Take on THIS A-Ha Moment!

This is kind of a sprawling post. But if you stick with it, there's a reward at the end :D

So, it's my turn to take on the a-ha! moment (see Laura, Danyelle and Lydia's answers, too). And you know I can't take on an a-ha! moment without THIS, y'all:

That's my a-ha! moment. No, I'm serious. See, I'm kinda burned out on online writing advice. Cuz it's like a sandstorm. Which, aside from, yanno, blinding a sista, tends to scour my hide (ouch, dammit!).

See, all those glittery bits of writing insight make sense. They do make a point. But those points are sharp, and they tend to callus a sista, which blunts their effect over the long term (kind of how I'm bludgeoning this point to death rightchere). Truly, we don't need any more advice, cuz we already know what to do (no, we do!).

Maybe that's my a-ha! moment. That your own advice is all you need; it's the spark behind your endeavors. But before you can heed it, you need to understand how your particular spark burns in the first place.

Yep, flames again. Cuz I love 'em. 

To do this, just think back to that one a-ha! moment you had as a teenager back in high school. It was that faint glimmer you spotted within yourself that day in the cafeteria, in the band room, on the athletic field. The one that whispered to you, THIS is who I am. Guess what? It's the same spark that burns there now.

You just gotta spot it, and then follow it.
That's it. Seriously. It will show you the way.

I was reminded of the color of my spark this morning, actually.  Two posts -  the Alliterative Allomorph's and Elana & Co.'s What Writers Read - got me talking about Clive Barker's IMAJICA and the impact it had on me.

(And by impact, I mean impact: the title of that sucker's tattooed on my right bicep).

My teenaged a-ha! moment was that my spark is obsidian black, sure. But if you peer at it with off-kilter eyes, you'll see that my flame also dances with color. Maybe cerulean. And it's IMAJICA's fault.

Because IMAJICA  made me understand that my fiction sensibilities lie in that smoky, tangled, atmospheric wood where darkness also scampers alongside the fantastic. True, you never saw me in a high school corridor without a big ol' Stephen King book (gah, I remember carting around THE STAND like it was a freakin' weapon. 'Tho, truly, at 800+ pages, it coulda bludgeoned a sucka) tucked under my arm.
And THIS is the cover of the sucka I toted around with me.

But the author that left a permanent mark on me (see: tattoo) was Barker. It's how I know I'm not a splatterpunk horror kind of chick. True, you'll find darkness, death and evil in IMAJICA, but it's shot through with the wicked perfume of the fantastic, which lends grace to my particular blend of darkness.

And I need grace - even if it's twisted. Which is why it's my favorite book of all time. So go pick it up. Immerse yourself in it. You might find your own a-ha moment in its pages. And if you don't, that's also cool. Cuz that might be your moment, too.

Ya with me? 'Course not; you're with YOU. So go with it, homes. Take your advice. You know what to do.

P.S. Hey, you made it! Thanks for reading this long post. 
Here's Reward #1:

Now you can SMELL like literary greatness! 

And here's Reward #2:
"It was the pivotal teaching of Pluthero Quexos, the most celebrated dramatist of the Second Dominion, that in any fiction, no matter how ambitious its scope or profound its theme, there was only ever room for three players."

 It's the opening line of IMAJICA. And below is some of Barker's art.
Don't say I never did anything fuh ya :D


Lydia Kang | May 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

More words of wisdom! Your post has so much energy, can I borrow some? And it's true. Gotta find your own way to your true self, in life, in writing...

Zoe C. Courtman | May 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Hey, Lydia! Thanks for scrolling down through this long, unwieldy post!! And you can borrow all the energy you need :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh | May 26, 2010 at 5:08 PM

I think I understand the a-ha moment!

Liza | May 26, 2010 at 5:09 PM

How lucky you found your place so early.

Lizard301 | May 26, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Was I with you when you got the Imajica tatoo? Or was the the kitty one? I love that you're still moving forward.


Hugs and all that mushy stuff,

Christine Fonseca | May 26, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Love this post...winding or not!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) | May 26, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Loved the post. Can you be my motivation coach? :)

James Garcia Jr | May 26, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Wow! There was a payoff, wasn't there? first, my wife hates it when I stop and enjoy A-Ha's "Take on Me". "Come into the new 'now'," she says. Secondly, I own Mr. Barker's "Imajica", but I was more into his "The Great and Secret Show". I must have read that thing eight times over the years.
I also own "The Stand" - the big version with all of the hacked pages put back in - but now I can't remember whether I actually ready it. Man! It's so big!
Thanks for the post.

Jaydee Morgan | May 26, 2010 at 8:05 PM

I totally agree with you. Sometimes we look to others for inspiration and encouragement when we really should be looking inside ourselves.

Great post!

Anonymous | May 26, 2010 at 8:19 PM

NIce post! I love the A-ha! song and LOVE, love, love Imajica!!!!! :D

Jamie Grey | May 26, 2010 at 8:41 PM

What a great post! I find I'm way too likely to take other people's advice than listen to my own. I think I'll have to work on that a-ha moment a little harder :)

And I'm definitely going to have to check out Imajica - I've never read any of Barker's work!

JustineDell | May 26, 2010 at 8:45 PM

I'm going to have to think back...waaay back for my aha! moment. I don't recall having one. Then again, I'm have a fish brain (you know...Dora in the movie Finding Nemo? Yeah, that's me...lol)


Danyelle | June 7, 2010 at 12:07 AM

*loved this* I love that you have different colors of flames. Great point on needing to be able to trust and understand yourself! :)

Zoe C. Courtman | June 7, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Hey, thanks for reading, Danyelle! It was kind of an incoherent post - but it looks like I got the gist across :D Thanks so much for commenting!!

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