Leventhal Dot Com

I'd prefer not to

Month: May, 2012

Cut the Deck

During a slow period at work I’m shuffling a deck of cards. A customer asks if I want to play High Card Low Card. How do you play? I don’t know, he says, why don’t you cut the deck. I draw a card from the top of the first stack. It’s the ace of spades. You’re in trouble, I tell him. He draws the card from the top of the second stack. It’s the ace of clubs. We’re both weirded out for a bit, and then someone orders a latte and I have to make it.

I know this is supposed to be about writing, but just wanted to let you know that apparently I was already a comic genius when I was eight.

who eats who

More on drawing

Lynda Barry’s really into the weird thing that happens between your brain and your hand, whether you’re writing or drawing. I used to write all my first drafts by hand and then type them up. I don’t do it anymore, because I feel like my laptop is the most transparent means I have to write with – I notice I’m writing the least when I use it. I know someone who writes on an electric typewriter because with it, forward is the only direction she can go. I like that idea, but I know that if I wrote on a typewriter I would get so captivated by how cute and precious and writerly I was that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. When I was a teenager I wrote on my parents’ very old Underwood, and I’m pretty sure nothing decent got written, though there are many pictures that document the occasions.

Anyway, drawing is a really good thing to do when you can’t write for a bit but you don’t want to leave your desk and you don’t want to go on the internet. Barry suggests drawing a spiral to keep your hand moving. That’s the important thing, keep your hand moving. I tried using that method when I was doing creative writing workshops with angry teenage girls, and they would draw a spiral as fast as possible and then be like “Done. Here’s your spiral, okay.”

More drawing