Sunday, July 23, 2006

An update, because things have been pretty dry around these parts.

My lord, this heat.

I can't see straight. I can barely think. The only thing I'm actually capable of doing is sweating, and I'm pretty sure that's automatic.

I'm sure there are hotter places in the world, and I know that leads people to suggest that I should quit my damn complaining. I'm just glad I'm not in those hotter places right now. I don't think I'm built for this weather. Though, I suppose I'm still trying to figure out exactly what my body's built for, besides being a temporary storage container for liquor.

Against my better judgment, I started picking away at a new novel the other night. Slowly. And I mean fucking sloooooowly. It's looking about 1600 words every four or five days, instead of the 1600 words every day that I'm used to for national novel writing month.

I think I'm afraid about the sort of commitment a novel requires. I think I'm afraid of losing the next 30 to 60 days of my life to this thing, because once it gets rolling, it really gets rolling, and there's no tearing yourself out of it. I'm gettin ga pretty good sense of what the book's about, though, just from leaving it in the back of head to simmer for a few months. Which is something I need to remember to do when I have an idea for a story or a novel. When the first flash of inspiration hits me, it's never well-enough formed for me to actually sit down and work on it then. It seems like it is, but I only need to get about a page and half into it before I start noticing that there are big gaping holes where all the important points should be. And then I'll back off for awhile.

But those gaping holes have been closing off pretty quickly. The core story -- which I think I've mentioned her before -- involves a character suffering from insomnia, who bumps into a group of people who intentionally going through sleep-deprivation in an attempt to stumble upon some sort of spiritual enlightenment.

With a set-up like that, obviously it's a story that's going to play with notions of faith and spirituality and the inevitable questions of, "Why are we here?"

A tragic high-school shooting will likely also play a role, if I continue down this path as planned.

After last year's NaNo "The Small Town Pornographer's Blues," which was sort of a deviation from the norm for me, I feel like I'm back in familiar territory with this one. A character who is broken and hopeless. A quest for meaning. And a writer's endless struggle to revisit familiar territory without repeating himself.

And, completely unrelated to this, and completely unrelated to just about anything, I've had Shakira's "Underneath Your Clothes" stuck in my head off and on for the last few weeks. I don't know why. And I don't know how to get rid of it either.


elise_on_life said...

start singing "It's a Small World." Or the Tiki Room song. Or basically and Disney song out there. Believe me, it works - they've been in my head for weeks now (basically the only downfall of going to Disneyland!)

Todd said...

Replacing any song in your head with a Disney song seems a bit like...frying pan into fire.