In Love with Words

Words are more than just a writer’s tools; they are his reason for existing. Well, existing as a writer anyway; we do have other tools for other jobs, but since this a blog about writing, let’s pretend that nothing else exists.

The writer who loves words can’t keep himself from playing with them; if they were children, he’d be arrested as a pedophile. Always posing them this way and that to the best effect, he might also be considered a torturer; pulling, twisting, tweaking, stretching, and otherwise abusing them to get them to reveal their hidden meanings: the ones that fit perfectly in the sentence.

Luckily for a writer’s sanity, there are a limited number of such words to a page, so writers who actually are insane can’t really use that as an excuse.

You know who you are.

In my own writing, I find that I can spend hours on one or two sentences. Not necessarily all at once, but in the aggregate of all the readings, re-readings, and re-re-readings. There’s always a new twist to explore.

Maybe I’m insane. (I just spent 5 minutes on the difference between I’m and I am in the sentence.)

I know that we’re all trying to sell our books, but I’d like to try and keep this blog mostly about writing, not selling. A calm break,if you will, from the mad world of publishing & marketing that’s getting madder by the day.

Come, relax, talk about our favorite subject. Let your hair down – but try to keep it out of your eyes.

Call me Ted.

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11 thoughts on “In Love with Words

  1. Johnbob2013

    I an a retired lawyer that started off wanting to
    be a journalist which took me to Mount Royal College in Calgary but wound up becoming a
    Lawyer. This practice never satisfied my driving need to be creative, so here I am today starting to become an author. Ill probably starve but one can do that as a lawyer.

    Reply
  2. Eileen Obser

    Very very nice, Ted. It looks good and what you write is totally on the mark. Thanks for letting me be one of the first to see this. I’ll be re-doing my own website shortly, make it more modern and writer-ly. Like yours is!

    Reply
  3. venniey

    Ted, nice blog. I am beginning to see how rereading for editing can cause all sorts of mental contortions and can be addictive as well. Thanks for all your help with my mom’s life story.

    Reply
  4. Isak Lytting

    Hello Ted.

    I would like to read your book on Millbrook. I am considering getting a Kindle to read it.

    I became interested in psychedelics around the age of 13, because I was interested in philosophy, and had had certain spontaneous paranormal and supranormal experiences during meditation and trace. I didn’t actually encounter a psychedelic until I was 19. After having a lot of amazing, wonderful experiences, I kind of got stuck, and felt unable to proceed or retreat on my own, and sought the help of a more experienced person. The only person I immediately thought of and whose email I also had, was Arthur Kleps.

    I wrote him that I was having trouble understanding what to do, and that I was trying to use Leary’s “The Psychedelic Experience:” (The Tibetan Book of the Dead), and he just wrote me back “Don’t read that shit! Use my stuff.”. I was quite shocked by this response in view of the seriousness of my need, but I decided to take his words on face value, since I had no sense that I could use any conflicting advice.

    At first, I was bewildered, but in time I became obsessed with the book.

    On a different path, around the age of 20 or 21, I had an incredibly bad trip, due to some darkness in my life, and not respecting set and setting. It was just horriffic, and I have been trying to find myself again for the last 19 years. I had lost my heart and sense of meaning. The first 10 years after were just hell. In fact it was worse, and I couldn’t describe it to myself or to others. In any case, I was a stranger in a strange land. Life seemed unfamiliar, and I was suffering to an indescribable extent.

    All kinds of shit has happened since, but I have been making progress in small, infinitesimally small steps. Unnoticable, but apparently amounting to real change over time. Like drops becoming a raging river or cutting through rock.

    I have a very strange relationship to Arthur Kleps. I am mad at myself for giving up my own sense of direction, and adopting his, but that’s not his fault I guess. I still don’t know exactly what Kleps meant. I am sorry I didn’t ask him more questions while he was alive, but I had all kinds of complexes about having to do things myself, and that if I asked him, it would somehow show that I didn’t really understand what he meant, and that I wasn’t supposed to ask but find his words adequate. I was scared of asking him. One time, after taking the courage, I sent him a letter saying “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” And he replied very angry that I should just ask my question. That made me so scared of asking him again, fearing to be scolded, that I never really asked a proper question again. Only years later did I feel I probably should have aksed about some of the things that were confusing me, instead of insisting to myself that all answers had to be in the book, and that I just hadn’t thought enough about it.

    I would like to know how some of the people who knew him felt about him. I have only talked to one other person who knew him, but it was later, in the late 1970’s, I think. I recently tried asking Ralph Metzner, but he seemed to resent me asking him.

    Do you have any insight on the man?

    I am sorry I am not clear and concise, and probably not asking the proper way or even the proper questions.

    Thank you.

    Isak Sebastian Lytting

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    There is only one thing you have to know about Arthur Kleps.
    He was fucking insane.
    If you wish to regain your sanity and mental health, expunge him and everything he ever said from your mind.
    In the end, Kleps became a roaring Antisemite and out-and-out racist.
    A totally worthless human being.
    He had nothing to teach anyone except how to be a falling down drunk.
    I don’t know if this will help, but you are probably 10 times the person Kleps was.
    Spend not another moment on him or his teachings.

    Reply

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