Saturday, July 18, 2009

Inspiration for Playing the Flute

I'd like to write a future blog post on "Book Trailer Tips" -- there are some things I've learned along the way, which might be useful to others who're thinking of/doing the same thing ^^.

Anyway, I just wanted to share/ramble a little, on the inspiration behind Playing the Flute (poem + trailer).

I happened to buy this book when I was 18 years old -- it's one of my most treasured books (along with my collection of Anaïs Nin, D. H. Lawrence, and a couple of erotic art publications -- I've been wanting to add to that collection in the longest time, man):

love poems japanese

Love Poems from the Japanese, The Shambhala Library

It's a beautiful, exquisite, gem -- of remarkable quality, and succinctness. The divine simplicity of the short pieces of poetry (no inflated word count to justify the sticker price here) is authentic, uplifting, and speaks directly to the soul.

So...yeah. I wrote Playing the Flute, and a range of freeform haiku (entitled 30 + 2 Haiku, in 4:Play).

I don't know if my chapter of poems was a turn-off to industry professionals, as I've seen variations of the following line on more than a couple of lit agent pages:

"No poetry, please. Poetry doesn't sell."

Okay. So I'm one of those "delusional optimists" that chooses to do whatever they set out to do anyway, regardless of who has to say what, and the pitfalls/obstacles pointed out, and blebbity blebbity bleh.

There are many reasons why I value poetry. Vladimir Nabokov has this to say:

"A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist."

Which is something I agree with. That's regarding the writerly aspect of myself :)

I've never written a poem in order to sound "smart". I usually like to focus on the content/message, rather than the techniques applied [and that got me into serious hot soup with a self-proclaimed "literary snob" of an editor (names withheld, of course...)].

I think it's the quality of a piece of work that determines if people will like it/be inspired by it/be influenced/etc. Even (or especially, to some) if it comes in the form of a poem.

P.S. A friend asked whether I wrote Playing the Flute. I said yes. And she said, "Oh! It was subtle and different from (the writing style in) your first book!"

I can't and won't disagree with that. Jade Ashton simply has to sound the way that she does in EyeLeash.

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