The Plot Web

Yesterday developed into a sensational writing day, one of those joyful experience that has me shouting, “This is why I write.” I then want to tell everyone about it, but there’s no one to tell. They wouldn’t understand without extensive background explanation, anyway.

But this is my blog, so I’ll go into some of that here.

Essentially, I’d reach a cross roads. I was calling it a cross roads, but that was a convenient and sloppy label. Every character, backed by a muse, had ideas about where the story was to go at this point. I, the writer, was reluctant to embrace their suggestions. I had my reasons.

That foundation created a few days of slow writing. Slow writing isn’t like slow sex. Slow sex, from my understanding (I’ve never experienced it, being a quick little pecker), is sublime, packing in pleasure. Slow writing, though, is more like using a machete to hack your way through a tropical jungle with drums playing in the background, giant mosquitoes trying to carry you away, and huge snakes hanging from the tree branches.

This was the sort of slow writing, coming at my time of month, that made me think, maybe I should just quit writing. Who would care? Nobody would care! Shit, nobody would notice.

Shit replied to me, “That’s oh so true.”

Which ignited a stream of profanities from me at Shit.

Because there were/are so many directions, the crossroads is really the center of a beautiful  orbital web. Which strand do I pluck and follow?

Naturally, being me and the person that I’ve nurtured and developed for six decades, I over-analyzed it all. I am consistent. That was, of course, the greatest issue with the situation. After realizing for the tenth to the twenty-seventh power time that, creatively, I can’t logically and intelligently analyze it because I’m too deeply mired in the mess, and that I had to just suck it all up and write, damn it, I did so, and enjoyed the result. Naturally, too, the writing took me in unexpected directions that I couldn’t see when I was struggling to decide which way to go. Once again, naturally, I learned, just write.

Naturally, there’s a caveat to all of this.

The caveat is that yesterday’s writing experience set up unreasonable expectations for another glorious day of writing. Of course, that’s coming from my logical, emotional, and hopeful sides, and not from the creative and writing sides. I think I’m d20 die, part of a polyhedral dice existence. Roll me and see what comes up for the day.

Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

 

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“Once”

Once is a production being performed at the Oregon Cabaret.

Now, I admit, I’m ambivalent about the Oregon Cabaret venue. It’s very tight quarters and the viewing angles aren’t impressive. It’s so tight, you can imagine that you’re traveling on a train, if you have a vivid imagination. But, it has a charming intimacy and they put on some excellent entertainment.

We heard about Once when we were in Denver. See, our United flight was delayed, and wasn’t expected to take off for three hours. We’d been traveling all day. Now we were hungry and had time to burn, so we found a restaurant and ordered food and drink.

Ha, ha, it was so cheap, it was amazing! Just fifty dollars for a margarita, beer, three tacos, and a quesadilla!

Being nosy people, we overheard the people at the next table tell the server that they were going to Medford. Why, that’s where we were going. Where are they from?

The other couple were revealed to live within half a mile of us in Ashland.

What an amazing, small world. We began chatting and mentioned that we’d seen Million Dollar Quarter at the Oregon Cabaret. Had they seen?

Yes, and it was wonderful, they agreed, but better was the more recent production they’d seen, Once.

Once? Well, we’d better check it out.

We did so last night. The Denver couple from Ashland were right: Once is better than Million Dollar Quartet. That’s not to diminish Million Dollar Quarter. Once was sensational, which shouldn’t be overly surprising, since the beautiful song, “Falling Slowly”, won an Academy Award in 2008. Bonus surprise: Christopher Fordinal played Elvis Presley in Million, and Guy in Once.

Olivia Nice as Girl had people crying with her as she sang her last song. The entire cast of Once was impressive, enthralling us with their skills and talents, leaving us to wonder why we’re aren’t so blessed with such skills, and demanding a do-over to our lives. An engaging production, I recommend it.

Check it out.

Catermand

Catermand (catfinition) – to stop a feline from doing something by issuing an order.

In use: “When he issued the catermand, “Leave my food alone,” the cat stopped, gave him a look, and hunkered down to wait. As soon as he turned his back, the cat advanced on the sandwich and began nibbling. Smelling turkey and hearing the man shout, “Hey,” the cat freed a piece of turkey from between two slices and leaped off the table and into flight.”

Thursday’s Theme Music

I always enjoy the sense of being lost and finding yourself. Maybe I enjoy that sense because I do it often, and I do it often because I like the feeling of reward I get from finding myself after being lost. It can be a pretty damning web.

I was thinking of all that today as I walked, recalling “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall. Her song always imparts that sense that, out of all being presented in our minds, there are pieces we must pick out and fit together to solve part of the puzzles that we are. The thing about solving the puzzles that we are is, we’re never finished. As dynamic as southern Oregon weather, we as people change as frequently.

I don’t know what you think about the song, or the search for yourself, but it’s a good tool for furthering exploration of my infinite existence. The song came out just fourteen years ago, though. Before it, I often used Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” for the same purpose. You might realize that “Comfortably Numb” only came out in 1980, and ask (if you’ve read this far), “What song did you use before that?”

Well, that would be “The Real Me” by The Who. And before then?

Hell, who knows?

 

The Camaro Dream

It was another odd dream. I think I have an odd dream one out of every three nights, at least a memorable odd one.

This particular dream featured the first car that I bought, a nineteen sixty-eight Camaro RS. The engine was the sweet 327 V-8. An automatic, it was a metallic copper color with black rally stripes and a black vinyl roof. It was a fun car to drive, and reliable as sunrise. Nothing fancy or power was on the car. It was simple, and it worked.

Besides the Camaro, my dream featured my father, my late father-in-law, and an older man who, in the dream, was known as a local criminal boss. As for me, I was the age that I was when I owned the Camaro, about nineteen.

The car looked gorgeous, as it did in real life, well-polished and maintained inside and out. With those details established, I was driving the Camaro when I discovered that the floorboards were gone. Rain mixed with snow was falling, and was spraying up into the car interior from the road.

Well, that’s it, my father and father-in-law each told me. They’d been good friends in life. I’d met my wife through Dad and his relationship with the man who would be my father-in-law.

You can’t drive that car like that, each told me. I think you probably need to junk it.

I didn’t. Taking my own route, I found someone to build me new floorboards made out of wood. That’s what happened. They did a beautiful job.

I showed my father-in-law and Dad the solution. They were astonished and amused. The crime boss appeared, because he’d heard about it. Although he laughed, he said, “I’m really impressed. Good job, kid.”

I then took the car on an inspection. Already familiar with the car, they were preparing to declare it salvage when I showed them my new wooden floorboards. All were flabbergasted and disbelieving. I took the car around and showed everyone how I’d had new wooden floorboards made for the car, and how well they worked.

Further, I said, I planned to drive it across country. Snow was falling, as were the temperatures. People shook their head at my apparent insanity, and dismissed me. With alternate periods of snowfall and sunshine, and slush and snows on the roads, I set out, certain in my decision.

That’s basically the dream. When I awoke from it, I found that it felt tremendously affirming. I thought the dream encouraged me, keeping doing your things. As a writer, I work alone. I hear others’ doubt; I worry about others’ doubts about what I’m writing, and how it’ll measure up to expectations. In the dream, I sought approval from the two primary male authority figures from my young life.

They hadn’t approved, but nor did they disapprove. They accepted and said, go on.

That’s why it feels so affirming.

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