A moment of vagueness to protect the innocent: A while ago, I applied for a writer's program that I was hoping would really push me to be a better writer. I didn't get in.
So, here's where I am now. I have a book written, The Pagani Project, and I'm going to try and work through my own program of intense self-investigation in an attempt to make my book as meaningful to me as I can make it. I am going to do my best, but I know that I could learn more from others. So, anyone reading this should feel free to jump in at any time to criticize or to confirm. I want a better book, not a bigger ego.
Step 1: I'm going to stop belittling my book. I always say how random and actionless it is, how incoherent and pointless it is. No more. If I really feel that way by the end of this, then I'm just wasting paper.
Step 2: My starting point - I want to remind myself (and others?) of what the original inspiration of this book is. Why? Well, for two reasons. (A) Quite possibly when I'm done with this investigation I'll be reminded that the starting point was a good one and where I should have stayed. (B) Quite possibly when I'm done with this investigation I'll learn that the starting point was a bad one and I should work to erase all traces of the original intent that aren't actually serving the new intent.
So, where did I start? Well, a big part of my inspiration comes from a book called Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. The book is about a group of kids who are being raised as organ gardens. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I pretty much hated this book as I was reading through it. It annoyed me. Then, months after I finished it, I was walking down the aisle of a book store, and I saw the book there on the shelf. It filled me with this immense sadness as the point of the book, the fragility of life and the meager possessions anyone actually needs to find happiness suddenly hit me. That weight was something I will never forget, and I realized that it came out of a holistic accomplishment that was bigger than the sum of its parts. In writing my book, I wanted to try and do the same thing. I wanted the pieces to add up to a bigger whole. I haven't accomplished that yet. I also wanted to use the mundane components of life to emphasize how magical the world truly is. I think I was more successful at that. The other consideration is that my book explores the "opposite" of Never Let Me Go. My book is about people who live a long time, people who are able to take their life for granted. I didn't explore that part very well. For now I'm not sure I have to.
The other inspiration for me was my past work. As I was "trying to find myself" as a writer, my first belief was that I needed to depend on my Thai-ness. I thought that was the thing that made me unique. But, really, I was born in East L.A. I'm Thai, but I'm also many things that aren't Thai. So, this book was my attempt to write about my life in a broader sense. One way this came out was through the six main characters, five of whom are intended to be some form of me.
First, I decided to narrate the book from the POV of a woman as an exploration of my sexuality.
Second, I decided to make the narrator's love interest an Asian man to explore my own physical judgments of myself.
Third, I included a kid to explore that fragile time in my life.
Fourth and fifth, I decided to include two scientists representing my analytical view of the world, divided by a transition between classical techniques and new technology.
Sixth, I decided to include another female character loosely based on a friend of mine who I admire and who made me question society's self-abuses.
These six characters are sitting in a circle, and I view this set up as the light of me passing through a prism and refracting into individual components that can be independently examined. Personally, I think this is a wonderful set up. I managed to make it work for me for some of the characters, but not others. I need to strengthen and explore my scientist characters especially, including that division in technology and, thus, the changing world, which I ended up neglecting completely.
So, that's that for day 1.
What's Peanut eating? A Milkbone after he successfully closed both cupboard doors at my command. Go, Peanut!