Here's where I am: I spent a few days brainstorming about the big picture concepts behind Cyberlama. The end result was something like: 6 people stuck together for a really long time. In other words, my understanding is still evolving.
I'm trying to write the book in chronological order just to see if that will work for me. I'm also cutting out the telling, which was a lot of the book. So, potentially, that will be a big transformation. I may not like it at all, in which case I will go back to an older draft.
I'm also reading Kent Haruf's Plainsong right now. Have you folks heard of it? When I started it, I kept comparing it to Cormac McCarthy, mainly due to the technical approach (all straightforward showing, no quotations marks, stuff like that). But now that I'm about 200 pages into it I'm really enjoying it. Some moments make me laugh. Some make me cheer. Some make me almost tear up. It's a sweet little book, and one of the few that I feel reflects what I'm also trying to do with my stories. It's a very quiet book, like Mrs. Bridge or like Yasunari Kawabata's books. These are my peeps!
I often think about literary lineages--how an author is influenced by the books that came before her or him. My lineage includes Homer and Tolstoy and Faulkner and Woolf and Delillo and the books I mentioned above. My lineage has not so far included writers like Philip Roth and Dostoevsky and Dickens--writers who I keep trying to like but don't ever fully connect with (even if I respect them). Haruf feels like someone I should include in this lineage.
What's Peanut eating? A manilla folder and lemon juice.