Bookcat (catfinition): 1. Person who reads with the focus and devotion of a stalking feline. 2. A feline who likes to sit on books.
Warning This album contains extreme sounds which could damage musical equipment when played at high volume
That’s from Jesus Jones’ “Doubt” album, from nineteen ninety-one. It gave me pause when I read that. And yeah, there is some stuff on the album that prompts the eternal musing we each encounter, “What the hell?”
They are several songs on the album that I enjoy. I was streaming “International Bright Young” thing, for some reason, but the far more mellow song, “Right Here, Right Now,” came into play. I think it’s more known, at least in the U.S.A., so I’m going with it. I always like these lyrics from the song:
I saw the decade in, when it seemed
the world could change at the blink of an eye
And if anything
then there’s your sign of the times
A sidebar, probably only amusing to me, is that my friend, Randy, loves the Van Halen song, “Right Now.” Whenever I’d mention “Right Here, Right Now,” he’d be confused, and tell me, “I don’t know that song. Do you mean “Right Now,” by Van Halen?”
That always cracked me up.
I read, somewhere, sometime, that every book conceived comes into existence somewhere else. Our struggle, as writers, is to bring it into the conscious life that we’re leading.
That’s certainly how it feels when dark writing commencing.
Dark writing happens to me at night, in the dark. Something triggers me awake, and all the writing neurons become energetic kittens, wanting to romp and play.
And they do. They toy with strings of thought, batting and chasing ideas around like they’re balls and toy mice. Then, as they settle, the writer starts reading to me.
Again, that’s how it feels.
It feels like the writer within takes up the book I’m writing in that other existence, and reads it to me. Scenes are read. Dialogue. Reveals. Page after page is turned. I can’t put the book down.
Two hours later, the book is finally closed. The dark writing subsides. I’ve been enriched with writing material. The challenge now goes back to that ongoing struggle, to remember all these words that were read to me, and bring this book into the conscious life that I’m leading.
There is coherency to this writing process, but there’s also chaos. The reveals and scenes thrill me. But then I ask, where does this go? The question prompts the dark writer to transport me a bunch of chapters ahead. Landing there leads to more bewildered questions about all those chapters he jumped over, all the material already written and ordered, and how these reveals fit into the greater cosmos of this novel.
I wish I could more easily capture this dark writing. I suspect each writer has their own version of dark writing, the process of finding the book in their minds, hunting the details, and getting it a form where it can be read. It’s an exciting, but also frustrating, and yet, hopeful, process. I see where I’m at in the novel, and I see what can be. I just need to bridge those two visions. Easy, right?
It’ll be an interesting day of writing like crazy.