Saturday, September 07, 2013

48 down: i am writing a novel, and no you can't read it. (yet).

there are many reasons why i haven't been very good at keeping up ye olde blogge.  some are just circumstances of adulthood: marriage, baby, work, netflix, a stack of new yorkers that goes back over a year.  some are more complicated: loss, grief, guilt, and a general state of being, existentially, in a bad place, that makes you feel like you are walking underwater.  time softens these feelings; it doesn't kill them, but it makes them easier to live with.  a bit heavy when really all i need to say is i don't often find the time to write anymore.

which is actually untrue - i AM writing again.  for a two-year span all i wrote were letters to my daughter in her adorable woodlands creature notebook that serves as a baby book, and stream-of-conciousness rambling directed at my sister, who died in october of 2011.  i have to write at work as well, constantly, really, but those are emails and reports and project plans, and the less personality and creativity i put into them the better.  but now i am writing, for real.  i am working on a novel.  it doesn't have a name, and i don't have a good synopsis to share.  i can't actually say what genre it is, either, because if i say that the main character is an 18-year-old girl, that somehow automatically makes it "young adult," and if i mention that it takes place in the year 2125, that makes it "science fiction."  and i'm sorry, but i am not writing a YA sci-fi book.  i am actually, simply, writing a book that i would want to read, and one that delves into several themes that i am interested in, including:

  • environmental disaster
  • suicide
  • how you would live your life if you knew what age you would die
  • what a culture would be like if everyone knew this
  • family relationships, particularly sisters
  • popular music of the last half of the 20th century

i wrote my first-ever sex scene this week, and i am proud that it is not gratuitous or disgusting, nor is it swoony and victorian in its prudish avoidance of actually describing the fucking. all of the characters are named after countries, cities and states, and they live in chicago. and that's about all i can tell you.

EXCEPT i will say that i work music into the story quite a bit, and have started a playlist of all of the songs that i mention. while the novel is currently only 48 Word pages long (double-spaced; i estimate that it is about 16% complete), i have name-checked 57 songs and/or albums. i am hoping, at the end of the writing process, to have basically the ultimate playlist of the best songs from "rock around the clock" to whatever late-1999 track i manage to get in there; if not the best songs, then the ones that are the most meaningful to me, or are somehow representative.

i mention black sabbath's album paranoid in the novel, and as i built my playlist in itunes i realize that my affinity for black sabbath comes from listening to the record in my college boyfriend's dorm room, drunk and chain-smoking, and that i actually don't own it. i went to the itunes store and, after a bit of clicking around, realized that you can only buy live albums, covers, and kareoke backing tracks of black sabbath. i blame sharon for being a money-obsessed control freak. i ended up purchasing just the track "war pigs" from the rockabye baby series. it is actually kind of adorable - chimes and little birdie noises, a frog ribbit - you can barely discern that the missing lyrics begin "Generals gathered in their masses/Just like witches at black masses/Evil minds that plot destruction/Sorcerers of death's construction."

our friend ng gave us the nine inch nails rockabye baby album when nos was born, and i cannot stress enough that it is some of the creepiest fucking shit i have ever heard, and you are a terrible parent if you play this record for your infant.  i love nin; when it's done on a tinny xylophone, slowed down, you really do feel like you are about to be murdered.   

anyway, i am writing a novel, i don't know yet exactly what the message of it will be or where the plot will go, i don't know if anyone other than a few very tolerant friends will ever read it, and i don't really know WHY i am writing it, other than, simply, because i want to.  i hope to be done by march.  so, maybe i will periodically update this blog with updates about the novel and the writing process; not because all four of you who read this are dying with anticipation to know how very dumb the book has become, but because i think if i force myself to keep track of my progress, i will actually keep plugging away at it.

so: 48/300 today.  and believe me, i am a slow writer, so don't expect massive gains anytime soon.  


Lindsay and Gareth said...

I'd totally read your young adult sci fi book :)

Lindsay and Gareth said...
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