Friday, 9 May 2014

What is a truth?

He was the Artist. He called himself that, for he had never been good with names. He felt it was hard to come up with good names, and no names but the best were good enough for his characters (and himself, of course). He just hadn't found a good name, so that was what he called himself, and how he introduced when someone asked his name in the professional context. His parents had given him a name in birth, of course, but it was an irrelevant name, for everyone writing classic prose used a pseudonym. His was the Artist, until he either found a better one or wrote a masterpiece with that pseudonym.

The clock went through its darkest hours. It really wasn't dark, for he lived already June, and the clock was eleven in the evening. He was cycling. Was he cycling in the city or in the countryside? Irrelevant, he knew, for they complemented each other. In the city he could keep an eye on other people who had wondered into the night to search a better tomorrow. In the countryside he could keep an eye on himself, for for every better tomorrow found around him he grew more and more conscious of how bad he was at searching them. He enjoyed the utter solitude he found cycling in the middle of a pine forest, and loved the loneliness hiding inside the unending stream of company in the city.

He was a writer, yes. One thing he had learned by heart: a man reading know books along his life lived only once, a man reading a thousand books lived a thousand times, and a man writing a thousand books was a goddamn god. He found writerhood being comparable to insanity, as described by the late David Eddings: if he found doors boring one day, he could just write them to be little transparent, s-shaped things without boring, plain and simple colouring but instead coloured by Van Gogh. If he found his thoughts boring, he could write the walls to sing him a lullaby or to have an interesting conversation of the big questions of life. If he was bored, he could just open his notepad and write a play of light and shadows.

The artist loved summer evenings and nights. He was a nightowl, yes, but he loathed the winternights that began at 3PM. In summer he could take a bicycle for a ride in the midnight, and he needed neither artificial lights nor warm clothes for the sun provided both the light and the warmth. If he couldn't sleep, which was more frequent than he felt safe to admit, he could set up a work environment (an absurd chair and a writing tool somewhere between a notepad and a laptop) in the yard. If he had an awesome project under development, he could relocate himself to a near beach sauna, enjoy the warm sauna til the small hours of the morning to kick the creative juices flowing inside his mind, and then move to the pier to write intensively. The last way to write was among the best he knew, but it was also among the easiest to break. If he forgot to take a bath in insect repellent, he couldn't write a thing in the pier. Hours around 2am were also unbelievably cold outside the warmest nights of the July, and he couldn't just write the temperature to be higher.

Two things he hated with passion: noon and winter. Noon meant everyone else would be not sleeping but harassing him with foul trivialities such as the real life: when are you going to do your school/job projects? When are you going to eat? When are you going to waste your time with another irrelevant act that just belongs to adulthood?

And winter. He couldn't take his writing equipment outside, for either he froze his ass off or the equipment did, and even the cycling was stupid in the winter (for he had asthma). Winters were dark times, the sun setting few hours after the noon made him creative, yes, but his playful, childish creativity turned into sombre and gloom for months once the calender turned September. He hated artificial light, and there wasn't enough natural, so he had to pour the feeling of walls crashing upon him into somewhere, and as a loner, the paper was the only thing ready to listen him.

He was an artist, a writer. He loved watching people dance, but hated the dance himself. Let's hope nobody told him he can't avoid the dance. He loved the solitude, and hated the fact he couldn't live in it. He loved to be around people, and hated that fact. He loved people, he hated people. He loved writing, he hated writing. He was a man of conflicting views. He loved summer, he hated summer. He loved winter, he hated winter. He was a man of fiery passions. He knew what anxiety looked like in a handful of dust. He was the writer.

And that was the truth. Choo choo!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I'm in love!

And this doesn't happen often, for I'm one tough customer when it comes to culture such as books. Luckily it however happens so often that I can claim my brain isn't calcified beoynd redemption. Last time I fell in love for a book (or in most cases, a series of books) was four years ago, when I met the Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales - books, in which we followed a saxon in the ninth-century britain. The books are as historically accurate as possible without giving up the poetic license, and contain moderate amounts of violence (where moderate amount means twenty saxons killing hundreds of vikings in a shield-wall without casualties :)). So, basic stuff you'd expect an Age of Empires II fan to love.

And what have I fallen for now? The Stephen King's Dark Tower, that's what. I've been told now and then for the last five years how I should read something from the King, because why should I not read them? I didn't care to read that stuff for such lame arguments (and in fact, reading anything that needs arguments to justify the reading is dumb), and I always categorized King as something people my father's age read, mainly because his bedside table always contains at least two King novels. By doing that I forgot that most of my father's books, or at least the Hitchhiker's guide and Stainless Steel Rat, are in fact among the best I've read.

Anyway, I spent a weekend in Estonia. There, I found myself in a local bookstore's area of english books, for I find my skills of Estonian language lacking. They had a shelf dedicated to the King's Dark Tower novels. I had seriously thought of reading a book or two, so a quick call to my father revealed that he has parts 2, 3 and 4 at home, so I have to buy only the first. Then, I spent a week reading the book, sometimes wondering what kind of funnytea he had drunk while writing, sometimes laughing to the genious twist in the plot. After that week I began the second book, and after a week I'm now reading the third, with great difficulties in putting it down and beginning to read stuff I'm supposed to read currently (if you need to know, electricity physics and such).

The first book was a bit dull, but undull enough to get me to pick up the second book. The second book had weird initial situation, most of the first few hundred pages happened inside a mind of a heroin courier. This sounds like a generic american movie, but in fact that worked nicely. A heroin addict, recovering or not, is also a good character to wonder the weirdness of the world, as I think the Holmes NYC tv-series has demonstrated. After the initial shock of the feeling of an american movie, the book had some cogitation on the evil of the world, both natural occurring and man-made, and nice, abstract symmetry. And doors in a bloody beach! I had great doubts on them, but their absurdity actually works!

The first part of the third book was a bit boring, maybe too much pondering on irrelevant things, or something, but now that we're following Jake once again, I'm trading hours of sleep for the pure enjoyment of reading the book.

As a writer myself, I'm mainly reading these to get my muse to sing for me again. The first 'Lomaproosa' owns its existence to Assassin's Creeds, Cornwell's books, and a bit on Witchers (both the books and the games). Albeit I probably wont borrow the huge amounts of absurdity from the Roland's universe, its effect will be visible in the second instalment of Rajol Al-Ramal's adventures. I love how the Roland's world feels to have seen all the great things in the past, and now the only thing it will see is its own demise. That kind of a setup provides multiple possibilities on asking big questions of life, but tales consisting mostly of these questions are horribly hard to write to be interesting.

And what is the conclusion, what am I trying to say with this short text? Damn if I know. Maybe it is that everyone should read the Dark Tower - series, because why should they not?