Sunday, April 02, 2006

What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?

The first Sunday Scribbling has arrived! The prompt this week was: What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail? Here's my answer:

Blank journals follow me home from the bookstore like puppies. I have a library of them in my studio: lonesome books awaiting their words. I feel their hunger radiating at me in waves of longing.

I also have a circus troupe of ideas camped out in my mind, a multitude of winged and bespectacled little folk pacing backstage, juggling, smoking, taking swigs from flasks, and muttering about it being “showtime”. All they want is to leap onto the page and clown and weep and love and die, stagger, tango, fight crime, fly, build sandwiches and braid each other’s hair. They want to LIVE. But I keep them locked away up there, whispering to them that I love them and believe in them and that some day, some way, their turn will come and then they will SHINE.

Meanwhile, the journals sit empty on the shelves while the ideas riot and mutiny backstage. There is such a simple solution to these two problems.

What I would attempt if I knew I would not fail, is I would sweep open the curtain and let my ideas come trampling out in a wild, boisterous stampede. I would lay all my blank books on a desk and let the ideas swoop out and choose, like children shrieking dibs on bedrooms in a new home. I want danger and peacocks and spice to spill out onto the pages, for the books to take deep gulps of words and lay back full-bellied and woozy with joy while ideas ride camels and stage coaches across them, leaving behind wheel ruts and wine stains and long husks of serpent skins blowing in the wind.

I want to write the books I’ve got locked up in purgatory in my mind. I want to release them with abandon, with knife fights, supernovas, calamities, hauntings, and high fives. I've at long last found the magic valve that turns ideas into stories, only to learn that it's not magic at all. It's the simplest thing: getting out of the way of my ideas, sweeping open the curtain and letting them out. Now I want to do it everyday! That is my wish, and although there is no assurance I will not fail, that is what I am going to do.

If I WAS assured I would not fail, I would also scour the world for mythical beasts lurking in labyrinths and lochs and chasms and castles, then I would give them snacks and leave them in peace. I would grow wings and a fine striped tail long enough to loop round my neck like a scarf. I would reintroduce the magic carpet. I would circumnavigate Sicily in a peddleboat. I would sing, carve marionettes, smite evil men, have some babies, and build the best treehouse the world has ever seen. And, I would convince all children that their dreams are living things they can ride like tigers into the future, as long as they love them well and feed them daily.

Happy Sunday. Have a scribble of your own!

35 comments:

andrea said...

I love how you've tackled this from a fantasy perspective. Very original!

Richie said...

Hi, I just wanted to say i thought your style is beautifully expressed. Im very much a fan of the subconcious collective with structure style. You probably wouldnt call it that at all, but its how it feels. Keep your good work going, and dont be afraid to fail. :)

Cate said...

Glorious! I was stalled on little men drinking and muttering--LOVE THAT--but even more impressed that they wanted to build sandwiches and braid each other's hair!

Your writing is luscious! As a mother, I want to reach into your magical bag of creative treasures and dangle that gold (possibility, imagination, fortitude) in front of my boys. I want them to ride their tigers and I want them to remember to respect and care for them, too! You inspire me to remember that dreams are the fuel of little people (and of big people, too).

Thank you, Laini. Thank you.

P.S. I have no doubt that you will fill those blank journals up with "a wild, boisterous stampede" of words.

Shannon (Sentimental) said...

I love it and I like you have many blank journals sitting around. Your imagery in this post was amazing. Good Job!

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Suckily enough, blank journals once followed me home too. They were'nt like puppies though! That's right, flesh-eating zombie blank journals. I killed those bastards though. Ah memories :)

Jim

Deb R said...

I love this post, Laini - love the imagery!

beansprout said...

Great Post! And your cover for "Cricket" is gorgeous. I'd like to scribble with you...I did a post, unfortunately, the way the comment section is configured on the Sunday Scribblings page doesn't allow for comments from those of us that aren't e-bloggers. Anyway...there is a scribble on my page. Thanks for creating this great forum.

megg said...

that was wonderful! (and I like that you also hid having children in amongst the other things ;) I loved reading all of the fantastical things you listed. I can't wait to read all of your stories. Wonderful wonderful writing!

chest of drawers said...

Your post reminds me of a Baz Luhrmann film...full of life and characters, my reading got faster and faster and when I was at the bottom of the page I was ready to sing and dance! You must put what´s going on in your head to paper -I can´t wait to read it all!!!

tara dawn said...

I LOVE your imagination, and how you do let it run freely and wildly and into the great unknown. What a wonderful post...your words make me want to dig further beyond the consciousness of creativity and dig, dig, dig, unearthing magic and treasures along the way.
xoxo,
Tara Dawn

Kara said...

Laini - thanks for the recent visit to my blog. I love yours! I also realized that a friend of mine has an ornament hanging in her kitchen that I was admiring the other day (the one hanging from the rainbow) and yes - I think it is one of your Laini Ladies.
I am thrilled by your scribble - think I'll go have a scribble of my own.

Jamie said...

Laini, please write those books. I want to visit your magical world.

krista said...

This post reminds me so much of my husband. He has an "idea factory" that he tends to- adding ideas to often, and probably like yourself, whispering to them that I he loves them and believes in them and that some day, some way, their turn will come and then they will SHINE.

He's a writer too.

Nice scribble. I look foward to the idea of more sunday scribbles to come.

Earth Monkey said...

what lovely fantastical imagery! i feel as if i was on a magic carpet! thanks for sharing so beautifully. this was a good creative icebreaker for me thank you!

Amber said...

Oh, how I can relate to this post! And it was so well said, and so colorful. It made me sigh and smile big!
You are a talent.

And thanks for the visit to my blog! Hope you come back. I love your voice.

Jessie said...

Hey--this was FUN!! With a mind like yours, it's easy to see how you create such incredible artwork!

Terri /Tinker said...

Beautiful, Laini! You inspired my scribbling today - thank you for unleashing my tinkering imagination, again; it had been feeling very neglected and poorly of late. Now it's running with wild, joyous abandon - thanks to you :>)

Marilyn said...

If that's a "scribble"... That was FABULOUS! Sounds like you're well on your way to pulling back that curtain...

Hanna said...

You're a writer. Love your beautiful words!

Caroline said...

You doodle with words in a wonderful way letting them scramble onto the page and play.

If I was a character in your mind I'd be dressing myself up ready for the glories to come knowing its soon my time to shine.

M said...

Wow this is amazing!! I can't wait for you to let your ideas loose...I love the imagery of them all sitting backstage, it made me giggle!

la vie en rose said...

the creativity that dwells in you is intoxicating!

aithbhreac said...

Inspirational first "Scribble". And a synchronicity for me. I had just on Sunday morning purchased the greeting card with "What Would You Attempt.." BEFORE I read this post! I feel the magic in the air already.

HoBess said...

You've done it again, Lady Laini. You've left me warm and fuzzy and inspired and in awe of the way you put words together. Wine stains and stage coaches ... I'm gonna read it again!

Mardougrrl said...

loved this! oh, i loved this! this is the way i want to live...always! I'm in awe...

Shesawriter said...

Laini, your dreams must be magical. You GO girl.

kelly rae said...

i love your way of collecting and writing about your imagination, little visual images for the rest of us to savor. i was at artfest and one of my roommates was from portland and we were chatting and one thing led to another and i told her i had met you and she exclaimed "Laini? From Laini's Ladies?? I love her stuff! I have one of her ladies!" so cool.

Roz Foster said...

Beautiful image. What a roaring talent you are! And congratulations on your Cricket cover! Enchanting.

liz elayne said...

how your words wrap themselves around my mind, my heart and resonate. you remind me that imagination is the most wonderful sort of thing to listen to. i can't wait to see what you create next my dear. just glorious.

lokh2pati said...

become an astronaut.

Deirdre said...

Laini, I am inspired by your words. I haven't written much since my sister died, and what has landed on paper hasn't been fun. Once in a while I begin to hear a voice telling me a story and I know it will soon get insistent and I'll have no choice but to sit with an empty page and let it pour out. I remember how good it feels to let the words flow through me and the surprise I feel when I finally put down the pen and read.

madness rivera said...

I would wear I Am Inspiring underpants! (gotta get me some of those)

Jennifer said...

I'll buy your books!

tess said...

Laini,

Your writing is brilliant, luscious, exhilirating, and extremely funny! There are so many lines I love in this scribble of yours that I'd practically have to paste the whole post in here to point them out. Marvelous. Makes me buzzy and excited just to read and feed on your imagination and words--and to go now and see what's hiding in mine.

WOW!

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