Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Late November

Aside from having some kind of cold-like symptoms most of the month, I've just been up to my ears in paper and ink, wallowing in trying to perfect the most nuanced fantasies. Failing that, I'm just going to say what I want and what I think might help others enjoy themselves better.

I'm gonna try to stand outside a lot today and get some Vitamin D because I just read it might be the miracle vitamin of our early Millennium.

The rain came yesterday but not for long. I longed for a voice like Mark Lanegan's to keep singing as I sat out an hour in a vacant store, as the sidewalks grew slick, as everyone I knew felt far away, enclosed in hermetically sealed houses, drowning in their own fantasies.

Perhaps whiskey chais were in order? Or bad movies?

But instead I curled up with a laptop and peppermint tea and kept revising things that I think I've been revising for at least a year. Maybe longer. I realize my stories are often past that fabled 5000 word mark that so many magazines adhere to. Which makes me suspect I have the promiscuous, enthusiast's heart of an undisciplined novelist.

I also had a creative revelation walking back in the rain last night. But these revelations, when they're creative ones, feel more like a long-delayed raking of the mind's coals, uncovering volatilities that you wanted to shortchange, delay, or quench. But you can't. It's why writers write, because they can't do much else.

Oh but the revelation was that the two prospective novels I've been plotting are actually too similar in plot and are actually like mirror narratives to each other -- and so what I need to do, in all integrity, is combine them in the same book. Which will make for a huge, fun, sloppy project.

I'm reading and almost finished with The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Which she wrote at 23. Which is beautiful and wonderful and radical in ways that few books are. Her life is no less intriguing than her books, mostly because of the almost unimaginable pains and setbacks she faced, both phsyically and emotionally.

But just as interesting is her wily Bohemianism, her revolt against the conventions of the South, and her embrace of subterranean beliefs and passions. The aesthetics of the black-listed, the black market, and the dark recesses.

Along the same lines as McCullers, I watched a movie called The Little Foxes written by Lillian Hellman, a black listed film director. Quite captivating and upsetting.

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