August 24th, 2004

lucifer/ death

On Words.

Words are like pieces of sea glass that wash up when there's been a storm, used and beautiful and somehow utterly strange. Words buzz and the hum and they lick over your skin like tongues.

Words are sexy, and they're tender, and they're fucking violent little bitches. Sticks and stones are just words, and so how the hell can you expect for them not to hurt you?

I love them. I want to have more of them. Sometimes I get angry that I only really speak one language, so I'll only ever be able see the world in English. That I won't be able to think of people giving birth as 'giving a light' like a Spanish speaker, but as 'going into labor'. I get angry that I don't take enough advantage of English, that I have a handful of words that I keep close, and there are hundreds of words I use so very rarely.

I love how you can write a sentence so clean that you can almost cup it in the palm of your hand, and you can look at it and you can say 'that's a new place for that word to be, and it chimes rightly with the others beside it'.

I want words like bleached bones in tall, tall grass, and seashells on clean white wood. I want words like wind chimes, and sentences like a sash in the wind. I want air and life in my writing, and when I get it right, when I think i've gotten it right, I am literally ecstatic.

And I fear my tendencies toward humid prose. I fear the way that I keep wanting to go that one word further, that one clause past airy toward 'swampy'. I hate that sometimes I write too far, too much, too florid, too dense. It's my hobgoblin.

That and plot, really, but that's another post all together. *laughs*

But this is what I want when I write: I want space, and I want motion, and I want -- above all -- I want the words to work. I want them to be neat, and I want them to be music, and I want them to meld into a sentence that clicks. I want the words to become a gasp, when read. A little exclamation. If I manage that even once in a story -- no matter how much that story may suck -- then I've gotten it right.
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