It’s the Fourth of July. I watched the original version of John Waters’ “Hairspray” last night and was surprised to find it made me cry. I think I was crying for what I believed when I first watched that movie as a child, that the sixties had changed things, that racism was over, that things were getting better. Not that they haven’t gotten better, in some ways. But in other ways…well, you know.
I’ve been writing a ton. I feel super inspired. I’ve written three big stories in the past month or so, and two of them are really good. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them, exactly, but I’m happy to be feeling inspired again. It really is just a matter of sitting down every day and doing it. And laying off the weed has helped, too, honestly.
As for the novel, maybe it isn’t its time, yet. I’ve struggled with it, I’ve made headway, I’ve got a clear path for when I finally decide to delve back into it. I get anxious when I think of how much I love it and want people to read it, because I’m afraid of it going stale. But I have to trust that it will be ready when the time is right. I have to go with the flow of things or else I’m just blocked up.
Hey yinz, just posted a new story, The Engineering of Consent. It’s definitely influenced by the TV show Black Mirror, and I think it’s a pretty good story but I’ve been sitting on it for a while cause it’s a little different than what I usually write and I was never entirely sure where it belongs. Hope you dig it.
In other news, I’m struggling with feeling uninspired and unmotivated. I think it’s a sign that I need to get out more, that I need to give in to it and explore other areas of my life. This transition back into city life has not been the easiest thing for me.
I’m doing a reading in Pittsburgh this Monday, April Fools Day. I’m going to trick everyone into thinking I’m a really great writer. Ha! I’ll probably read the first chapter of my new novel, which I’ve worked over more times than any of the rest of it. It’ll be good for me to have to hear how it sounds out loud. I worked on the second chapter this morning. It’s all pretty easy work. My goal is a chapter a week, but seriously, I’m gonna have to step that up if I ever want to get this fucker done.
I really truly did. Five hundred words or so of a porno story. The novel sits on the back burner – I last worked on it Thursday, I think. I feel distinctly unmotivated. I have all these things I want to do and no desire to do them. I’m avoiding. I got a little obsessed with this movie I saw on Saturday, Climax. It was too much. I just finished watching it again: way too much, but I love it. I saw Us and thought it was plenty beautiful, and fun, with an underrealized third act. I want to write more tomorrow. I’m going to shut off this computer so I can read.
Wrote some words. Well rewrote, really. I’m certainly taking my time through this novel. But right now I’m not making any major shifts. I’m retyping, really; reading with my hands on the keyboard, changing words here and there but not getting too caught up in it.
I wish I knew what to say about Michael Jackson cause it’s all I’ve been able to think about the last two weeks. I just think it’s a relief when truth comes to light. We always knew this, in the back of our minds: now there’s some confirmation. It’s a beautiful thing, really.
I’ve been writing again the past couple of days. This week was fucking nuts and wrecked me, but I had a rejuvenating weekend. I started a story where a guy dreams about having sex with his brother and admits it to him, laughingly, but then the other brother has his own sex dream…and so on. Since mapping the novel I started on the first chapter, retyping it word by word and just considering it all. I started a list of character traits to keep track of who everybody is, though I suspect the details don’t matter as much as I think they do.
From not working for two and a half years to working eight hours a day five days a week – it’s a lot. And my job can be stressful. The cops were called today. I try not to absorb negative energy but a lot gets thrown my way. Then I’m working another job for one day this weekend, and I’m writing an article for the Pittsburgh Pride circular. I have other things to write but limited time to write them. I do the best I can. Today, part of a letter. Tomorrow hopefully the rest of that letter. Yesterday I worked on the story of work buddies who find a fag to lick their asses. Soon I will dive back into the novel, but right now I have too much other shit to be able to focus on it. Overwhelmed.
A map, a list: I have it. Numbered, even! And a synopsis. It’s over 100k words and will probably wind up being about a third of that unless I add a lot. There is definitely stuff I need to add and stuff I need to take away but it’s basically all there. I thought of it initially as a road-trip novel, and it contains a road trip…the structure is partially a coming-of-age story, then an erotic novel with a road trip. It’s episodic, though – it starts in one place and winds up in another. I identified some themes, too, like sexuality as a force for joy and creation, and the tension between privacy and exposure. My favorite parts are the chapters where my main character, named Bart, is lusting after his dad but afraid to admit it, and they’re trying to make up for the years where they weren’t close by doing “dad and son” activities which are suffused with sexual tension for poor Bart while his dad remains oblivious.
Still in recovery mode but feeling a lot better. Even still, writing has taken a back seat. Managed to go through another chapter this morning. I’m still outlining. I need to write a synopsis, or a few synopses. Synapses.
Reading my blogs from 2006. I talk about being “incredibly self destructive” in the context of having anonymous sexual encounters and smoking a lot of weed. Which don’t sound like incredibly self destructive behaviors at all. I should never reread shit I’ve written, gah – I cringe. But I keep doing it, writing that is, because it feels good and sometimes people like it.
I’m on the verge of buying myself a plane ticket to Paris. It’s my gift to myself, acknowledging my forty years on Earth. Probably going to travel from Paris to Berlin with a stop in Amsterdam…or vice versa. Where should I go?