Warning: strpos() [function.strpos]: needle is not a string or an integer in /data/15/1/90/7/1416985/user/1521579/htdocs/blog/comments.php on line 34

Warning: strpos() [function.strpos]: needle is not a string or an integer in /data/15/1/90/7/1416985/user/1521579/htdocs/blog/comments.php on line 35

Warning: strpos() [function.strpos]: needle is not a string or an integer in /data/15/1/90/7/1416985/user/1521579/htdocs/blog/comments.php on line 36
Serpent Blog - The Serpent Box Letters

Serpent Blog

The Serpent Box Letters 


There is a quote attributed to Hemingway that I cannot verify, but it sounds like something he would believe, if not actually say and it goes something like this:

"Some writers were born to help another write a single sentence."

And it is true. As writers we not only help each other to write, but it is our solemn responsibility to do so. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, including old Papa. But this duty, this responsibility goes beyond obligation. The gift that one writer gives to another, in helping him or her to believe, is an act of love.

This is a small story about one of those rare writers.

You wake up very early, sometimes before the sun, and you watch the light as it comes. You wake but not fully, you move slow and remain quiet and you wait for the feeling to come and then you face the page. There you sit. Alone. Day after day after day. What will come? You ask yourself this question every day and you fall asleep asking it of God. What will come? And nobody answers you. Will anything come today? You try to see things that are not really there and never were there before you imagined them. You stare at the blank page but you’re really looking inward, for some semblance of a waking dream. That’s what it is if you’re lucky, a self-induced dream. If you can will the dream to come you can watch it play and then it’s sort of like dictation except there’s no voice, only a stream of images that you record with your hand like some medium pulling messages out from beyond.

Writing is the loneliest thing there is. I mean riting from the heart. Writing beyond what you know. Writing toward the center of yourself. Writing as discovery. Writing as a means to knowing – not just who you truly are, but who we all are and what it means to be alive, and not merely alive but living, why do we keep on living? This is what you ask when your writing is true. Writing from darkness toward light. This is a great and difficult journey. This is a hero’s quest. And it is very lonely. And it is terrifying in its loneliness. And the world outside yourself will try to crush you with solitude and the world inside yourself will try to destroy you with doubt.

But if you are very lucky you will have a friend. Please God, help me. Send me an angel. If you are very, very lucky you will find another like yourself who understands this drive, this desire, this need, to plumb the depths of this living, with words, which are magic and which were given to us by God to literally create realities and to help us understand ourselves and to change our lives and, if used wisely, to change the world for good. This is true of writers, but it’s true of all people who sincerely want to grow, to transform, and evolve into a better, loving human beings. If you are lucky you will find a friend who takes you by the hand and guides you toward the light.


Writing Serpent Box was the most difficult challenge I have ever faced. How do you write a book? Where do you begin? You can research and plan and outline. You can read and study. You can travel to your desired locations and interview other human beings. But eventually you face the blank page. Then what? You have to put something on the page and someone has to read it. And when you’re new, and green and a child, with no preparation or background in writing, that person has to tell you the truth. And if that person understands you, and if they love you and believe in you, then you stand a chance at surviving the onslaught that will be hurled at you every single day. All the doubt, all the fear, all those voices that are telling you that you can’t do it, that you should quit, that you don’t have what it takes. All you need to weather the storm is another writer who is a friend.

In 1999 I went to Belize and met a writer who changed my life. His name is Andrew Wilson and he has been my mentor ever since. We became friends at the Zoetrope All-Story Short Story Writer’s Workshop. It was in Belize that I began my odyssey. Everything changed in that high forest near the Guatemalan border. I wrote the first line of Serpent Box in Belize and left that country determined to turn writing from a hobby into my life’s great passion. Andrew Wilson, who is more talented than I, who has more experience than I, who has written one of the best novels I have ever read (a novel as yet unpublished) listened to me, read my work, and was there for me during the dark and hopeless days when I not only wanted to quit, but wanted to die.

I wrote Andrew a letter every day before I began my writing and sent them to him via email. I used those letters to bolster my confidence and to weigh ideas. They were sounding boards, those letters were, and often Andrew would answer them with a few well-chosen words of advice, or, with a quotation from some great writer who had gone through what I was going through. My letters were cries for help and Andrew replied with love. I grew to trust him, and thus, to trust myself. Knowing that a living, loving human being was out there listening to me was enough to keep me going through some very dark times.

The Serpent Box Letters were inspired by The East of Eden Letters, written by John Steinbeck to his editor Pascal Covici while Steinbeck was writing that great novel. Reading Steinbeck’s letters showed me that all writers, regardless of stature or level of success, continue to struggle each time they try to pull a book out of themselves that is greater than themselves. Writing a book that is bigger than yourself, that is far-reaching, and that tries to answer a great question that burns within you, is a hero’s quest. And the great heroes of myth never do it alone.

Here now is the first letter I wrote to Andrew Wilson, only a few months into the process of writing Serpent Box. By this time it had become my routine to work in a local coffee shop each morning, a wonderful place called The Higher Grounds Café in the Glen Park district of San Francisco.

January 9, 2002 - The Higher Grounds Café, San Francisco

Andrew,

Today I begin what I hope will become a daily habit, a way to warm up my fingers and loosen my writing head. It is a glorious morning, and I cannot tell you how important that is for one’s state of mind. If there is sun, and most importantly, shadow, I know that the day’s writing will be rich and full of raw emotion. Yesterday I wrote in the morning in long-hand, as I explained, and in the afternoon I transcribed some of that onto my little Mac laptop which I love so much. I write everything in long-hand first and then transcribe onto the Mac. This process is arduous, and the transcription is many times more difficult than the actual writing. This is because I labor over it and mull it over, and read it, again and again and sometimes out loud so I can get a sense of cadence and tone. I fill in all the blanks this way and beef up the writing and it becomes rich like churned butter as I work it over and over during this part of the process. I know now that I will have to go back into the manuscript and add scenes. I suppose that on my first pass I hit all the highlights and perhaps leave out the broader and perhaps more important mundane aspects of the world my people live in.

I approach the work with great excitement today. This is because I think I know what the next scene will be. It is so strange to have these visions, these waking dreams in which I see fictional people alive and in motion. Sometimes I feel like an unwilling prophet, like Jonah or Isaiah, with these dreams thrust upon me from above. I feel as much pain and consternation as they, and I wish that if God actually wanted to speak through me, he would just appear and be done with it…

One thing before I go. I feel bad about yesterday. I don’t think I was much help to you, and I so badly want to give back. I sensed a reluctance in you, I felt that perhaps you had wanted to say more. I am nobody to be giving you advice about writing, but I feel we are kindred spirits in other ways too, and that I am more than qualified to speak on the subject of angst and pain. Particularly pain. And I feel it my friend. Like a an old wound of war, a bullet too close to the spine, it’s always with me, and there are days when I am so close to the black edge that I can hardly believe I escaped a darker fate…I know now that is the words that saved me, if I did not find books when I did, my path would have been very bleak indeed. Perhaps this is what Tim O’Brien means when he says that stories can save us…

VLC

To read more letters please come back tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that...

replica 






A handbaghermes handbags that is jp tods handbagcurrently in seasonlouis vuitton bags and in high demand is not fendi handbagslikely to beceline bags discounted.Second considerLouis Vuitton replicathe company. Take a Maurice Lacroix replicagood look at their website. Is it easy to contactMontblanc replica them? Do they provide more than just an email address?movado replica Can you contact dior handbagsthem by phone? Where juicy couture replicaare they located? If thomas wyldethe information is available, valentino handbagslook into who runs the company. Are they up front with who Maurice Lacroix watchesis behind the website or is it shrouded in mystery?Montblanc watches You Maurice Lacroix watchescan often find this information replica Christian Dior on the about us page.replica croum The last thing you can look at is the return policy.



ed hardy 
There are new cheap ed hardy stores in New York, Los Angeles, Tucson and Dubai. But ed hardy for women here. That $20 million-a-year business, is the handiwork of French-born marketing ace
ed hardy board shorts, who pushed the Von Dutch brand and now has everybody from Madonna to Larry King draped in ed hardy. It's a pleasing turn of events for an ed hardy outlet, who made his bones tattooing daggered hearts and anchors on sailors in San Diego in the raffish old days before body art became respectable. Now it almost seems as if there's a Starbucks and a ed hardy shoes parlor on every corner. You can find an ed hardy teeand ed hardy swimwear everywhere.


game 

Do you know karos online carat? Do you want to buy cheap karos carat? Do you want to get more karos gold?

cabal online Gold 
Gamers ought to know Cabal Alz or cabal online Gold if they really like to play this game. All gamers want to buy Cabal Online Alz to promote their character level easily, more Cabal money they own, more items they can buy in game. While we provide you Cabal Online Alz, surely you can get them at cheap prices. I think you must like cabal Gold and cheap Cabal Alz if you are really a gamer.

potbs money 
Do you know Pirates of the Burning Sea Gold? It also called potbs gold. If you are a gamer I think you want to get much potbs Doubloon and potbs money. If you want to play this game, you need to buy potbs Doubloon. And if you do not know how to buy cheap potbs gold, you can ask me.

wow power leveling 

we offer wow gold and last chaos gold and wow gold or wow power leveling

LaTale Ely 
In my mind in the game if you do not had enough La Tale online Ely, you will not feel happy, my friends know that I do not had enough La Tale Ely, so he send me some LaTale Ely, I was very like the La Tale gold, he was kindliness, he know how to cheap La Tale Ely.

62 
cheap Jordans for saleAir Jordan is a Jordan Brand, a sub-Nike, which created and adopted by Michael.jordans for sale In 1984 the first Air Jordan was released,since then the emergence of a new shoe released annually, and never break off even Michael Jordan retired from professional basketball. nike jordans

61 
<a href="http://www.jordans.cc/">discount jordans</a>People select Nike just for the brand name and respect they have for the brand. Once they get used to a certain brand, they are honest to it. <a href="http://www.jordans.cc/">cheap jordans</a>When it comes to Nike, has enough freedom of choice for young people, adults and athletes. Nike's view is that 'Be Truel'. <a href="http://www.jordans.cc/">cheap jordans</a>

sara 
Shoes and sports shoes have to meet with the game such as skateboarding and basketball. A specific brand, Nike Dunk SB has launched a style for skateboarding. The shoes have been designed in such a way that it can provide adequate support, both heels and toes. cheap jordans
The player can also be affordable, even in the difficult game injured. SB in the use of materials and Nike Zoom Air insole is the use of high quality. Nike lent relaxation to SB with bloated tongue to foot. Nike dunk simple compared to Nike for Security. The two brands does not compromise the quality and durability. Nike Dunk less fashionable, unique and relatively low-profile Nike shoes Security. discount jordans

qw 

EDhardy
Men
Men Apparel
Men Shorts
Men Hoodies
Men Tank
Men Briefs
Men Denim
Men New Arrive
Men Pants
Men Polo
Men Tee

fdfd 
For a new Atlantica online Gold player has just entered the game spend. First of all, realize the Atlantica Gold is useful to the each new player. You only play with others and buy Atlantica online Gold can get happy from the game. After learned at the game world, you may found the cheap Atlantica online Gold and the most basic survival skills. However, Atlantica online money can also save a lot your time.

siwn 

Do you want to make more EQ2 Plat, now listen to me carefully. As long as you have time, play the game Dungeon Fighter Online. EQ2 Gold will be easy gotten. You also can sell some equipment to get the Everquest 2 Gold. The other way is to Everquest 2 Platinum.


star trek online gold 
Do you know star trek credits ?if you play the online game,you will know star trek online credits is the game gold. In the game, if you had more star trek gold , you will had a tall level. But if you want sto credits , you can come here and spend a little money to bought star trek online gold.

replica watche 
cheap fake watches<BR>cheap replica watches<BR>watches replica<BR>watches for sale<BR>replica watch<BR>replica watches<BR>Ferrari watches<BR>

LOTRO Gold 
Do you know LOTRO Gold?in the online game,if you had more Lord Of The Rings Gold,you can had more tall level.you want to Lord Of The Rings online Gold,you can come here and spend a little money to bought Lord Of The Rings online money and LOTRO money.Quickly come here.

Star Wars Galaxies credits 
It is necessary to get gold and develop levels, that is <a href="http://www.goldswg.com/">buy swg credits</a>. Players often get <a href="http://www.goldswg.com/">swg gold</a> to use. Enhance combat effectiveness to defeat rivals, the first and the most important task is to get the <a href="http://www.goldswg.com/">Star Wars Galaxies credits</a>. As soon as you play this game, you will spend time thinking deeply: how to get the <a href="http://www.goldswg.com/">Star Wars Galaxies gold</a> quickly and easily. Then sell it to <a href="http://www.goldswg.com/">buy swg credits</a>.

fdsfsd 
For a new fifa2 gold player has just entered the game spend. First of all, realize the fifa2 online gold is useful to the each new player. You only play with others and buy fifa2 gold can get happy from the game. After learned at the game world, you may found the cheap fifa2 goldd and the most basic survival skills. However, fifa2 money can also save a lot your time.



cabal online alz 
<a href="http://www.u4game.com/Cabal-Online-96.html">cabal online alz</a> plays an important role in the game, we all know that <a href="http://www.u4game.com/Cabal-Online-96.html">cabal alz</a> can make all the game players happy.

Archlord gold 
Do you know Archlord gold? if you play the online game, you will know that Archlord online gold is the game gold, in the game if you had more Archlord money, you will had a tall level, but if you want to Buy Archlord gold you can come here and only spend a little money then can bough the cheap Archlord online gold. Quickly come to buy Archlord online money.

cheap blade soul gold 
<a href="http://www.bladeandsoulgold.com/">blade soul gold</a> is one of the most important item when you would like to play the game. There are many <a href="http://www.bladeandsoulgold.com/">blade and soul gold</a> online shops where you can <a href="http://www.bladeandsoulgold.com/">buy blade soul gold</a>. If you select a reputable <a href="http://www.bladesoulgold.com/">blade soul money</a> retailer, you can get <a href="http://www.bladeandsoulgold.com/">cheap blade soul gold</a>.



wow power leveling 
I link wow gold and wow Power Leveling wow power leveling wow gold

wow power leveling 
I link wow gold and wow Power Leveling wow power leveling wow gold

Dragonica Gold 
Gamers ought to know Dragonica Gold, or Dragonica Crone if they really like to play this game. All gamers want to buy Dragonica Gold to promote their character level easily, more Dragonica money they own, more items they can buy in game. While we provide you cheap Dragonica Gold, surely you can get them at cheap prices.

Serena 
Thanks for the article. I hear one can get free premium account at rapidshare search engines . Is it so?


whyz20 

Support of the Lou Zhu, Lou Zhu worked hard
Signature--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.
ugg classic cardy



Runescape Money  
827833691754616491645235 Gatheryn transports Runescape Money players to Eve Isk a world in Dofus Kamas the fantastic Runescape Gold Victorian located Gaia Gold Elymia Island, Eve Online Isk where players Gaia Online Gold will face Maple Story Mesos challenges and Lotro Gold mini-games to discover Last Chaos Gold the secrets of the island. Gatheryn is a LastChaos Gold 3D virtual world where Dofus Kamas players can Runescape Money socialize Dofus Kamas Pas Cher and have fun through Acheter des Kamas over 30 types Kamas Dofus of mini-games Jordan Shoes different.

Comments 
Comments are not available for this entry.