Friday, November 11, 2011

Guest Post: An Abelophilosophos (…is not a dinosaur)

Please join me today in welcoming Angela Panayotopulos, author of The Art of War.

An Abelophilosophos (…is not a dinosaur)
Sometimes, my fiancé calls me abelophilosophos. Yes, I still love him. No, he’s not calling me a dinosaur. For those of you who never experienced your mom tugging you out of bed by the ear every Saturday morning to go to Greek School, the translation for that is “grape philosopher.”

Actually, I’m not much of a talker. I love listening, and even more than that, I love writing. Occasionally, through, I get my share of tongue diarrhea, and I’ll spout out whatever comes to mind. Occasionally, in other words, I enjoy philosophizing. I’m a diehard admirer of the people who say just the right thing at the right time at the right place.

I’m not like that. Not yet. Hell yes, I would like to be. Probably one day, sans hair and teeth, hopefully still able to grip a laptop.

As a listener, I experience and live things that I don’t often speak of. That explains the surprises up my sleeve, when I feel like shaking them out. I take life and roll with it, and I’ve learned to propel myself forward with my hands, hands that twiddle a pen, hands that flutter over a keyboard, hands that paint a colorful story on the walls of my house. That’s how I usually externalize my perceptions on the world, or, if you will, the world’s imprint on my impressions.

My preferred release, review, or return to the world happens through writing. Because writing allows you to listen and speak at the same time. You’re at once consuming your impression of the world, and spewing it out. Taking and giving. Thoughtful and conscious even when seeking to write thoughtlessly and subconsciously; it’s simply done. By its very nature, conscious writing (think, write, delete, repeat) gives you an extra intake of breath, a moment to collect and unspool your thoughts in a more orderly way. Speaking can be powerful but hasty. Writing can be powerful and paced. Don’t get me wrong; there have been empires founded and felled with a single speech. But there is a time for speaking… and there is a time for writing.

Writing also allows more room to be an abelophilosophos. If you have a golden idea—if you have even theinkling of a golden idea—you have a chance to explore it and share it. I’d define a golden idea (or book) as one that unlocks the traffic jam in people’s heads (thank you, John Updike). That being said, it doesn’t have to be the most perfect or earth-shattering or appealing idea in the world. Actually, I’m ninety-nine and three-quarters sure it never will be.

But it just might be the right idea. At the right time. In front of the right pair of eyes. On the right page.

And that’s what makes it golden. Panayotopulos made this earth seven pounds more chaotic when she was brought into the world, never guessing she’d grow up to pen a most unusual, surreal, and thrilling creation. At twenty-two, she earned her M.F.A. with top honors in Creative Writing. Today, she’s a full-time novelist, freelancer, editor, die-hard optimist, and self-proclaimed grape philosopher.

Visit The Art of War: a Novel at Take care not to get smeared.

Read my review of The Art of War HERE.

1 comment:

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  1. Interesting post. I think I'm curious about the book now.

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