Saturday, November 19

Conversations with Death

My book has become something I didn't intend. In a good way, but it is surprising me. I just stared with what I though was a wacky concept. Even at then, I thought it was about humor. But I guess I have been thinking a lot about loss lately, and how loss changes you. How the ripples of loss extend outward, affecting everything and leaveing you weak in its wake.

The book isn't about rebuilding. Its about rediscoverey when the floor drops out.

Tonight I wrote my Mayhem chapter. Now it is 5 a.m. and I am out the other side. I was able to talk to Death during those moments, to ask for help with something I didn't want to do, something I still dream about, and listened as Death told me only I could do it. I could look Death in the face and see his blank expression.

I haven't cried in a month. I thought it was all out, but I knew that this chapter might bring it back, and it did. Having relived it, even if only through my main character, I now get to be angry. There next four chapters should be short and are about looking for answers, demanding answers.

But for tonight I am wiped. I am drained.

Peace, Mayhem. Peace.

Friday, November 18

Random Acts of Kindness

Elsewhere, I was challenged to write a the worst sex scene I could (not the worst sex, but the worst writing). I dare not post it all here but here's a taste:

He lifts her chin and locks eyes. Her breath holds still in anticipation. Their lips meet, mouths quickly parting, tongues suddenly darting like serpentine F-16s dogfighting over Iraq. Their passion is immediate and on fire, a Paris riot, a Detroit Pistons victory.

His one hand holds the back of her neck, fingers digging into her hair. The other hand slips up the back of her blouse, working up the spine. She shifts, rolling her body on top of his, pressing hard like a Kopple interview. As she grinds down, he can feel his pants already straining like Pakistan straining to survive after an earthquake, like Nicole Riche straining for respectability by writing a novel.

Their hands are are seeking and searching like Special Forces looking for Osama in the hills of Afghanistan. Their hands desperately want to expose flesh like Scooter Libby wanting to expose Valerie Plame. Their bodies are a very special episode of E.R. guest starring John Stamos. He rolls her onto her back. She arches up into him, rising like gas prices in a hurricane, and he cups her large bosom, firm as G.W.'s war on terror. Their excitement spreads through their bodies like an avian bird flu pandemic through Asia.

You get the idea. Well, I posted it over in the Erotic Fiction section of the NaNo forums (those forums are a very interesting read by the way). Just because I was proud of how bad it was. Anyway, some on saw it and was amuse and looked at my profile and read the opening excerpt of my story. She liked it and read it to her husband on the phone, and he liked it too. So she dropped me a message saying so.

It was just so...nice. And encouraging. I've been a bit down this evening. I am in the "Mayhem Chapter," rapidly approaching the moment I don't want to write. And so need to. As far as stealing from my own life, it is the one that is closest. My friend Cara will be replaced with Dave and say very different things, but this is the moment my main character and I will become one.

I have a bottle of wine ready.

Anyway, just a thanks to "Rochelle from Minnesota." You made my night.

Wednesday, November 16

50,000 in 16 days and only halfway there

Not much to say beyond the title.

I am proud but I still have so far to go. Now that one goal is done, the larger goal is daunting. Grin and bare it and make another pot of coffee.

Monday, November 14


I have been incredibly self-centered for the last two weeks.

I have been in my own head and the heads of so many others. I've been focused on my journey and my main character's journey. I've been watching us both change. I've been proding us both: me to write, him to go in the direction so I can get to those final three lines I wrote on the 1st of November.

I've been living in a split Brooklyn and New York. One I walk through, grabbing and stealing, sticking people and things and places and sounds and smells in my pocket to use at night. The other Brooklyn is ephemera and chopped up, but when I turn my eye to one street or one bar or one room, it glows with clarity. (The second Brooklyn is also split in ways that only I understand and will have to explain in chapter 14: A Door, A Jar.)

I spent two days in the desert. I spent two days in Las Vegas. I swallowed sand and talked to rabbits. I watched the fires rage in the rearview mirror. I ran from a pit boss dressed as Jesus. I had a great meal and watched a comedy legend, who never existed, have a stroke on stage and collapse.

When I talk to someone, part of my brain is dissecting their words, editing on the fly for the greatest impact. A voice in me says, "If she had told you she had a twin right then...Wow, what a metaphor that would have been!" I take their phrases and hide them away, just for me.

I get moody and sad when I don't know where to go next. I wander the house, room to room, muttering and angry. "What is it about?" I say. "Why are they there, doing what they are doing? It seemed so cute, four days ago, when I planned it. Now it doesn't mean anything at all. It's just stuff." But then I dig deep and find that one thing it was missing, the important thing that ties it back. In Las Vegas it was Buggy Lepsheck. At the Met it was Amy appearing at Allen's side to ask him how he has been. Somehow I had planted the seed for her return in chapter 2, without knowing, and it makes perfect sense.

I swell with irrational ego whenever I get over any hump. I crash if I stall on a single word too long.

I don't eat when I am moving, but when I stop I cook elaborate meals. My dirty dishes are in inverse proportion to the amount I am writing.

Sometimes I drink when my main character drinks. I think he may be a lush if not worse. I try not to walk past mirrors.

I wish I could give him a lover but I can't. Not yet. It's not about that and never has been. But he could use it.

I try not to walk by mirrors.

I have passed the halfway mark, I think. Or at least solidly into Act 2. I am itching to get to the 3rd Act. But I can't rush it. It has to take its own time. But as soon as Allen tells Dave, "I want you to leave," and Dave says, "I can't. We have an agreement," that's when the fun begins.

I see the movie. I see the opening credits and the closing credits and I can't see what is actually in front of me.

I have been incredibly self-centered for the last two weeks.

Sunday, November 13

Las Vegas finally in rearview mirror

Got them out Las Vegas. As always, each chapter, even the one's I had planned to be larks, have turned turned out to be full of stuff that needs to be said. But I have yet again come out the other side with happier with the chapter and with a new found respect for the characters (okay, Allen lost a lot of respect in chapters 6 (A Game of One) and 7 (A Revelation)). And in the end Vegas was fun to write.

Anthony the pit boss & Dave in Aussie mode.
Frank & Wine
Buggy Lepsheck
And Dave...oh, Dave. I don't know were you came from, but for someone without a hook (well, one hook), you have become such a joy to write. And the genuine care you have for Allen warms me. I didn't expect that.

Well, we're all back in Brooklyn and now need to get long with the plot. Have to write some romance now. A bit "You've Got Mail" / "Somekind of Wonderful" action. No 'suck' in this chapter. All is good.

Then I will finally get to The Met (which I have to keep under control). Then there's a chapter I real am not sure what I am going to do with, but will hopefully be spooky and weird. And then...and then the Mayhem chapter. I'll be drinking some scotch writing that one.

Speaking of drinking...there is a lot of drinking in this book. A lot. It fit the characters and it should pay off, metaphorically, in the end. But, man! I sound like a lush. Really, these people can't go three pages without drinking something.

Favorite image that came out of nowhere in Vegas:
I slid my glass across the table and watched as it stopped right at the edge, half on and half off, balanced. “I think I need another scotch.”

NaNo Count: 39244

Lonesome Jack

Still adore them. Bummer of a show.. just bit.

They were good but cut way short by idiotic scheduling by the Pussycat Lounge. Curses! But they played "Have Space Suit, Will Travel" so I was a happy camper.

I will give credit to the charming bartenders at the Pussycat Lounge. Thumbs up.

Lonesome Jack will be playing at Sin-e on Nov. 29th (150 Attorney St. between E, Houston & Stanton) at 7:30. $8.

Fingers crossed that I'll be done with the book by then. Also, it will apparently be Bethany's B-day so bring her a tiny gift.