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Renewed inspiration-- the reason to carry on.....

Ever had one of those moments where suddenly nothing makes sense anymore? You've spent days, weeks, months working on something-- learning a new skill, learning a new language, creating a new world-- and now, at this exact moment, you feel as if your entire life was wasted, nothing you do will save the project/activity.

Self-doubt is a horrible, ugly monster bent on destroying everything that means anything to you. Everybody has one of these annoyingly, grotesque buggers inside them, but, some of us imagine them the size of a Leviathan, and some of us are quite content with our little mice. My own monster tends to shape-shift between the size of the Loch Ness Monster and that of a Pixie, depending on the enormity of the project or just how well-equipped I feel to deal with said project.

The last couple of weeks my Nessy has become rather portly as I've fed all my hopes for "Tangle of Matter and Ghost" to him without a second thought. I have see-sawed so much between feeling elated and discouraged that I ventured tonight, just as a distraction, to watch several interviews of some of my favorite authors, just to remind myself whose company I would one day wish to be counted among.

Strange thing happened though, while watching 2 of the half dozen or so interviews. I came away with precisely what I was looking for, though I didn't even know I was looking for it. In an interview with Paul Auster, I came away with his wonderful idea of clarity. And how he believes it to be the ultimate pure form of the art-- where you slip into the work so deeply that you forget that you are reading words and just exist in the story....


And, later, in an interview with Salman Rushdie, I heard him iterate exactly what I've been trying to make of my story "Tangle"--- Not as a historical re-telling of an already recorded history (there are more scholarly works on the Civil War than I'd be able to read in a lifetime), but an emotional tale told through the eyes/hearts of a people whose lives are a part of our history, though they lived drastically different from ourselves. As Rushdie points out, dates are easy, who fought whom and where the battles took place is easy. The purpose of the historical novel is to tell the individual story as seen through the eyes of someone who lived before us--- to feel the horrors and triumphs of the Civil War, not just know which side won....



Thank you, gentlemen, for saying exactly what I needed to hear, though I didn't even know I needed to hear it. 

**note-- the Rushdie video is long, but his talk is really only about 30 minutes, the rest of the time he's answering questions**

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