Tuesday, May 26, 2009

You running out of ideas?

Lily Furedi's Subway

I had a quick visit with a cousin I don't see very often, and we were catching up on life and such. He asked me how the writing was going, and I said it's kind of slow right now. He misunderstood, and asked if I was having a hard time coming up with ideas.

Well, the idea well is never really dry. In fact, knock on wood, I have enough ideas to last me for, like, seven lifetimes. I'll never get them all written. Ideas are never my problem. Slow sales- that can be a problem.

My only consolation is that sales have been relatively slow across the board. I'm thanking my lucky stars that it's not just me. The only book industry still booming, from what I understand, is the national romance novel sector. I can understand, because I am a die-hard romance fan myself, and I'm always a sucker for the guaranteed happy ending.

Life is cyclical, or so I've been told, and I have high hopes that things will pick up again. I was thinking about these things when I opened my newly-delivered Smithsonian Magazine this afternoon. This current issue is so full of good stuff! I was especially enamored of an article on Depression-era paintings. This is the link to the article, and if you visit it, which I'm sure you will after this, click to see all the pictures they highlight. As the author, Jerry Adler, explains- there's such a sense of optimism in these beautiful paintings. Like people knew the hard times would pass and life would again be pleasant.

I worry about abusing copyright law, and hope that I haven't, but I had to include two of my favorites here. The one above is the "seedy subway crowd," which totally makes me laugh because hello, they look better put-together than most of us today in our Sunday best.

This one is called Tenement Flats, by Millard Sheets. It speaks to me because of its sense of community among women; it makes me think of my friends I love and spend time with up and down my neighborhood streets, and I appreciate the strength I draw from them.

I sometimes think it would be an awful lot of fun to live in such quarters as this, and to be such a part of each others' daily lives in close proximity. (Then we'd probably be all mad at each other for hanging our laundry in someone else's spot or the kids making too much noise, running around inside...but for a while, hey. Total fun).

At any rate, these images give me a reminder that my ancestors on both sides seem to shout from the dust: work is always the answer. Reminds me of my favorite line from Disney's "The Great Mouse Detective." "There's always a chance, Doctor. As long as one can think." I figure if I can keep thinking, I can keep producing.

And truly, there are moments in my day when I am so thankful just to be here for the journey. What a privilege. :-)


Jeri Gilchrist said...

Oooooo! Excellent blog, Nancy. I loved it. Cool pictures too.

I just dumped eleven chapters because I didn't like them.
But then here comes another idea--

The ideas are there... it's just a matter of putting them together.

Loved the quote from Disney as well. I just need to keep thinking.

Lynn Gardner said...

Speaking of the Smithsonian, did you read The Last Page article? Absolutely fascinating bit on Amanda McKittrick Ros achieving lasting fame as a novelist - one who has now been dead for 50 years but is still being read and laughed at because of her penchant for alliteration. In fact, the Oxford Literary Group held a contest to see who could read her work aloud longest while keeping a straight face. You all MUST read the article. I think you can access it on Smithsonian.com

By the way, enjoyed your ideas and commments about ideas! Lynn

Michele Ashman Bell said...

This is a great blog and those pictures are amazing. I love the feel of them and the warm, inviting colors.

I am an eternal optimist. I get down occasionally but I always try and find the positive. It's my nature, as annoying as it can be sometimes.

I loved the positive spin you gave your blog. We can never have too much positive in our lives, can we?

Thanks so much, Nancy.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Great post, Nancy. And I loved the pictures, too. Keeping hope alive is crucial, especially during difficult times. That's what keeps us going. ;)