It’s early in the morning, or relatively. It’s been a number of years since I’ve found 7:30 AM “early,” mostly thanks to day jobs and kids. It feels early, though, because I’ve been more or less up since 5:30, which I also handle better than I used to, but never mind.
Let’s see, what’s going on? Well, last night for the first time in ages, I wrote two new pages on “Save Us,” a novel that I had put aside to go work on a host of short stories (the list of which never grew any shorter, and still hasn’t, so I hadn’t gotten back to the novel yet). It was really nice. I look the book. In many ways, the frame of the book is just a structure for me to hang my thoughts and opinions about various subjects. The trick is not just to make it a diatribe. Sometimes, knowing my opinion on (for example) a particular band, I’ll give someone the opposite opinion. Or, knowing my opinion and the opposite, I’ll do something, somewhere in the middle.
I don’t know if it’s a bona fide litmus test, but it seems to me the mark of a book worth working on is that you can pour your opinions and interests and ideas of-the-moment into it.
I’m also working on a short story. I wrote two pages of that yesterday as well. And then, my foot jostled the laptop power cord. The laptop jolted, banged into a fresh cup of Earl Grey. The Earl Grey slopped out of the cup…and all over a page half-filled with text.
To my credit, I said no bad words in front of the children. Zach, breathlessly, said “bad dad…” and I agreed.
It’s legible, and it only soaked the single sheet. My wife assures me it gives the page and story wonderful character, and I choose to believe her. Unfortunately, the only “character” it provides is probably “this story written by hand by a clumsy twit.”
I’d tell you the name of the story, but it didn’t turn up with one. Well, it did. It turned up with “The Two of Us Our Dying,” which just doesn’t fit the story at all. Not in my mind. So I’ve been waiting for another title to turn up. I hope one does, I hate it when nothing comes to mind and I’m left staring at the story and at lists of song titles, hoping one of them will work.
I’ve had a weird mental breakthrough (or breakdown, depending on your vantage point) about my own writing, the past two days. It’s new enough and fresh enough, I can’t full articulate it, but I’m coming to realize how badly my confidence suffered some years back, when my writing really fell apart and I started having to try and piece it back together.
When you become convinced that it’s all rubbish, no one assuring you that it’s fine really doesn’t any good, of course. It’s all in your own head. Knowing that didn’t help.
Something clicked the past few days, and I think I sorted out the issue. The lack of confidence, and lack of assurance at my own abilities.
(I think it was a pair of school papers I did for the Mid-Term, which I did frantically and poorly at the last minute, a week after my second child had been born. I had no sleep, and no anthropology left in my head. I found out this week, to my mind-boggling astonishment, that I got A-minuses on both papers. And I immediately thought “Gosh. I’m not so dumb.” Combine that with my sudden discovery that I’m actually quite good at math, and I’ve been feeling smarter and sharper. I think that lovely good feeling is wearing down the not-good-enough wall. And now I’ve safely contained this gentle bout of emo talk within paranthesis)
I’ve been listening to My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade non-stop for two weeks now. I loved it already, but now that I own a copy, I can’t stop. It really was such a CD. Yesterday, for variety, I also listened to MCR’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, which is a terrific CD too. But not nearly so varied and, to my mind, mature as The Black Parade.
I’m also working on a Secret Project. I’ve been working on that one busily. I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about it until the contracts were signed, and I’ve been very good on that front. But damn. I want to talk about it.
But I won’t. I’ll just make this useless cryptic paragraph.
Okay. My tea is ready (Constant comment, if you were wondering). Now I’ll finish feeding a small human and see if maybe I can’t write some words, one after another, for a bit.