Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ride or Write?

Dear Teri,
Sorry we couldn't talk last night....Big discussion
with Eliza about new writing....And trip to Honduras.
Glad you got the IM working....
Did not ride yesterday because of work (racking my
brain over "Rhett"...My unfinished novel...
http://www.sunshinedixieland.com/rhettcoverpage.html
getting nowhere right now).....Will ride
today......Maybe I can figure it out on the trail....

You are an intelligent woman, so let me bounce this off
you....Rhett does not die...of course...But
considering all you may know about the character of
Scarlet...Has she truly lost her mind...or is she
still trying to be the center of everyone's
attention....or a little of both??? There is something
about him that she is afraid of...Something she would
like to fix, change, or otherwise "kill"...Maybe
instinctively?...She does, of course, truly love
him...But all of this is twisted up in the psychosis of
her illness...which she inherited from her Irish
Father...She lost everything...gained it all back..and
more.. By her own determination and guts....then lost
it all again...when she lost Bonnie (her love
child)and Melanie (her only girl friend) and Rhett
(her only real love)....Now she is in and out of
alternate realities....

Rhett....in spite of what he says and thinks...will
never give her up....completely....
He knows that he will never love another woman...Not
in this way that he loves Scarlet...But he is a
practical man....and must deal with the realities of
her illness and his own life...As he struggles with an
ever present question...Who exactly is he, Rhett
Butler, besides the man who loves Scarlet O'Hara?

anyway...All of this sounds plausible in my mind...
and seems right in my guts....But getting the dialog
and characters right within the historical context of
the novel is a struggle....and Margaret Mitchell haunts
me every day....I do not want to make the same
mistakes that Ripley made with this classic of
American literature.....

Ridding is so much easier than writing....I some
times wonder why I bother....But...I truly cannot
stop...I am addicted....I will fall into periods of
tranquil dormant bliss...not write at all....But, sooner
or latter, I always go back to the same well of words
and drink myself drunk on the heady waters of prose
and poetry...and like the ancient warrior poets...I go
hacking and slashing into the fray...Until I am
wounded, and exhausted, and weary to the very marrow of
my bones. Splattered with the blood of my foes...I
gasp for breath, with my heart-beat pounding in my
head, I survey the carnage I have made in this
endless war of humanity's language....Hoping to find
there... something that is truly ART!

Well...this has really become a tangent....of
rambling thought....Nothing a good editor could not
fix....I am sure...

hope we can chat latter...

yours,
Stephen

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