As I decompress from one insane weekend and prepare for another, I’m finding it hard to get back in the blogging groove…. blogging, not writing. Actually, I’ve been keeping super busy there, between reviews and making time to work out some poems. (a few really brief and odd new poetry exercises are now playing at (WIP) if you dig that.)
The other night, I was up until 1:30 am endlessly tweaking my latest review for JFH, a lengthy and totally unbiased treatise on Jason Gray’s new record A Way to See in the Dark. It just released on Tuesday, but I’ve had it for 2 months…. I was a fan anyway, but if I weren’t, I would be now. This one has really struck some deep, special nerves with me, and I’ve found myself queuing it up on my iPod quite a bit the past two months. But if you want to know all about that, you can read the review. No, what I’m about to share is an adventure in revision.
At some point, as I was revising for the 28th time (possibly not an exaggeration), I noticed that something looked off in one of the paragraphs. I kept re-reading it, puzzled. It was short… I aim for short paragraphs in web writing. It was to the point. It wasn’t even badly structured.
Then I discovered it was not a paragraph. It was a sentence. An incredibly long-winded, yet structured 105 word sentence. Further revision and attempts to fix it only added 11 words.
I blame homeschooling and reading a lot of Frederick Buchner these days, a man who can write a long, gorgeous sentence like nobody’s business.
I tweeted about it, and a couple writing-inclined friends asked to read it. And they said it was totally a readable, albeit very, very long sentence. It got killed in the final draft — or rather, chopped in half and restructured into two kinda-long sentences — but I just didn’t have the heart to delete it forever.
So, for kicks and posterity, here it is. I’m proud of this, dangit.
After a breakthrough radio hit and the new audience it gained, it would make perfect sense if his third major release A Way to See in the Dark rode out the success a little longer with a batch of radio-friendly songs (plus a few acoustic tunes for the old-school fans), but rather than choose the easy path when it comes to his art, Gray and the team behind his last project Everything Sad is Coming Untrue dig deeper to craft some of his most compelling work to date, a record that is, somehow, both catchy pop and true to his folk songwriter roots, with lyrics that touch deeper places where fear and hope collide.
I do not recommend writing like this for a web article, because people can be kind of ADD reading things online. I totally recommend writing like this for yourself and for the glory and beauty of the written word. It’s fun, in a warped, nerdy librarian sort of way.
If there’s an English geek out there that can diagram this for me, I will love you forever.
PS: That made you want to buy the record, right? Right? Of course. You may do so in a variety of formats here.