I'm currently reading With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo. Tess' book is blowing me away, not just because I know her. It's truly good. Good enough to have me sitting on a bus reading a book with that title and font that's incredibly big. Tess has somehow reminded me of what is was like when I was a thirteen-year-old girl living out of a trailer.
Here's where I am in my writing. I've gotten a couple of reviews in on Cyberlama, including from the incomparable Scott G.F. Bailey, and I'm doing some reorganization as a result. It's reorganization I thought I might want to do, and the reviews are confirming it. I'm going to take pages 200-230 and sprinkle them throughout pages 1-100. It will be fun, and I will probably pull my hair out.
Mostly, I have been spending my time reflecting on things like, "Hey, what am I actually writing about?" After much thinking, mostly as I fall asleep, I realize I'm not trying to capture an exciting plot or exciting people. My intellectual and emotional makeup is simply not pushing me in that direction. Instead, I seem to be trying to record How Things Unfold, or HTU. HTU brings me back to me waiting for my dogs to die and me staring up at the sky at a stupid balloon floating up and up. I think HTU probably relates to me trying to understand how a new born baby can grow up to be a wife- and son-beating alcoholic (the subject of my first novel Rooster) and how I will die. (Yes, I think about that a lot, not so much because I'm afraid, but because I'm just curious how one goes from thinking "I'm alive! I'm alive!" to " "!
The problem with writing HTU is that I end up with a book that I'd say is neither character driven or plot driven. It ends up being a bit random, which is only because randomness jives with my view of the world. So, when one writes about randomness, the unfolding of life in an arbitrary way, is that compelling fiction? Really, what the hell is it? My feeling about Cyberlama is that it ends up being a collection of interesting pieces that don't necessarily add up to anything more compelling on the large scale. Is that okay? Well, yeah, I suppose anything is okay. And, I suppose to other people who are as obsessed with HTU as I am, it will be okay to them too.
I am likely going to junk the fragments of Everybody! I have posted up here. I've decided to take the story away from the university and put it in a desert. And instead of it being about science, it's going to be about religion. And instead of me basing the story on these really interesting scientists I've been thinking about for the last few years, I'm playing with the idea of basing the characters somehow on inanimate objects like tea kettles and chairs. The sum would be something like, "How would a tea kettle create her own god?" Or something like that. It makes more sense in my head.
What's Peanut eating? A to-do list.
|"Now all you have to do is snooze with me."|
*You take golf ball-size potatoes and peel them and boil them. Then, you drain the water and let them get fairly dry (wait 45 minutes or so). Then, you toss them around so that their surfaces get all scratched up--this is called "chuffing" them. Then, you put them in a baking pan with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic and oil and bake them at 375 ˚F for about 45 minutes. The outside will be crispy and delicious and the inside will be soft and fluffy!