Books Personal

Range of Desire

If you haven’t seen the news, KGS had a piece published in Nerve this week. After reading it, then re-reading it, then going back to examine the use of language…well, I’m blown away.

I knew that she was a good writer. I mean, you don’t have to read Free Range Librarian long to know that, not to mention all the other pieces she’s written over the years (and no, that’s not an age joke, kgs). But this one really was different in a substantial way than the things I’ve read from her before.

It was personal. The enormous amount of effort this must have taken…seriously, just read this:

My heart thumps. I slowly accept the gun with my left hand, watching through the corner of my eyes so I know the shopgirl is observing how nicely, how safely, how carefully I handle the pistol, always pointing it down and away. This delicacy, this attention to detail, this awareness that I must Never Point At Anything I Don’t Plan to Shoot: in my shyness, this is the closest I can get to flirting, an activity I should not be engaged in anyway — except that as long as I am in a gun shop, an activity which I know would earn me a severe scolding from my beloved, I might as well be naughty all around.

This is writing that is alive, full of verve and vibrance and it’s in your head and your heart all at once. Whenever someone asks me who my favorite authors are, my stock answer is “anyone who makes me want to write.” And that’s true…all my favorite authors use language that make me think “Goddamnit man, why are you not doing that?” Truly great writing make me want to carve words out of the future, using them as weapons, as blankets, as nourishment.

This essay made me want to write.

One reply on “Range of Desire”

Thanks, Jason… I love your thoughts and I agree that to read writing that speaks to me makes me want to write as well.

Writing is like software… the first draft is only a gleam in the eye of what can be; the real writing comes out of patient iteration. Find yourself a quiet corner once a week, then write, and write, and write, and revise, and write, and revise. Maybe after the baby is sleeping through the night, though 😉

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