Thursday, May 1, 2008

Make mistakes! Make mitsakes!

I always appreciate a little encouragement, since I do it anyway. Here are some tidbits I've gathered recently:

1. "Only the mediocre are always at their best."
--Jean Giraudoux, French writer and diplomat (1882–1944)

2. The "Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef" is crocheted models of kelp, anemones, slugs, and other creatures that make up coral reefs--from the exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The coral reef organisms pictured here are created from what could be considered "bad" crocheting:
"Aniqua Wilkerson, a member of the Harlem Knitting Circle [on my blogroll], explained she first learned to knit... through trial and error.
"She had tried to crochet hats, but they kept buckling.
'That was a mistake,' she said as she finished up a tightly woven urchin in lime green, melon and turquoise. 'I realized it was from increasing the stitches too much.' Which is precisely the method used to create hyperbolic forms."

--from a cool NYT article that links math, science, knitting and ecology: "Want to Save a Coral Reef? Bring Along Your Crochet Hook".

3. from "Last Night":
Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt a marvelous error;
That I had a beehive here inside my heart.
And the golden bees were making white combs
And sweet honey from my past mistakes.

--Spanish poet Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

4. A bit of advice [on writing graphic novels, but it goes for anything] from Mike Mignola:
"I CAN pass on something that Frank Miller told me when I was about to start Hellboy--It's as good advice as I've ever gotten on this subject. He said something like 'just do it, do the best you can, don't drive yourself crazy, just KNOW that when you look back on it you're going to hate it. It can't be helped. The next one will be better.' "

5. “The thing about writing is that even your failures get reclassified as raw material.”
--Sci-fi and Fantasy writer Lois McMaster Bujold, 2008


Rudyinparis said...

This must be something percolating in your subconsciousness on and off over the years... a long time ago you sent me a postcare with the great Samuel beckett quote: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." I still think of it often. (Actually, I still have the postcard, too. Somewhere.) Fail better. Perfect simplicity.

Love the Mike Mignola tidbit. never thought of it that way--it's enormously freeing advice.

Rudyinparis said...

"Postcare!" Lovely typo.

fresca said...

"Postcare" for failure, eh?
(Despite working as a proofreader sometimes, I am the worst at it in my own life.)
How amazing that you still have the Beckett quote, R.--it's one of my favorites from way back.
I decided not to include it in this list because I have quoted it sooooo often.
I think the Giradoux one is almost even better...
I take comfort that if I fail better enough, I will turn into a coral reef.

Anonymous said...

barrett's reply on miscellany!!
(enjoyed all new blogs)

fresca said...

I love your blog response, Barrett!
I think it's so fun when there's that kind of "ripple effect" or wide-angle response on blogs---I notice sometimes people pick up similar themes (or reply to an article of something current) and they ripple through the blogosphere.
Fun connections!

Rosie said...

I love your Antonio Machado quote. The golden bees are welcome to pass by my heart and do their best with my worst