Monday, October 06, 2008

Send Message: Big-Time

In my neighborhood thrift shop, clothes are grouped, not by size, but by color. So it takes a while to shop, but the gradations of yellow to orange, etc. are mouth-wateringly appealing.

I was taking my weekly wander-through recently and the print skirts section seized my eye. Here's the one I bought: pansies made large. Even the modest little face of the pansy can be monumental.

When you want to go bold, super-sizing is the no-brainer of techniques. And it's oddly easy to forget the no-brainer.

I did some research once on how to write about the sacred. Theologian Rudolf Otto in his book The Idea of the Holy suggested that among other things, making a symbol big is a good start toward representing the holy.

I was doing that research in order to give a lecture on Moby Dick at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India. I wound up writing my novel, Sister India, which I was researching on that trip, about a woman who weighs over four hundred pounds.

I didn't set out to do that. It was the Ganges I was thinking about as the sacred in the novel, and certainly it is large. I wound up with a character on the same scale. Obviously, Otto got his message across.

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Mojo said...

It's funny you should bring up the subject of messages today. Over the weekend I found/encountered/got entangled with a message from another North Carolina blogger who's done -- and continues to do -- something truly amazing. Blog by blog, over the last 2 1/2 years she built something called BlogBlast for Paace. And she explains it ever so much more eloquently than I ever could, that I'll just say follow the link, and join in for the next Blast -- scheduled for 6 November. It's a simple format, and a simpler message: "Dona Nobis Pacem" (which since I don't actually speak Latin I'm taking on faith means "Grant Us Peace").

One woman who thinks she can change the world one blog at a time... That's what I call bold. So naturally I thought you'd like to meet her. So Peggy, meet Mimi. Mimi, Peggy.

Peggy Payne said...

Mojo, thanks. And I met her here last week. (Mimi, are you listening? your message is spreading.)

I had in mind to speak of her definitely BOLD BlogBlast for Peace; I'd only visited her funny online dating site by the time I replied to her comments.

I also like that the same person is doing such different blogs.

Mojo said...

Oh trust me Peggy, she knows I'm aboard. Got my very own mention on her Mimi Writes blog just today. (It's a proud moment).

Debra W said...

Peggy, the character that you created in Natraja still resonates in my mind. She certainly was(is) quite a big, bold character. I remember your saying that she is your "Moby Dick", and then I read your novel and I understood why. Such a memorable character!

Love the pansy skirt!

Peggy Payne said...

How about a pansy skirt for Natraja!

Debra W said...

Hmmm, a pansy skirt for Natraja. Maybe not in the beginning of the story, but towards the end, I definitely think she could pull it off. What do you think?

Peggy Payne said...

Definitely. A pansy sari.

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