There's no half glass full - fewer people are reading fiction.

I've seen a quote attributed to Steven Jobs several times over the last week, concerning how few Americans read books. I traced it back to an interview with the NY Times in January of this year. Yes, he did say that “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.". As an aspiring writer, I find that depressing as all hell. Please, let him have his facts wrong. Searching further, I can't find what his source for that number was, but I did find a study published in 2004 with data from 2002 by the National Endowments for the Arts. Maybe Mr. Jobs has slightly more recent numbers, because it turns out that 56% had read a book, but that's only if you include non-fiction. If you're only looking at novels, short stories, plays, or poetry, just 46& had read a book. And that's not a steady figure. It's almost 10% than ten years earlier. The closest thing to any good news for a fiction writer in the NEA study is that the actual number of readers has stayed approximately the same because of population growth.

Oh, and if the hard facts that there are fewer people reading literature isn't a dark enough cloud, there's this little tidbit from the study - more people are writing. Goody. More competition.


Week 3, exercise 6, 3 of 3

I want to describe the sparkle, 
but those eyes are cold and black.
This story will have no happy ending
the demon muse has come back.

In my mind I see day kissed skin,
two bodies entwined as one.
But the story that he would tell
Is from a world with no sun.

My plot would have you call a lover.
But you simply will not obey.
You are every bit the hunter,
a spider that lures its prey

I loathe to write the lines that follow,
when he cowers in your heat.
I've been in this dark space before
No partner deserves such mistreat.


Week 3, Exercise 6, 2 of 3

The Closet

Little boy lost, little boy found
Little boy, in the ground.
Gotta grow up
gotta do you thing.
Little boy lost
Gonna be a big man.

Try to do the right thing
try to act the same.
Gonna marry your sweetheart
do the other on the side
Do the right thing
Gotta be a real man.

Look at all the pretty girls
Don’t you want a turn?
Stop doing what you do
Never should have gone that far 
Little boy gotta learn
The lies they call a man.


Week 3, Exercise 6

I  restarted Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book two weeks ago.  One of the exercises for this week is to "Settle into mystery" and to do that, I am to write a poem a day for three days.  Sure, I could write them and file them away in my laptop.  But that's one of the problems I'm trying to address - the confidence to publish.  Before my inner critic can talk me out of it, I send one raw and first draftish poem out into the everlasting world of the internet.

Negative energy

I don't know enough about physics
or the natural world
to say where this energy comes from.

I only know that I can feel the pull
when you are here
And when you are gone there is none.

You are a mass, a gravitational pull
At worst, a black hole
I’ve tried to balance too long.

When you are gone I move along
I have found the center
of my own universe. It is me.