Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19, 2015

http://www.howardfrankmosher.com
          Writers of the world, have you been working on your opus without a breakthrough for years?  Take heart. The mathematician Yitang Zhang, after decades of beating his head against a brick wall, intuited the solution to a very nearly impossible problem involving prime numbers while walking around in a friend’s back yard.  The only remotely comparable experience I’ve ever had was back in the summer of 2002 when virtually all of my novel Waiting for Teddy Williams came to me in a minute or two while I was driving very late at night on the New York State Thruway, near Batavia.  In small ways, however, I think we clueless scribblers intuit solutions to problems of character, story, language, and structure all the time.  To return to the field of mathematics – with a very bad pun – go figure.  Still, as I was putting the finishing touches on my own new novel (God’s Kingdom, St. Martin’s Press, Oct. 2015), it occurred to me that when it comes to the sources of creativity, there’s probably more in this world than is dreamt of in anybody’s philosophy. 

9 comments:

Amy Green said...

Howard, I am looking forward to reading your new book!

Amy (Eldridge) Green

Howard Frank Mosher said...

Thanks, Amy. Good to hear from you.

James Frase-White said...

As an artist I find that the muses speak at the strangest times. But when they do the puzzles resolves with clarity and mystery, like the hoot of an owl in the middle of the night. As with Ms. Green, I look forward to a new view of the Kingdom in your words.

Howard Frank Mosher said...

Thank you, James. Just looked at the video of your work. Beautiful!

Ann Young said...

Pooh said "You can't go out and get a poem. It gets you. All you can do is go where it can find you.
annyoungart.com
http://annyoungart.blogspot.com/

Radiant Hen said...

Ditto - looking very forward to your new novel! Re: the "magic" of those moments when we intuit the solution to something: Our minds are normally so clogged with day-to-day thoughts, distractions and stimulations that it's when we're driving, showering, meandering, weeding - doing anything that shuts all the restlessness down, that the mental/creative pipes become unclogged and the rush of that life-sustaining "water" takes place. What a joy it is when it happens!

By the way, the novel I'm working on now happened in a similar manner as you refer to in your blog post. I was driving and listening on repeat to a piece of piano music I love. My mind became open and lost in the drive and the sound. Suddenly there it was! Scene after scene! Characters! Details! Wow. An entire framework for a novel in 45 minutes. Crazy good. :-)

Mike said...

Can't wait for another romp in the magical Kingdom! It's been a long time but I'm sure the wait will have been worth it when October rolls around and 'God's Kingdom' rolls off the presses.

HilaryW said...

Howard - I hope you're well! I'm so looking forward to reading your next book. It was wonderful meeting you this fall and touring your kingdom, hearing the stories. I look forward to seeing you again - at Porter Square Books, perhaps?

All my best,
Hilary

Peter Graham said...

A university professor friend of mine (who teaches painting) once said, "Inspiration... that's for amateurs. Great works come from those who work at their craft every day..." Seeing his point, but not completely agreeing with him, my only response was that of F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The true sign of wisdom is the ability to see and hold two opposing opinions!" ;-)

I just finished "On Kingdom Mountain" (and yes, I've read all the others!) Without being a spoiler... it was a great read, and I really liked the interweaving of some of your earlier stories and characters... though I have to say, it didn't end the way I had expected... or had hoped... such is life.

Any connection to the old Vermont tale of "Mad Tom's Notch" and his missing gold...

Best,

Jamie