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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Textual Inspiration #11

In honor of my writer's block and someone who appreciates the comma as much as I do:

The lean days of determination. That was the word for it, determination: Arturo Bandini in front of his typewriter two full days in succession, determined to succeed; but it didn't work, the longest siege of hard and fast determination in his life, and not one line done, only two words written over and over across the page, up and down, the same words: palm tree, palm tree, palm tree, a battle to the death between the palm tree and me, and the palm tree won: see it out there swaying in the blue air, creaking sweetly in the blue air. The palm tree won after two fighting days, and I crawled out of the window and sat at the foot of the tree. Time passed, a moment or two, and I slept, little brown ants carousing in the hair on my legs.

- From Ask the Dust by John Fante

5 comments:

Erika said...

Yay for Fante! Yay for commas! Boo for writer's block. I'm in more of a writer's dribble at this point. It's coming out, but realllly slowly.

Gorgeous selection.

eloise said...

The palm tree segment reminded me of something I just read about Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" performed last night on Idol. The famous "I know, I know, I know" refrain was just a stand in for lyrics that Withers was later supposed to write. Sometimes writer's block is really writer's genius. At least I'd like to think so.

e said...

Maya Angelou said something similiar, she said she'd sit for hours agonizing over a comma placement. She said she'd never been a quick writer, just a determined one, or something to that effect. (Sorry, I can't seem to find the quote to reference it.)

Can I ask how you managed to add a column on the left side of your blogger template? I've tried figuring it out and I've only managed to screw up the HTML. Your layout is lovely, for the record, and I really like the picture in the header!

Stephanie said...

I'm really glad people responded to this selection. That entire book sort of took me by surprise. A great and affecting read.

E, first off welcome to the site and thank you so much for the compliment!

I switched computers since I moved to the three column format so I don't have the link any more, but I did a google search for the template format and "three column" and found someone who had worked it out and posted the html.

You should be prepared for a lot of fixing and shifting things around when you try to implement it and the loss of some of your widgets. It took an afternoon of modifying the html to get it how it is and I still can't seem to get the columns quite even. Good luck! Looking forward to seeing the style on your own blog!

e said...

Thank you, Stephanie! I did manage to figure it out, and I really like it, but you are right: a lot of tinkering is involved. Your beautiful blog really inspired me! Thanks for responding.