Home > writing life > favourite child and a happy meal

favourite child and a happy meal

Yesterday I had two tasks to knock down, but I had a feeling it was going to be easy because the rain was cocooning the house in an unseasonal way, urging me to curl up and write. Pitter patter against every window. If I had a fireplace I would have been in writers heaven.

First I had to choose a piece to submit to a magazine. I’ve never had anyone headhunt me in this fashion before and casually say that I had three pages to play with, send what ever I feel.
Whatever I feel?
I felt like I had to choose between my kids which one to send to adventure camp.
But this was far from the worst writing task I’d had. I’m doing the yayness dance already. It’s an amazing magazine and once it’s all confirmed I’ll be posting proud pictures of my kids at camp all over the place.
But I promise no slide shows.

The other I haven’t gotten around to yet and I suspect it’s because I’ve been challenged to write about something happy. Mmmn. What the hell does that mean? Is it something like a happy meal? With a little toy inside? It’s not like I usually write about kittens with cancer or anything, but happy is not a feeling I usually associate with my writing. Dammit. I like exploring the dark places. The lost places. The intersections where we disconnect and stand there not knowing how to feel.
These places can be the close up electricity of reality like Raymond Carver’s, or like Etgar Keret’s have more than a touch of the absurdity creeping in to this ordinary thing.
The things we look at everyday but don’t always see. The magic we have simply learned to tune out.

I believe artists spend much of their time trying to unlearn that.

Now I’m going to learn how to write happy. I never could pass up a challenge.

And if you’ve never read Carver or Keret, start here. These authors changed the way I breathe.

Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

The Nimrod Flip Out

pssst, but don’t get them there, go visit your friendly local bookseller I say.

  1. December 10, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Writing HAPPY – oh my God, that’s a chore for sure. Why is it that it is so much more difficult to explore joy, happiness, feeling good? Still Yaz – what lovely news about the magazine article and knowing you, you’ll meet both challenges with your usual grace!!
    Lianne xox

  2. December 10, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Hmmm – somehow I suspect I’m going to wind up with two comments here, having done this wrong as usual – lol. I don’t envy you the challenge of the happy write – I find that so much more difficult than something darker. But I do know you’re up to the task and congratulate you on the magazine article as well, Yaz – great going!!
    Lianne xox

    • December 11, 2009 at 11:25 pm

      I’m glad you did leave two, Lianne. Thank you so much for your lovely encouragement. x

  3. Jurate Sasnaitis
    December 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Hi from your happy(?) local bookseller. You already know what I think about Carver & Keret — nothing to add there. Here’s the link to my secret life (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone) as promised…

    • December 11, 2009 at 11:27 pm

      I love it! Thank you for showing it. I’ll be watching keenly. And thank you for ordering Keret in for me when everyone else looked at me like I was asking for an oompa loompa. x

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