Hey all, it is that time once again for another installment of Letters of Questioning! This week we have a guest post coming at you from Dreamland’s Insurgents.
Greetings, dear friend Ravyn,
I have watched your last bout of writing with great interest – and amusement! The muse stories with the “Bob Ross lookalike” and Richard Simmons have got to be some of the funniest stories I’ve read in a looong time.
When “Tears for My Muse” opens, I was bracing myself for a serious story full of sorrows. The moping, tragic artist as bedraggled hero. But juxtapose that with Eilack, the heartless painter who stores up the artist’s tears and serves them back to him later – damn. I felt like that drama queen got his comeuppance!
“The Pioneer” is even funnier. This is one of those times where your commitment to just the right punctuation pays off. The protagonist’s discomfort is awesome … and definitely shared. Using the second person here pays off really well. I have to put myself in the body – the corpulent body – of another person, and the cognitive dissonance just haunts the whole thing. So the humor – which is always sort of a release valve for feeling uncomfortable – is just in constant tension because of the leap my imagination has to make!
Finally, I want to talk about “Shadow’s Savior.” As a working-class scholar, I found this one the most stimulating on that level. “Factory work was all that was available to me,” the narrator begins. It quickly unfolds that the material processed in this factory is unusual – and the narrator, too, must be unusual to be any good at it. And yet the setting of a factory conjures up so much more. This isn’t a workshop where a skilled artisan owns his own means of producing artisanal or custom products. He’s alienated from his labor – and what’s more, we find out, the raw materials he’s working on are stolen from someone else. Stolen shadows: an intimate theft.
It’s capitalism, all the way down!
You asked in your last letter, “What is it that inspires the uninspired and the tired?” I think sometimes, the struggle itself has to be the inspiration. That eternal fight – which lasts only as long as we do, of course, but precedes us and gets handed down to others. We have to save the shadows. Find the folks who have less than us, realize our relationship – that our lives and theirs depend on one another. And see through the illusion. Isn’t a factory a good metaphor for illusion? The raw material comes in without history or explanation. You do your job. The finished product leaves. You can’t even afford to keep a piece. The wool is pulled over your eyes the whole time.
I want to know more about your muse stories, though. These have the making of a really fun series! How many are you going to have? Are they related? And how have your own experiences with your fickle muse inspired these stories?
Well, I think that’s all the time I have for today. But don’t worry, I will have more questions for you soon!
Viva the resistance!
There you have it folks. Another round of inspiring thoughts, or thoughts to inspire, or question, or… well… something! What are YOUR burning questions, we implore you, please by all means, ask us! We love to hear from you, our rabid fans, or is that rabbit fans? Who knows, but I do know that we love to hear your thoughts, so please express them in the comments!