Three Months

It’s taken me three months to figure out this story.

Three months, four hundred manuscript pages, and one hundred fifty thousand damn words.

Now I think I have a handle on it. Of course that excites me.

(I also pause to think about the writing process and volume. Is four hundred pages and one hundred K words normal or standard? Is there such a thing? I started on 1 November last year, and here I am, a few days after 1 Feb of the next year (with time off for illness, holidays and good behavior). It’s odd, because it doesn’t seem like I’ve been doing much writing, just a few hours each day of vacuous sitting at the keyboard, but here I am.)

It’s the novel-writing rhythm, innit? Think, burst into flame with the brilliance of a new idea (or insight, aspect, whatev), jump to the medium (notebook and pen, notebook ‘puter, laptop, crayons on construction paper, again, whatever), and write with excitement and intensity until you flounder like a man on the can without any toilet paper (yeah, oh, no). Then think long, hard, and deeply (often while sipping tea or coffee) (or taking walks or doing dishes) until boom, the mini-process begins afresh.

In this case, I had a handle on eight of the ten main characters (after wrestling with one and getting thrown to the mat by them several times), but the other two continued vexing me. Those damn muses — that’s right, I cursed them, I’m not afraid of no muse — weren’t helping. (They seemed, in fact, to be hiding and not answering their phones.)

But once again, after editing and revising (and deeply pondering the distant mountains while draining the last dregs of cold coffee, and watching people walking by, people who seemed happier and more carefree than me) (well, some of them did) (like, that guy doesn’t, and that one), and then walking, driving, shopping, sleeping, reading, and thinking, thinking, thinking, when I took up the writing again, aha, there it is. 

Joy! Eureka! Etc. Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t writing fun?

I did my thing and did my writing, revising, writing, editing, etc., and it all seemed so terrific. I still don’t have it all fully figured out, and proceed cautiously (and hopefully). (But then again, that’s today.) But, yeah, good day of writing like crazy.

Time to turn it off and do something else before it makes me crazy, ya’ know?

 

Melanfloofy

Melanfloofy (floofinition) – An animal who expresses a state of sadness without discernible or apparent reason.

In use: “The big golden red retriever seemed melanfloofy, showing little interest in going for a walk, which was definitely abnormal. Head resting on his front paws, he settled in his bed and stared out the front window for most of the morning. Then a cat walked up and peered in. Tail thumping his bed, Red leaped up. Melissa concluded, my dog is in love with a cat.”

Recruiting & Black Powder Dream

Fade in…

They were trying to make me a recruiter. Military? I wasn’t sure.

A friend was a well-established recruiter and something of a star. They wanted me to be like him. When he appeared in my office dream scene, he was well dressed in a navy blue business suit with tie, clean-shaven, with tight, neat hair. He said some things that I couldn’t quite follow, and others asked brief, insightful questions. He answered those, and was gone.

Afterward, the rest said, “See? That’s how it’s done. That’s what we want you to do.”

I agreed. “That’s what I want to do. But how’s it done?”

They told me that I needed to begin by dressing right. I was dressed casually in jeans and a shirt. I need to change that clothing style, and also get a haircut.

I began by trying to cut my hair. It was short in the front, but grew as a long and thick, brambly bush down my back. I couldn’t see my hair, so I was trying to cut it by using my silhouette and a mirror that showed my side profile. Using a power hedge trimmer, I managed to cut some hair but it grew back.

Don, the superstar recruiter, returned. He sat in on a pitch I made. It was okay. I sat with him in his office as he reviewed information and made a pitch. I saw that it didn’t begin with the image. The image was a culmination and result, that his hard work behind the scenes, and intense activity was what created his success. I needed to put a lot more time in.

Fade out.

I’m at a house with Mom and her husband, and other family members. The house is large and the scene is chaotic. A lot of it has to do with everyone’s schedules and the bathrooms. There are two bathrooms, one on each level. Who is using which one? Mom is getting ready to go. It’s involved. She’s dressing, but also looking for her bag.

I find Mom’s back and help her with it. She wants a gun in her back. I find one and put it in. She’s still talking about that, but I keep telling her, “Mom, it’s already in your back.” She replies, “I want a different one.”

My sister is there, advising me on what to do. I’m confused. She tells me to use a litter box to go to the bathroom, then scoop everything up, take it to the bathroom, and flush it away. Her answer exasperates me because it seems ridiculous.

“I don’t want to use the litter box. That’s another and unnecessary step. I want to just use the bathroom.”

She and her friend laugh at that, irritating me.

I go up and watch a plumber work by the front door. An old friend goes by. He’s now my brother. I tell the the plumber that my brother does the same thing that the plumber does. He replies, “Yes, I know, I taught him.”

Scene shift. For some reason, I’m in a robe, in a tub, on wheels. The skin on my entire body is covered what seems to be blackface. It’s a powder, not a grease or lotion. As I rubbed it, I knew that it was sun protection.

My brother-in-law got in his car, a powder-blue Chevy convertible. I discovered that the tub was hitched to the car’s rear. As he started the car, we exchanged questions and answers about what he was doing. He was going to get the mail, it was just a short drive, and I could stay where I was. That horrified me. I didn’t want people to see me like this because they’d get the wrong idea.

Waving that off, he reversed his car. We were in a garage. He told me, “Just sit back and relax.” Then he backed the car up. The tub that I was in gently pushed the doors apart.

He backed into the sunlit driveway and the street with me in the bathtub in a robe in black powder leading the way.

I was mortified but I also enjoyed it. As promised, the drive was brief. People seemed to notice me but none seemed upset. The wind was blowing through my hair and the sun was warm and comfortable.

We pulled into the garage.

Dream end.

 

Simon & Garfloofel

Simon & Garfloofel (floofinition) – American singing duo consisting of a chipmunk (Simon, who later joined other groups), and a long-haired poodle, known for their pop-floof medleys, reaching their greatest period of fame during the nineteen sixties.

In use: “Floof-One, the all-floof station, began its first broadcast day with a retrospective of the greatest floofsicians in floof culture. The show began with the floof invasion and  The Beagles, then continued with The Beach Floofs, followed by Simon & Garfloofel, and their hits, led by “The Sounds of Kibble”.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

This one is courtesy of Hyundai Sonata’s “Smaht Pahk” Superbowl LIV ad. Here’s the ad:

 

As the commercial ends, the strands of “Dirty Water” by the Standells (1965) started playing. It squirted into my stream and scythed into an infinity loop. A share is required to release the song back into the wild.

 

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