite like this (post). It was also the time where I probably – and finally? – gave up on the playwriting dream. By the time Jan. – March 2006 rolled around I had actually written a few things. Naturally it was all rejected – and so we move on. But. All bitterness aside. The silly writing I did at the beginning of ’07 was enough to get me started on another (third?) story. The inertia was even good enough to turn that into something more. I now call her: Gloria’s Device. She has truly preoccupied me for most of mid to late ’07. Unfortunately, I’m in a worstwriting rut and can’t get any further with the writing. That is. The story is great. Have most of it mapped out. But the mechanics of writing is now where I fail. I swear. I’ve typed five-hundred pages for this thing. I truly believe I’ve reached a kind of turning point. You know, this is where the men are separated from the boys. It looks like I will remain one of the boys. Anywho.
While working on something I try not to lose track of the rest of life. This is not an easy task. I swear, if I could, if I had the privilege, if I had the minuscule financial means, I would lock myself up somewhere in Delaware or the eastern shore of Maryland and live like a hermit and just write. But being poor and unsuccessful and turning into a bitter middle aged man, there are very few choices I have in this life. I am a slave – aren’t we all. So I mix with it (this slavery and consumerism and fail-upwardsness) and try not to become the monster that is stuck in all of us. One of the ways of doing this is to keep sane by lavishing in the fact that I’m a redneck moron trying to get a few more smarts in life. So I read and I study and I try to comprehend. I think this is doing me well because I fervently stay away, as much as I can in this slave-life, from all things entertaining. This morning, for example, I finished reading novel number four of my little Douglas Coupland collection. (No. This type of writing is far from being entertaining. As it should be! All writing should be provocative – somehow!)
What a great read. What a great writer. When I read Generation X so many years ago, while struggling to write for the stage, I said back then: Wow, I want to write like this guy. Of course, I knew that I would never be able to do that. But at least, when you’re lost and don’t know where to turn, and you are the manifestation of useless living… Well, you get my negative-rant drift. It feels good to be able pick up something from Coupland and feel like a human being again and fight away the devils that haunt me in my own little pitiful world of nothingness.
So how ’bout some Coupland words to go with your coffee or snuff? There’s a lot of wisdom in his work. Here some really nice food-for-thought from Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland:
“I looked at the shadows of sleeping cattle and thought, Lucky farm animals. Lucky space aliens. Lucky anything-but-humans, never having to deal with knowing how foul or desperate their own species is.”
“I do believe in God – I think that He created an order for the world; I believe that, in constantly bombarding Him with requests for miracles, we’re also asking that He unravel the fabric of the world. A world of continuous miracles would be a cartoon, not a world.”
“The heart of a man is like deep water.”
.”..if you want to get close to somebody, you have to tell him or her something intimate about yourself. They’ll tell you something intimate in return, and if you keep this going, maybe you’ll end up in love.”
“I was raised to believe that the opposite of labor is theft, not leisure.”
“I wish I could say that success turns people into plastic dolls, but the truth is that I don’t know any successful people.”
Thank you for your words Mr. Coupland.