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?
I’m recovering from a thing, and I’m fine but I haven’t been feeling great and certainly not in the mood to write. Turning off. Shutting down. Sleep mode. A Netflix dating show. An actual James Joyce book that I’m dipping into for whatever reason. My Belasco book came in the mail. Also this movie, one of the best I’ve seen in a while:
Getting it all laid out, scene by scene, chapter by chapter; with notes on what I want to change. But maybe I will separate the notes and concentrate on scenes – do the notecard thing, rearrange, juxtapose…
All in good time. Right now I’m so enjoying the view from up here and steadily keeping on – paragraph by paragraph, reporting what is there, considering it, moving on to the next scene. It’s a long-ish thing, maybe 100k words. I like starting out with a lot then reducing, but the catch-22 is the state I was in the last few months, where I wanted to work on it but was overwhelmed by the sheer mess. Now I got a broom in one hand, a dustpan in the other, and a snack cake in my mouth.
The painting is by Drub. I’d never seen this side of his art until tonight but I really love it. Check out more of Drub’s art and buy it while you’re at it – or some of his cute merch.
Damn it feels good! I’m just going through my first draft, chopping what I want/don’t want out of it, arranging it into sort-of chapters. At the same time I’m keeping a running list of all scenes/chapters and noting what I want to change – what needs to be added, what needs to be deleted, what needs to be rewritten extensively. I’m not even halfway through but I’m starting to see it for what it is, and I’m excited about it again. After I organize it all the next step will be going through, chapter-by-chapter, and rewriting. I can’t wait.
The post I wrote yesterday helped me. Honestly: I’m sick of this novel. I’ve been thinking about it for almost two years now. I need to get it out of my head, and the way to do that is to make it readable to other people so I can say: here, I created this thing, I don’t know if it’s any good or not but it’s what I can do and now it’s done.
All of this is complicated by the fact that I’ve had to replace the space bar on my (aging) laptop twice now and it’s starting to get mushy again. It’s fine. I’ll figure it out. The big picture: read it all over again, map it out, plot a course inward. Outlines, character arcs. But don’t get too far up my own ass. Just have it make sense.
Woke up on my day off and headed to the coffee shop to write. Did my journaling thing – three pages – but knew (manifested?) even before I opened my laptop that it was going to be a struggle. I started to write new stuff, and I was bored. And haven’t I written enough of it? Isn’t the ending written, or at least some form of it? Where does perfectionism end and procrastination begin? What the fuck have I even written?
I went back into it- reading parts of my manuscript, trying to make sense of it all. I got lost. I got annoyed. The coffee shop was as busy as it’s ever been. Everyone was looking for a table and I was in the back so they kept poking their heads around and looking at me and I wasn’t writing anything and didn’t know what to write and arrrgh, just give up, do it later, do it when you’re in a better headspace, go home and do it, do it tomorrow…
Laundry. Articles about Kim Kardashian and Anna Wintour. Wanting to throw my phone down the stairs – wait, last night I dreamt that the screen was cracked. And finally, this, which honestly feels great. And for the record, I wrote a couple times this week but didn’t blog about it.
I know in my heart that I really do need to start revising the first draft of the novel but I’m just so fucking daunted.
Pep talk: you just need a less messy version of the first draft. Even just take chunks of the original draft and rearrange them into something new, then worry about rewriting it and making it all flow. Think about pacing for now…
Counter pep-talk: You don’t have a concrete ending. Just keep writing it and see what happens.