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Katlin Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Hi Tere,

Back again. I found the latest installment very moving. I especially liked this insight:

Richard wondered then, as she disappeared beneath the waves, if maybe the difference between wanted and unwanted love, given and stolen desire, fully formed and cheated life things, is when those voices speak in concert inside a woman’s head.

I also liked the way you conveyed so much about Richard by having him sit down and write a quick note to his daughter after his meeting with Annie.
Feb/5/2011, 9:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


hi Tere,

I'm still following the story. Last two installments are very compelling. I'm hooked.

Chris
Feb/6/2011, 1:18 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Thank you very much, Kat and Chris, for commenting. It is enough to keep me going. I am ashamed to say I cannot remember the name of Annie's model. But it was 25 years ago. The near by city she drove to would have been Jacksonville. Only the particulars of the scene are fictionalized a little. And yes, Kat. Typing out the sentence yesterday I clearly remembered making it, can seee the desk it was made on, and the window the desk faced. So many internal voices that can rage inside a woman's head when she is at risk. Glad to hear you are hooked, Chris. Kind of counting on you also.

Two reflections. I could not have pretended to write the story of music lovers living by the emotions and glossed over the darker side. Also, can someone please explain to me why the novel got rejected over twenty times. Not enough action, Doubleday said. 'I loved it but could not sell it to the board,' Godine said. Still shaking my head.

Tere
Feb/6/2011, 3:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


One more installment for the weekend. All my precious ones. My clipped wing characters.

Tere
Feb/6/2011, 5:51 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Another installment up, dated today. I just realized the story trades in both the Objective Correlative and Exphrasis before I knew what the terms meant.

Tere
Feb/12/2011, 9:04 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Hi Tere,

I really enjoyed reading the Mickey installment. Been thinking about the way the narrative style (in which the action and dialogue are not presented directly but filtered through both Richard and the N's consciousness) creates a kind of silent, reflective space in which the story unfolds. The silence is rendered very loud as the result of the technique you are using, is so pronounced and prominent that it almost becomes an entity in and of itself. A kind of consciousness. Not an omniscient narrator, not God. The silent observer behind and within us all, and/or the silence behind and within the music perhaps. The action of the story plays (out), metaphorically, upon the field of this silence. What's my point? I don't have one. Just thinking outloud. Hope some of this makes sense.
Feb/14/2011, 1:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Thanks again Kat. It occurred to me last night, not for the first time, to question Richard's motives. He wants you to think he is a mediator, right? A teller of stories out of the classroom. A gossip. But I've begun to think his motive involves something else. It is like he is trying to make sense of something still leaving him shaking his head.

The Mickey episode kind of surprised me.

Tere
Feb/14/2011, 8:40 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Tere,

Yes, Richard comes across to me as an observer but not a detached one. Something is at stake for him besides his fondness for gossip and his desire to spin a good story.
Feb/16/2011, 2:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Well, Kat, the truth always, if eventually, outs itself.

Your comment about the story's silent aspect intrigues me. I need to think on that.

Tere
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Another installment posted. A kind of segue really, with both commentary and a touch of atmosphere. What will follow I am almost wanting to put off. Of all the stories I got told when a bartender there is nothing like Sean's.

Tere
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Presidents Day and all I got another installment posted for the weekend. Repeating myself but I had forgotten just how much I found to think about in the bars and the music scene.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Hi Tere,

You say that you "had forgotten just how much I found to think about in the bars and the music scene." I'd say you had gotten to the heart of the matter:

It is this starker side of rock n roll, Richard thoght while waiting for Sean to come around again, both a greatest danger and a dragon guarded treasure. It is where dreamers can learn the secret moonlit path leading them from the numinous springs of desire and instinct, through darker reaches of conflict and hungry intent, and out into the sunny light fields of creative choices. But it is also where anyone of them can be eaten alive, where a lizard can always run across another lizard whose appetite is larger. . . . All he knows, or thinks he knows, is that sexuality is a sea dream like rock n roll, a swirling sea dream. And that at different depths, fed by different currents, different images of loveliness become constellated for a dreamer while rising to the surface of things.

Feb/24/2011, 11:02 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Thanks for commenting, Kat. Thanks also for continueing to read.

It is an observation, maybe an insight, I can stand by still. I have one more observation, maybe also an insight, into the cultural continuuum of a rock n roll scene that perhaps gets even closer.

Do you remember first meeting Hugh the great sailor man? By way of an introduction you are told his formal training was in anthropology. While true about the character's model it was also my way of introducing one layer of the novel's intention. A kind of anthropological study of a (cultural) way of life.

Tere
Feb/25/2011, 7:30 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Two more installments posted over the weekend. Hard stuff to have to revisit. The hardest yet to come. Nobody has ever told a story like this, from the inside out.

Tere
Feb/27/2011, 6:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Oh, Tere, I just read the two sections that begin with:

"Sean started in again by reminding Richard he grew up in Manhattan, but that he had been moved out to Long Island at about the same time he moved into adolescence."

They took my breath away. The story is so real, so riveting and so well-written that I shall never forget it. My god, how did Sean live through that? How did you write it and so beautifully?

You say the hardest is yet to come? I hope my heart can take it.
Feb/28/2011, 9:34 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Thank you, Kat. I don't know how Sean lived through all that except that maybe he never actually accepted she was dead. But I don't want to give too much of the story way. Thanks.

Tere
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Christine98 Profile
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Just finished the last post, Tere. Seconding all of Kat's comments.

Chris
Mar/3/2011, 9:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
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Thank you, Chris, for speaking up.

Chapter 5 is now tied off. Finished. Of all the novel's characters Sag Boody might be my favorite, Prince Melon a close second, Ronald the gardener a close third. But I love all these characters.

Then comes Mellisa. And the great Richard loses all his philosophy.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Mar/6/2011, 3:38 am
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Starting in on chapter 6. I've decided something about Richard. I respond to the dreamer in him. I like the cold, clinical observer in him. I don't much care for the prig in him.

Tere
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Yesterday, Thursday, I started in on the novel's sixth chapter. I can't remember anymore. It has been well over a decade and more like closer to two since the last time I looked at the thing. Viewed from some distance now, I am struck by the chapter's opening paragraph. It might be the most crafted paragraph I've yet written. Damn near chiselled in marbel it seems to me. It reads like an abstract, an aphorism, an epigram for the whole story. What I like about novels, and what writing a couple taught me, is the hightened, highlighted, set-in-low relief pleasure of the glorious detail, the attention to texture, novel writing operates on. Texture can be so seductive, persuade the logical, reductive brain it is actually missing out on something. That something being the glorious detail. But sometimes the paragraph can stand on its own, needing neither what came before or what comes after. That is how the chapter's opening paragraph strikes me.

Something else. The novelist's paragraph grew out of the poet's stanza. The structural logic of both being the same: an organic unit like a human organ or a chakra discrete in itself while synergistically keeping the sum total of the whole alive.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Something else. The novelist's paragraph grew out of the poet's stanza. The structural logic of both being the same: an organic unit like a human organ or a chakra discrete in itself while synergistically keeping the sum total of the whole alive.

Hi Tere,

Interestingly enough, as I was reading the first installment of Chapter 6, I thought: this is a poet's novel. So much of the language and details, the textures as you say, have a poet's touch. For example, "that is the surprise changing everything."

Looking forward to reading Richard's story, after reading so much about the stories he was told.
Mar/11/2011, 10:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Thanks, Kat. I get your point about it being a poet's novel and why. Many times I had to slap my hand, not give over to the temptation of making language for its own sake. In some places I may have been not so successful.

Tere
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Next installment of Open Faces 6 posted. Yet again I had forgotten about some of the novel's ambitions. Here it is the anatomization of that first raw, soma moment called falling in love. People never say they are rising in love, right? They call it a fall. And I think the reason is sound, since, physical.

Tere
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Another installment put up last night. Not a product of my imagination. Rather, a document recording experience.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Tere,

There's falling in love, and then there's falling in love. (Sometimes you fall farther, faster.) Reading about Melissa and her twin reminded me of this poem, in particular the last sentence:

Close To The Road

Close to the road we sit down one day.
Now our life amounts to time, and our sole concern
the attitudes of despair we adopt
while we wait. But She will not fail to arrive.

Antonio Machado
(translated by Robert Bly)


It also reminds me of the Sufi saying I posted last week in another thread: "Blessed are the lovers for they shall be tricked." If seems fitting to me that this part of the story, Richard falling in love, is in the center of the book. Fitting, too, the sequencing of the meetings: Melissa, her twin, Melissa and the man who might be her lover.
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Yes, ma'am. The novel's fulcrum. Now for the bench's down side unravelling.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Mar/18/2011, 12:09 am
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Next installment up. Can't believe I had this kind of courage once. Going vulnerable takes guts. Just a soft rock moment maybe.

Tere
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Beautiful post, Tere. How we relate to our youthful self is important, I guess. With love or harsh judgment, admiration or horror, a sense of connection or who the hell was that?

Chris
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Your response makes me smile, Chris. I remember making this chapter. I remember thinking: you can't go after love in the guarded way. If you do you have cheated. Goethe's Werther taught me that.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Hi Tere,

From the first paragraph this section:

"That night was much like tonight, quiet and easy, and he heard the ring of panic ringing in his head. Especially, since, her friend trailed so close behind her. He kept close enough to her that, it seemed to Richard, there had to be a bond of sympathy running between them. Richard didn’t know at first what he would find out later that night. That the man is her younger brother, that he is an out of work bass player, that his name is Domino. All he knew was what he saw. It was enough to scare the angst out of him, only to bring it crashing back down on him in a way he thought he had outgrown."

to the last paragraph:

"Just as Richard can’t say, for sure, where Melissa was walking to when she passed by his table that night, or where he found the voice to say hello to her, and how she stopped and sat with him when he asked her to, or how it was they spent the rest of that night talking, just talking. It is especially hard to remember it now, to remember how easy it was, with Westwind hammering away at the whiskey bottom blues on his piano."

this is keenly accurate and well rendered. I enjoyed it very much.
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