Monday, October 22, 2012

i am not listless (get it?)

Imperfect writing metaphor.
1. I think I may be overly reliant on characters overhearing things. It’s a cheap plot device, and one reason I didn’t think much of The Big Sleep.

2. I think I might finish the YA book in like two more days. I’m not looking forward to editing my cats-‘n’-Malaysia novel, but I guess writing a YA book is a productive form of procrastination.

3. Some writers love rewriting and fear the blank page. I’m the opposite, although I don’t hate rewriting as much as I used to.

4. It’s kind of like cleaning the toilet. It didn’t even occur to me back in the day, and I didn’t have the right kind of brush and duck-neck cleaning product to do it. Now I do it regularly, if reluctantly.

5. It’s like cleaning the toilet if cleaning the toilet made your brain hurt and sometimes evoked painful memories and took years. And sometimes when you thought you’d cleaned the toilet, someone came along and said, no, actually it’s not clean.

6. Also if cleaning toilets occasionally brought about unexpected moments of magic.

7. Lunch today: vegan lasagna made with collard greens and mashed-up beans. Mine had cheese sprinkled over the top, because I’m not a vegan.

8. It’s nice to worry that a good thing will ruin me, rather than worrying that a bad thing will ruin me.

9. Not worrying at all? What’s that?

10. I am taking a cartwheel break.

11. At CalArts, people sometimes talked about narrative like it was a bad thing, or at least not to be trusted.

12. They were right, but I learned that from spiraling into OCD, not from writing.

13. But I guess it’s like any tool that can be used for good or evil.

14. How will these thoughts play out in my writing?

15. Maybe like this: Biology is not our destiny, but sometimes biology is the narrative we react to. Nature marches forward with us or without us.

16. Who said, “A plot is: The king died, then the queen died. A story is: The king died, then the queen died of grief”? Nature is a plot. Story is up to us.

17. These are meta thoughts, so I’m counting them toward my writing time. I’m going for five hours today.

18. Here’s a little secret: Earlier this afternoon I wrote a scene that made me cry. The character who is kind of like me had a really noble moment.

19. That’s like three different kinds of ego playing out right there.

20. When I look up from my writing, I see two deer grazing. I wonder if they’re nervous that a bear might be watching.

21. It’s not that different from Starbucks, if you think about it. People eating, communing, trying not to get caught.

22. The leaves come in all your standard autumn shades, but the best ones are almost neon red. They look fake. Super-powered.

23. Deer flash the white undersides of their tales to signal alarm and, it would seem, when they’re casually swishing bugs away. It doesn’t seem like the most reliable emergency technology.

24. When I was in Indian Princesses, the Indian (“Indian”) name I gave myself was Running Fawn, but then I changed it to Sleeping Fawn. I was lazy, I guess.

25. Of course I was a baby animal. I was never the kind of kid who pretended to be an adult, not even an adult deer. Being an adult meant responsibility, with no one the least bit impressed by what a prodigy you were.

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