Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hallinan Hosts Creative Living

I’ll bet you’ve met them, the enlightened souls who sit in coffee shops swilling espresso as they pen beat-poetry epics or thousand-page novels in the second person about the experience of the migrant worker. Ask them to define creativity, and you’ll probably get intentionally obscure metaphors or wandering monologues that leave you scratching your head. This is to be expected, of course, for you aren’t one of them -- especially if you have to ask.

Fortunately, there are folks like mystery writer
Timothy Hallinan who take a decidedly populist view of the creative arts. He has started a regular series about creativity on his blog, inviting writers, musicians, reporters and others to opine on their craft. My favorites include Christopher West’s skewering of "the Romantic notion of the 'genius,'" Jonathan Carroll’s suggestions on what to do when the flow of ideas stops, and Angela Woodall’s thoughts about how to wed passion with discipline. (Woodall's essay starts with a kicker of a quote from a 1938 writing manual: "Menial work at the expense of all true, ardent, creative work is a sin against the Holy Ghost.") No vague, self-serving reminiscences here, just nuts-and-bolts counsel on how to make nothing into something.

(Picture: CC 2008 by
Jim Blob Blann; Hat Tip: Detectives Beyond Borders)


Timothy Hallinan said...

Gee, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to find this, but I'm glad you like the CREATIVE LIVING series. It's on hiatus just now, but my own writing adventures and misadventures continue in the Blog Cabin section of my site, and there's a boatload of stuff in the Writer's Resources section, soon to be retitled Finishing Your Novel.

Those people in coffee shops -- if they're dressed all in black, avoid them like swine flu. They're nonwriters, all of them, and they're toxic to anyone who actually intends to get something on the page. LA is particularly rich in these poseurs (and, I suppose, posettes), but they're everywhere. I know because I write in coffee houses. I'm the guy with the beard and the colored T-shirt who's actually hitting the keys.

Thanks for the link.

Timothy Hallinan

Loren Eaton said...


Thank you for hosting it! Actually, all credit should really go to Peter Rozovsky of Detectives Beyond Borders. I get all of my mystery- and thriller-related stuff from him. And according to this post I need to get me a copy of Breathing Water.