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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Writing into the Real

I'm in the midst of writing a play that makes use of fantasy and surrealism, and also in the middle of writing a novel that does the same. So I've been drawn to other writers who make use of these devices to write reality in a way that becomes more real than realistic straight narrative.

Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake uses a single fantastic device -- a psychic ability to feel in food the feelings of those who have had a hand in growing, cooking, and transporting it -- as a metaphor for the ways we touch each other inadvertently, clumsily, deeply, ineradicably with the atmospheres we carry and bestow. Bender packs rich, realistic detail into this tale of a lonely young girl and then come the psychic gifts which at first appear as a curse, all told in high metaphor and fabulous imagery. The book is like a movie made at Pixar, animated and intelligent, universal and not cloying.

I gravitate to reading and writing reality increasingly in metaphor and fantasy because it tells the truth better than facts. And nothing gives you more of a sense of your own reality than finding yourself in a character between the covers of a book. For one thing, it's an experience that lasts longer than the longest movie. And if you have a vivid imagination, the images are as memorable as any movie's -- more for those of us who are verbally oriented.

You can do a lot with fantasy in all media, poetry included. In my forthcoming poetry collection (can it really at last be coming out this fall? After having been "book left at the altar" by a publishing company that went out of business, I feel a sense of fantasy about Gods of Water and Air ever appearing! It has a strong element of fantasy, many poems that are surrealistic or what I think of as my own coined fairytales. I will keep reading and writing with an increasing element of fantasy tucked right into the midst of linear narrative. Like books that combine poems and prose (rare) I find it an immensely pleasing (new) genre of writing.

What shall we call it? Reality in Flight??



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gods of Water and Air has a cover!

Publisher Karen Kelsay Davies of Aldrich Press, which will bring out my new book of poems, prose, and drama, has unveiled the new cover. I'm very excited!



The goddess here portrayed is Nut, one of the most ancient Egyptian deities and somewhat mysterious. She's an unusual figure, in that most goddesses are portrayed as Earth, while the male gods are represented as Sky. Nut being Sky can span and protect the universe. She felt to me apt because it's a time for feminine energy to be freed and ascendant as never before. (With some current setbacks, of course.) Many of the poems in the book revolve around this new energy. Long may she reign -- and protect.

More information on when the book will be available is coming soon! In the meantime, if you want to be on a waiting list to be notified, send me your email address: rachel@dacushome.com.