Endings and Beginnings ~ Outside the Margins with Greg Tremblay

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Greg Tremblay goes Outside the Margins today.

I had this vague musing in my mind already before the announcement that Prism would be winding down… so this seems like an excellent moment to blather on a bit, as it’s my last post with Outside the Margins.

With art, whether as an artist or a consumer… you know that there is a finite period for the duration of that art. The movie ends, the play strikes, the book dumps you into the appendix.

{Funny side-story, I was on the plane back to NY from TN while reading the last bit of “A Feast for Crows” (George RR Martin) and tactilely feeling a sizable portion left in the book in my hand. When I hit “End” and realized ALL THE REMAINING FREAKING PAGES WERE APPENDIX! …I, may have slightly worried my seatmate and the cabin crew by saying aloud “what?!  NO!  NO YOU SONOFABITCH!”}

I digress.

The point here is that a lot of the beauty of art is its very impermanence.

“AH” you say “But you can re-read a book a thousand times… doesn’t that give it permanence?”

To which I say ‘Does it? …Does it really?’

No, seriously I’m asking, what do you think? Does it? Does the book being textually the same equate the art being the same? Are you the same person each time you read the book? Is the book the same to you because of that? Or was the experience one that was fleeting, and any future encounter will be a new one.  Hell if I know, that’s why it’s fun to ponder.

I think I find the most poignant sense of ending with a series. When I get to watch characters go through their arcs for not just a book, but several. Hundreds of pages, 30, 50 or more hours of audio… I get a serious relationship with them. Sometimes there’s the villain that lasts through so many books and I just wish the bastard would die already, sometimes there’s the character that died in book one that the main characters and I still miss sorely. It’s interesting.

And then, the series ends. The last page scrolls on my monitor, I record credits and package it off. I pack up reference files and set them aside, and know that I will never paint with those words again. And I grieve a little each time. I’m also relieved, I won’t lie. There’s that fear I’ve already talked about with regards to the performing arts… that “Oh lord, please don’t let me fuck this up” sense, and when I’m done with a series, and it’s off and in the world, I know I cannot do anything to hurt what I did there.

That’s the time to go on to the next book.

Every book I start, every series, has the excitement of that new and untrodden road. I’m reminded of the sight of a new snowfall, or a beach left pristine by the ebb tide. (Also a fresh jar of peanut butter… right? Come on… that first knife-mark?! GOD yes.) Anyway, new book. It’s a place you just want to walk, to explore. Even though I read every book at least one time before I start recording it, I still cannot wait to start recording it. To say the opening line.

{Oddly tho, I mess up more in the opening sentence of any given chapter than the whole rest of the text… NO idea why.}

… I guess that’s why I’m sad, but not despondent that this is my last time writing on this page. It’s the end, but I don’t think I’ve sounded like TOO much of a moron so far… and now these posts will be a set that I can’t muck up too badly, so. Result?

On to the next thing. Time to make a mark in another peanut butter jar. I think maybe Bilbo said it best.

The road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began

Now far ahead the road has run

I must follow… If I can.



~Greg Tremblay

About Greg Tremblay

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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6 thoughts on “Endings and Beginnings ~ Outside the Margins with Greg Tremblay

  1. What an inspiring post, Greg. I agree with you. Art changes with perception, which changes with people. The same way you never bathe twice in the same river, you never read twice the same book… Because your moment is different, and so it is your perception of the story. That’s what makes it magic….

  2. A thought provoking post. Loved it. Thank you Prism for all your hard work. I wish you well in future endeavors

  3. I think art does depend on your “place” at the time of experiencing it, your perspective. Rereads of books are never the same as the first, and if you’re down and depressed nothing will make you laugh no matter how funny it may strike you on a good day. I know that for me, when I’m in a good mood I see more beauty in the world and people around me than I do when I’m angry or irritable. Also, things look quite different as an adult than when you were a kid. I think that it’s all about what’s going on in your head that determines how you view art, of any sort.

    Bummer that this site will end, but hopefully other opportunities not otherwise seen will be the next step in everyone’s journey. As they say, when one door closes, another opens.

  4. Very true…my appreciation of a story is definitely shaped by what is going on in my life at the time! And, perhaps you are more likely to verbalize your comments to yourself because you’re used to emoting aloud, but I probably would have had a similar reaction to discovering the story had ended despite so many remaining pages, lol.

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