Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Madoc Curse

As I read and reread (and reread) the Absolute Sandman, I find myself returning to a handful of stories repeatedly: A Dream of a Thousand Cats, all the Hob Gadling stories, and Calliope.
Calliope is the muse of words, held in the power of a writer to feed him ideas.
The story spoiler comes next, offered as a caution for the six people in the comics/ horror/ SF worlds who have not yet read this story.
When she is rescued by Morpheus, he floods the writer's mind with more ideas than imaginable.
The ideas prove beyond the hapless writer's control.
What strikes me as a bit of a dodge in this story, probably not intentionally on Gaiman's part, is that it's not ideas that are hard. It's execution.
It's easy to mull and wax philosophic about all the wonderful things that are going to happen after your work comes to life: you have shelves of books with your byline, you are celebrated for your innovation and genius, and when you travel to discuss the work and ideas, you don't ahve to pick up the tab. Oh, yeah. Your home is magically bigger and cleaner.
The ideas are crucial, but without execution, they truly are a curse: this is what could be. Make what could be into what is.
Well, I'm off to go into the studio.
But then, I'd have to be!

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