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Details

I do not want to write another word on couples. On the words they tell each other. On detail. I have no interest in this. I want insight. This All Happened, Michael Winter

This speaks to me. Details. They drive me nuts. And even more than the details themselves, the people who demand them. They get on my ever-loving last freaking nerve. Big time. Maybe I’m odd (oh yeah, I’m certainly a little odd) but I lose interest in novels with too many details. I’ve stopped reading books after learning the main character was blonde when I had imagined a brunette. Should the author have mentioned the blonde thing a bit earlier in the story? Perhaps . . . but here’s the thing–if there’s not some really important reason for the character to be blonde (like a botched dye job) what the hell is the difference? Let me have my brunette for godsake!

It rattles me when someone asks questions about what characters look like in my stories. Because if it doesn’t matter, I don’t tell. The detail seekers also get quite perturbed with me when I won’t tell, when I reply, “What do you think?” I want the reader to have a unique experience. I mean that’s what I want from a book. I can’t handle a book that leaves nothing to my imagination. Show me so much, but leave me something to contribute.

I realize this aversion to details in my writing is a natural extension of my personality. I’m the kind of person who just wants to know enough so I can go and get it done. I don’t want to make a list. I don’t want to weigh the pros and cons. I don’t want to sit around and talk about it. In one sentence tell me what needs to happen and I’ll jump in. I’ll make mistakes, change course, switch gears accordingly, but I’ll keep on it until it’s done. That’s the way I live, through trial and error. Detail people do prep work to lessen their chances of error. They don’t do well on the fly, are easily shaken when something unplanned drops into their schedule. They are prepared and don’t like to just go with it. The world needs all kinds. Sometimes I wish I had more patience to make lists and plan things out. And I’m sure the detail people sometimes wish they could think quicker on their feet.

Whenever I think about this I’m reminded of philosophy classes at Ryerson. I didn’t really understand different personality types back then. I was just a kid. All I knew was I wanted to beat my head off the desk most of the time. I had this really great prof in Philosophy of Art. I loved that class! I just wanted to suck that man’s mind dry. I wanted as much info as could possibly be crammed into the hour or two class. We could not progress fast enough to please me. But there were a whole lot of obsessive note-taking details freaks in that class. And they drove me crazy. We wouldn’t get anywhere, halfway through the first background point with a dozen more to go before we could get into the meat of the discussion, when their hands would fly up and the questions would start . . . And it all seemed so logical and simple to me, blood vessels bursting in my brain as I screamed in my mind, “For godsake! It’s just Plato’s theory! It is what it is and it doesn’t matter if he was right or wrong, that’s not what this is about. Accept the theory, so we can get to the point.”

Those kids annoyed me big time. They talked about these ancient dead philosopher’s theories as if they could change their minds. The point of the class was not to poke holes in the philosophies. And I wanted to get to the fun part, the point of the class, the part where we’d look at paintings and sculptures and discuss what the different philosophers would have thought about them. Instead we’d spend most of the class trying to get a bunch of people to accept each philosopher’s premise. It was the most annoying class I ever took and I wrote the best essay of my academic life for that prof. I just got it and I got it quickly. There were some people in that class who should’ve signed up for psych or soc or something though, philosophy was so not their thing.

*****

No dreams tonight. I’ve been thrown by the time-change, staying up later and later, and tonight I made the colossal mistake of taking the non-drowsy sinus meds instead of the sleepy ones. So there you go. No sleep means no dreams. Non-drowsy meds mean a tingling head, dry mouth, nervous energy, and so on. Sometimes I miss the drugs of the truck driver trade. Sometimes I miss not sleeping. Imagine how much I could get done. But alas my chemical fund has dried up and blown away.

*****

I have a crush on Delia’s rabbi on Everwood. If I could ever find a nice Jewish boy I think I might convert.

*****

This weekend is WFNB AGM weekend in Fredville. I’ll be heading that way on Friday. I’m to emcee the opening event on Friday night at Brewbaker’s. Lots of people reading from their latest books. Saturday is workshops, the business meeting, the banquet etc. I’m going to help out rather than take workshops. I’m a little workshopped out right now . . . though I’ve got Austin Clarke coming up at the end of the month during Frye Fest and an intensive one with Sandra Phinney in Miramichi sometime in May. I just didn’t want to get bogged down into the full schedule of things at the AGM. Instead, I’ll help with registrations and at the book table, etc. It’ll be maybe a bit more relaxing and less brain strain. Hopefully, I’ll get to see some people I haven’t seen in awhile and have a great time. The AGM is usually pretty good fun. I can’t recall one where I didn’t have a good time, though this is the first year for me being on the Board. That could have an effect.

*****
I love this Black Eyed Peas song with the Pulp Fiction music. You just can’t not dance. It’s been too long since I went out dancing. I think The Constantines played George’s Roadhouse tonight . . . or is it tomorrow night? I really need to bite the bullet and go to something on my own. I can’t just sit here and wait for someone to invite me out. NOBODY KNOWS I’M HERE! Of course, money is a big problem right now anyway. It costs money to go out. To go anywhere, other than the usual walk about town that I do everyday anyway.

Mood: oddball
Drinking: orange pekoe (but not king cole)
Listening To: Pump It, Black Eyed Peas
Hair: brown scrunchied

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Categories: Uncategorized

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