Uh, can I think of something to say about every single day that I put down five hundred words? I’m dubious but persistent. Today I doubled back into the novel a bit and added a scene that probably needs to be there. I wonder if the time lapse between when I wrote the first part of the novel and now is to my detriment? It definitely contributes to the feeling that I have a pile of words that it’s going to take the mental equivalent of a high-rise crane to erect into a novel. This is a false feeling. It’s more like a luscious chicken and I need to pick it clean. Wait, so I end up with bones?
OH JESUS I CAN’T EVEN COME UP WITH A SUITABLE SIMILE WHAT KIND OF WRITER AM I
Anyway, dig the terrible video above – an apparently hot new track from the 90s-era act Information Society. I saw it first when I was working at a gay bar this fall as part of an ever-changing slew of videos that we showed on the monitors whether anyone was paying attention or not. The videos were all “mixed” which is to say the beginnings were spliced into the videos that came before them. And most of them were these obscure club tracks which made me wonder: Where did they come from? Who picked them? The Information Society one (and the one below, from K-SYRAN, which I actually love) stood out to me for its sheer low-budget weirdness. Then just this past Saturday I saw it again on the monitor at the gym and I thought: is this song actually popular? Or is it just popular in some alternate euro-club-music reality? Who knows.
Again. Here’s the deal with the end of the incest novel: I’ve written it a number of times at this point. I wonder if I’m spinning my wheels, delaying concrete decisions. The end is messy, for sure. I know what I want the last lines to be, but not the last scene, necessarily. I worry that I tried to do too much in the last third of it, that it all piles up. That I’m forgetting some of the earlier plot lines and winding up in a place too far removed from where I started. How do you do this, novelists? How do you keep it all in your damn head? It’s too much.
I continue to wake up with a headache and feeling less than great. Work stresses me out, more often than not I feel a little wrecked by Thursday morning. So I never quite got around to working on the novel this morning but I might get to it later in the day. I want to keep plugging away at it in first-draft mode, to keep adding new scenes, because I can always whittle them down. That’s my modus operandi right now – spew it out all out, as much as I can, then tighten it. The tightening I’m worried about, but once I get into it it’s my favorite part. But the damn forest and the fucking trees…it’s hard not to feel like I’m lost in the wilderness.
I wrote yesterday. But I didn’t blog. I didn’t write today…well, I journaled, and I keep saying I shouldn’t discount my journaling as writing but honestly it just feels like shitting to me – I sit down and it comes out (some days more easily than others). I don’t agonize over it. But I don’t get the same joy that comes from when I write fiction, the joy of making stuff up. Journaling is more about recording, for me. I have stacks of journals. I have this idea that, before I die, I’ll travel around the country and just start leaving volumes of my journals in various thrift stores. I mean, what else am I going to do with them? I like the idea of someone finding them, this little slice of my life, then maybe searching out others. But, on the other hand, fuck legacy. Let it all burn. Dust to dust.
…wherever and whenever I can. Meaning: I woke up, my bed felt way too comfortable and the dreams were swimming through my head. So I didn’t get up to write, I just enjoyed the sweet heaviness of my somnambulant body for a while then went straight to my job. Work work work. But driving home from work I got excited to write, so I hopped to it at my desk and got a few hundred words in here and there in between doing a load of laundry and heating up dinner and cutting my hair. And wouldn’t you know, it was a fun and productive little sesh. But I probably would have skipped it if this blog wasn’t keeping me honest.
At the gym, I imagine an active shooter situation. It has happened. What would I do? Just run? I’m sure I’d have to rely on the people around me to some extent. That my safety is dependent on whoever is around me at a given moment is a hidden thing. The power of crowds is something they don’t want us to realize. I want to be aware of it always. Safety in numbers. Trust and communication before suspicion and estrangement.
Nuclear war is my greatest fear. A comment I read under the above video (All Hail Contrapoints. Seriously.) said the result of climate change won’t just be a refugee crisis due to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, it will be widespread total war due to that refugee crisis. That felt real.
I swear all of this has to do with the five hundred words I wrote today, though I don’t want to explain how.
I started feeling crappy on Tuesday and haven’t left my bed much this weekend. For two days I haven’t written anything, but it’s encouraging that this feels out of the norm. I’ve definitely been writing more since I’ve started posting here again. As scared as I am of the internet it’s always been an outlet for my writing, a thing that inspires and motivates me.
Eating food, watching trashy old movies on Shout Factory TV (free and highly recommended, if only they had subtitles…), going deep into Michael Jackson abuse lore, enjoying Vic Berger‘s work, jerking off…did you know the Nifty Archive has a lovely search function? Today I took a walk; it’s close to sixty degrees which feels good on some level and is disturbing on others. There’s lots of disturbing levels making themselves known lately – maybe it’s my birthday, maybe it’s the winter…maybe she’s born with it.
The image is from Tumblr, which I sort of still use and basically don’t care about. It was fun while it lasted. I never really used it to jack off. I liked the writing community there but the whole “caption story” thing wore itself out, at least for me.
I’ve had my mornings off from work due to the weather, which gives me time to write – a good thing, as I’ve been feeling shitty both health-wise and emotion-wise the past couple days and can use the extra time. I’m not going to go into the emotional stuff, but as far as writing: I do it. I journal before I write fiction and that, lately, takes up most of my time. When I’m upset I write it out. Today I think I busted out seven pages, that’s front and back. This makes it seem like emotional turmoil has a silver lining, but I’d rather not be filled with rage, thanks.
The coldest day of the winter yet. I wrote from home this morning and while I kept getting distracted I eventually worked on the novel and the porno story. Neither felt effortless which wound up making me feel good about things – like subject matter doesn’t matter so much, when it’s difficult it’s difficult.
I journaled about my insecurities. On my thirtieth birthday I set a chimney on fire.
Yes, I torture myself. Is it good enough? Is it even good? I don’t want to empower that voice, but it’s inevitable. What’s also inevitable is the joy I feel – if not while I’m writing, then afterward. It’s an important part of my life, my own little world where I can do whatever I want. It’s my respite, it’s my vacation and vocation. It feels like all I need. It’s also communication; I want people to read it. So I’m conversing, but really only with myself; that’s when things get confusing.
Driving to work this morning I cried listening to Sunday Morning by the Velvet Underground, a favorite since high school. On the eve of my fortieth birthday I felt the weight of it: my youth, people who aren’t here anymore, places and times I’ll never see…layer upon layer of nostalgia. Watch out, the world’s behind you. Life is frightening and I’m so lucky to have it.
I leave early for work to 1) beat traffic and 2) get to the coffee shop so I have an hour and a half to write. Today I woke up with a massive, stomach-turning headache. I didn’t want to be in bed but I left my house too early – the coffee shop wasn’t even open. I sat in my car, listening to music. I got breakfast at McDonald’s. When I finally got down to business I didn’t write any more than I normally do. Three pages in my journal then five hundred words of the novel, where I wrote some scenes of a breakup. It’s not the most fun thing I’ve ever written but it’s telling the story, which is what I need to do to finish.
Ted Bundy documentary – maybe for the first time I heard that familiar refrain “But he seemed so normal” as what it really is: white/class/male privilege at its most insidious. The fucking shit that dude got away with astounded me. How much do I get away with as a person who as access to a lot of the same privileges? What kind of shit do I not have to deal with on a daily basis?
Above: the joy of discovering a great Abba track you’ve never heard before, followed by the pain of having it obsessively run through your head for hours on end.