Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Feelin it"


...basketball great Isaiah Thomas once spoke of "being in the zone," as a time when looking up to the hoop and realizing that it resembled the same size as a swimming pool. And no matter how awkward the jumpshot, be it while falling down, off one foot, or from an insane distance, like being drawn by magnetic force, the ball had no choice but to drop through for two.


I feel that writing is much the same. For those of us who paint by mind and shape with pen, we can on most days manage to scribble something. Whether it be prize-worthy or filler for the nearby trash can is a decision for later. Point being though...if a page demands attention, even on a Monday, we can make it happen.


But every so often, whether from a full moon glowing orange and hovering just over the treetops as if begging to be touched, or something wonderful in the drinking water, mineral spirits dropped from Heaven or what have you, we find ourselves looking to our computer screens as if it were some mythical orb, phrases never before thought of by anyone walking the planet, simply rolling across the screen like small waves of literary genius. A handful of paragraphs so gratifying, you actually find yourself hesitating, fingers held over the keyboard, bent at the joint and awaiting command, as you ask yourself, "Am I really doing this?" or "Holy crap, this is really good!"


It doesn't happen often, but when it does...


The following excerpt is from "Crazy Heart," by Thomas Cobb...

"He wakes from a dreamless sleep. Her head is cradled on his arm, her breathing regular and shallow on his chest. Love starts this way always, waking, his arm pleasantly numb from being slept on all night. And it always ends trying, in sleep, to get as far away as possible, until no bed is big enough to get the necessary distance. It always starts in sleep before it works its way into the waking and consciousness."


...I'm guessing that on the day Mr. Cobb penned that particular passage, his favorite baseball team wreaked havoc on their most hated rival. He managed to drive across town for lunch without ever once having to stop at a traffic light. And I'm quite certain, as he finished up that final sentence and eased back in his chair, reading what he'd just created, his lips curled to form a smirk, and he thought to himself, "Holy crap..."

8 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

I wonder how many times Mr. Cobb wrote that before it became perfect, or if he just zipped it out -- I've only achieved perfection like that twice. And the only reason I know is because I had to revise my ms. again and found them.

Great post.

Lola Sharp said...

I love me some 'Holy Crap' moments!

Cynthia Reese said...

Too true -- such moments leave me breathless. I am so glad they happen when they do.

Elliot Grace said...

great question, Anne. "Crazy Heart" is Cobb's first published works, which of course made the big screen with Jeff Bridges. I'd like to hope that he's human enough to admit that it took a few tries to nail it. If he simply rattled it off the top of his head, I'd better throw in the towel:)

Lola, holy crap moments happen to me about as often as a Haley's Comet sighting...yeah I know, yet another "Hangover" comment. (couldn't resist)

Cynthia, breathless describes it well, because when it's actually happening, I've caught myself holding my breath in fear of losing the thought before I can get it hammered out.

RaShelle said...

Hey, thought I'd stop over and check out your blog. Nice post. Isn't writing the coolest?

Moments like Mr. Cobb's do seem to occur less often, but when they do: Holy crap . . . and goosebumps . . . at least in my humble experience. Have a great one. =D

Helena Carlo said...

Nice. And yeah, holy crap.
Thanks for that post - I've bookmarked it.

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Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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