Michael Leong: On Ritual

Michael Leong: On Ritual

“Before sitting down to write, I methodically lay out my instruments as a good dentist always does before a nervous patient. Side by side, I place:  a toilet scrubber, a left-handed Allen wrench (my muse stubbornly insists on the term ‘zeta key’), a ridiculously sharp record needle, and a small collection of novelty pencil tops in good to excellent condition. I religiously avoid dairy products. I always make sure to polish my periscope. Sometimes, I prepare an elaborate hand of solitaire for somebody else, an honored guest who — nevertheless — never comes. I gargle a shot of bootleg holy water and throw everything off of my desk in a fit of demonic possession. I rip up the storyboards. I reverse engineer illegible alphabets. I practice a range of awkward bird calls that were specifically designed for the Cretaceous period. In my mind, I choose ideas as if I were skeet shooting at zero gravity. And when it seems the appropriate time (which depends upon the wind’s flavor, the inclination of the moon’s invisible sun), I release into polluted waters a fleet of a thousand black rice-paper submarines. They descend slowly, fueled as they are by their own inky dissolution.”

***

On Ritual at Big Other

Is it true, dear writer? Do people in all walks of life find that “starting off with a simple, ordered routine establishes a mindset which helps get any job done”? Questia claims it’s so (August 2009). I remain on a mission to prove or debunk the notion.

Help me. Jot down your writing ritual (or not). We’ll discover–and let readers know, finally and forever–if rituals really do pay off.

  • 300 word limit.
  • Rolling deadline.
  • Recommend others.
  • Reply with a pic of you–in your workspace or in outer space.
  • Replies, questions or comments: stacymus@gmail.com

Previously ritualized: Nicolle ElizabethGabriel Orgrease

*Some responses may be eligible for posting at American Short Fiction blog, where I began the On Ritual series.

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10 thoughts on “Michael Leong: On Ritual

  1. Pingback: Marcy Dermansky: On Ritual « BIG OTHER

  2. Pingback: Mary Hamilton: On Ritual « BIG OTHER

  3. Pingback: Today: Bill Cotter On Ritual. Tomorrow: Annie La Ganga On Ritual. « BIG OTHER

  4. Pingback: Yesterday: Bill Cotter On Ritual. Today: Annie La Ganga On Ritual. « BIG OTHER

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