And I've been thinking that a large reason for why I write this can be traced back to my Buddhist upbringing. I'm not religious anymore, but when I was younger I spent a lot of time meditating and trying to understand the concept of enlightenment. For a long time, I thought it was associated with not caring about anything. But, over time, I came to see it as having enough trust in nature to let things take its course.
There is part of the picture that's very hard for me to work with. That has to do with detachment. Did you know that the orange color of a Buddhist monk's robe is symbolic of autumn leaves? The idea is that the monk detaches from the world the way these leaves detach from the trees. It's very calming to be this way. But, here's the hard part for me personally. I feel like I carry this sense of nature and detachment into my stories in the beginning. Then, later on, I start to get all freaked out because my characters don't want anything. There's no compelling mechanism underlying what I write. So, I start to generate one. I come up with things my characters desperately want. Sometimes it makes for an engaging story, but really it's hardly ever sincere, and so I always feel like there's a major element in my stories that isn't really a true reflection of me. It's frustrating because I feel like I need it, but I'm not at all excited by it. (I also think this often ruins the end of my books as I try to make sure that artificial desire is felt.)
With Cyberlama, that character motivation is there, but I'd say it's light. I didn't feel as insecure about it, even if it wasn't a sincere construct on my part. I let myself fill much of the book with more of the detached things I wanted to fill it with. In the end, it's a bit of a hybrid like everything else I've done, but it has brought me closer to what I think I want to write, and that is fantastic. My idea for my next book, the tea kettle inventing god idea, is a result of what I learned from Cyberlama, and I think it's a step closer to (A) being compelling while (B) being that detached observer of nature. This is the combination I've been looking for, and I think maybe I've figured how to approach it.
P.S. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, well, it's just like Scott trying to explain what the hell he's trying to do with his "everything is story" discussions. I feel like I'm on a good track!
What's Peanut eating? I don't know, because I was hanging out with Nevets! He's such a good guy, y'all. (And I'm talking like this because of Tess Hilmo's book. )