Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Example of Friends

My friend Dave is in the middle of writing 30 ekphrastic poems in 30 days, I guess because he likes challenges, and perhaps, self-abuse.

Ekphrastic poems use other works of art as entry points, such as photographs, paintings, or 70’s arena rock stars. It is probably a little easier to write a poem in reaction to other things rather than starting from scratch, but still - 30 in 30 days? That’s like trying to make a movie in 48 hours. Oh, wait, my playwright/novelist friend Pat Gabridge did that a few weeks ago.

What is wrong with these people? I can hardly get a blog post per weekday out, where wholesale quoting, youtube copying and complaining about your prolific friends counts as output.

On a more serious note, one bit of self-revelation I’ve had lately is the realization that I’ve always been partial to creative people, even when I was completely submerged in software for 20 years. Despite mostly having day jobs, a lot of my friends try out various forms of artistic expression: Brownie’s a musician and also wrote a novel, Fingtree writes hilarious anti-bush songs and is in a reggae band, Tim wrote a memoir, Eric invented the internet and published a book, John publishes a fantasy literature magazine, Tonya is a world-famous quilter, Perry is a glass artist, and PG has been a professional movie reviewer. Plus, I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone important. Maybe James, my oldest friend, who I barely see anymore, but is still living the dream of being a singer-songwriter in LA. Or even my political/religious bizarro-double, Bob, who has said he is working on a book about Islam, although I doubt it is one I would much agree with.

I hope this transparent attempt to highlight my friends by complaining about them isn’t too annoying. All, I’m saying is, I appreciate my constellation of friends, and they are great influences. And if you are up to something artistically and want others to know about it, tell us about it in the comments.

I do wonder though, based on Dave’s poems, whether this blog would be more popular if it had more Peter Frampton references…


brownie the great creator/artist said...

"(it's)easier to write a poem in reaction to other things rather than starting from scratch..."

Nothing is created in a vacuum. The only thing that comes FROM nothing IS nothing. In our crowded world and culture, everything's a reaction to something else. So all your artistic friends are not really creators, but rather reactors, or rather, sub-creators, as Tolkien like to say.

Robert Sievers said...

I am at 62,000 words, and am giving my manuscript to the author of "Antichrist - Islam's Awaited Messiah" for review.

Dan, you really owe it to yourself to read it when its out. I would read yours. :-)

dw said...

Thanks, Dan, for the blog love. You get hits from a lot of places. I can't wait for the next search term post!


Fingtree said...

What would you call your constellation of friends?
As far as friends go: We are all blessed to be in this constellation with you Dan, whatever it's name is :)