Something Beautiful

I would like to write something beautiful.  An entire, beautiful novel. 

I like beautiful things. Most people do, I'm assuming. Two days ago I was floating in the middle of a big cool lake looking at a sunset on one horizon and a fat, white rising moon on the other.  That was beautiful. I think my tortoiseshell cat, Frenchie, is beautiful. I think a well-played game of chess is beautiful and I think my strange, eclectic set of friends is beautiful.  When I see a beautiful woman in a summer dress, I get a feeling in my heart that resembles a pile of dry leaves being stirred around by the wind, an unsettling mixture of lust, envy, and joy topped off by a muted sorrow that must have something to do with the impermanence of life (a quality that, of course, just makes life all the more beautiful).

I have tried my hand many times at bringing beauty to the page, with varying degrees of success. I've had my moments (or my stories and the characters within them have had their moments) but I've never manged to sustain Beauty all the way through a fictional work (Wormwood, Nevada was my closest attempt, in my opinion, for which I received no end of flak in the genre reviews). A need to plot always creeps in, a desire to show off and entertain. And the free market doesn't exactly reward beautiful writing-rarely does a beautiful book make it on to the bestseller list, and if it does there's usually some other prime marketing force at work.

Maybe this is all as it should be-maybe struggling toward beauty is a beautiful thing in and of itself.


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