Id Bits to Something Else: Writing Process

Half thoughts come to me as I waver between sleep and playing word games. I have been left alone. No one is coming to find me. I will stay like this.

These tiny bits percolate from my subconscious – or so I decide – unbaked nonsense. My foot twitches, a muscle in my left shoulder. I am still on the dock, the paint can hot in the sun. I am watching Maude and then a Japanese superhero show. The color goes in and out.

I am asleep for the briefest of moments and trying to remember. You’re jealous. You hate it. Phrases like that by an odd voice in my head. Who is that? It isn’t me. My thumb gets tired. I text badly like this. I am falling asleep again. I almost drop my phone and type that. I should do something. I really should.

Writing Process: That Didactic Voice in My Head

First, I dream up something in my head, a moment or a line like “I like that they like you.” That’s where I feel like a baby shaman. I make it into words, a little doll house as it were. I am proud of it. And then I think about it and kill it. It stinks.

I dream another thing like “gun laws around here”, and build again. I feel a better shaman now, almost through adolescence. I kill it again. It’s worse than the first, a foul mutant.

I think more about the dream of the thing, the essential little lines and light and capture what I can of that. I mean, I’ll kill it later. Just not now.

Tiny Door. Little Door.

It’s a longish short story of a relationship that starts with a connection, direct and funny. And then an angry step daughter arrives, sexually taunting. “How did you get here? What did you do to be standing here? I knew how fucked up everybody was when I was a kid. And that never made sense to me. The world was huge. It was beyond anything I could imagine. And then I went out and realized that it wasn’t all that. Don’t fuck with my mother.”

After that, the story of the relationship isn’t as wise or wonderful as survival. “Life might be done with me, but that’s because I called it out on all of its bullshit.”

Dopple Bro

I will myself to believe that there is someone who understands me, not a true love as much as a Dopple Bro.

I cling to the idea, a spasm in my thinking, as I call everyone I can think of from the fire escape, thinking this might be the way in through the razor thin thing to that other monstrous, astonishing thing on the edge of the galaxy, that somewhere that I know not to be true.

It can be imagined in a moment and maybe even felt, but it is nothing, like the dream of wholly loving your child and believing they might feel the same way back. Temporal is such a nice and refined way of saying fuck this place

Blog Post #1501: This One Should Be Big

We live in a mess of a world. Nothing whatsoever points to anything working out for any of us. And, truth be known, we deserve come what may.

It isn’t Trump or Putin or Bolsonaro. It’s the evil of the middle road, making decisions to eke out a little bit for ourselves, convinced that no real harm is done by a trip somewhere nice or buying another bag of chips.

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. That’s my shitty excuse. I’m always looking to get away, avoid responsibility. I move from one thing to the next with no genuine aspiration, nothing true or wise. I like to write. That’s it. I like to live in that pretend world so that I can think that I know things. Yeah, I’m a stupid kid.

A Childhood Hallway

I remember turning down a street, going around a park, to get home. I think it was called Seyton Place. But I have no idea. The only way I can remember is not think about it. It comes into my head when I am writing about something else.

I can picture the route only at that moment. Not when I think about it. I can see the fence around the back of the baseball field. I can see myself driving. I don’t know why I remember any of it. It doesn’t mean anything, like a childhood hallway or smell, always there but not.

Commuter Blues

I don’t have a clue who I am, where I am going or what I’ve done. It’s a meandering thing that goes out the door and comes back in. I know something about nothing and that is about all. I am fascinated for a time. People too. There is a moment. And then not. I know it is about nothing, nothing and nothing again and almost take solace in that. Not quite.

The fact is that I hate the look-at-me dissolution of our world, the babies that never grew and think people cares about their childish discoveries. That is where we have lost everything. While the barbarians culled these ones, we’ve decided to let them run the show.

Writing Process: Convincing Readers to Love the Unlovable

Dee Sinclair is impossible. She doesn’t give a fuck about anything or anyone. Don’t get me wrong. I love Dee. She is the Cat’s Pajamas on steroids. For me. That’s probably because she is so much like me: opinionated, cantankerous, demanding, isolated and always right. Readers of The Cx Trilogy and My Bad Side don’t find these attributes compelling. She’s does not inspire empathy or engagement. She is not likeable. That’s what they say.

And so, I’ve been at work, cleaning up Dee’s rough spots, gutting her bitter pontifications, making her a little more approachable. And while I might be making headway, I’m struggling with it. Dee doesn’t want people in her head. She wants to be left the fuck alone. In other words, what makes her so lovely to me is what makes her an impossible bitch for everyone else. No one likes to be told to fuck off. I get that. And that’s the thing about Dee. She’s good with that. She wants it like that. Leave her the fuck alone.

As soon as I explain why – the tragedy of her mother and sister – she just gets more pissed off. Pity? Fuck, no. Empathy? Why the fuck would she want that? She’s got the genes, the chromosomes, the essential strands of life. Why would she want any of us to understand or care? We can all go fuck ourselves. Done and done. And that’s my problem. Not her problem, but mine.