Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writing Again

Monday, January 02, 2012—Long Beach, CA

Impatient-ass Rob. In my last entry I discussed how I was in a fallow period in my writing. A couple days ago, though, an idea for a short story I’ve had for a long time suddenly came to life; I’ve put down three pages of work on it and I’m very happy with what’s come out so far. It’s the real thing too—I can ultimately always tell when I’m faking it: everything seems contrived in one way or another and the writing is usually slow and difficult. This one, though, feels very right, and it’s just falling out of me. With it I’m also putting into play my ideas for stories with little movement, stories that instill the feelings one can get when looking at a worthwhile painting. It’s working title is “The Girl in the Orange Bikini.” It takes place in Seal Beach, California sometime in the mid-1970s, and concerns the sexual awakening of a boy, probably aged around eleven. I don’t want to jinx it by going into it more than that (I also don’t want to give it away—even to myself). With this story I’m also now seeing ways to approach other ideas for stories that have been rolling around in me, in some cases for quite a while. This little breakthru has really opened some artistic doors for me, I feel. Suddenly I’m now in a much better mood than I’ve been for months.

I still think my earlier point about being in a fallow period is valid. I’m sure I will be feeling my way thru these story ideas very slowly; this will be part of my transitioning into a new period as a writer; I’m not ready to dive headfirst into any kind of sustained narrative. What I find really interesting is now that I’m taken the first baby steps down this new road it makes perfect sense to me. I REALLY NEED TO GET AWAY FROM THE NOVEL. That structure is an incredibly demanding one and I’m burnt out on it. I need to go gently into new characters, new universes, which don’t demand all my heart and soul at once. I still have a lot to give, but for the moment I need to dole it out in smaller amounts. For the foreseeable future I want to write in the manner equivalent to painting a small canvas on a bright summer’s day—and when that one’s done I’ll start another and then another … Together they’ll hopefully add up to something bigger, something in some sense unified …

What else is going on? Not much. I’m still trying to de-stress, to figure out ways to retool my life so it isn’t so demanding in all the wrong ways and places.

Today’s a beautiful day out, a genuine 80-plus degree summer day dropped into January (California at its best in other words). I slept late (I was up till three last night). After eating a little breakfast I road my bike a bit, down to Belmont Shore and then to Portfolio Berlin, a coffee shop in the East Village, where I am now. The rest of the day will invole studying Greek, working on a lecture for school, and hopefully working on my new short story a bit more. A pretty typical day in other words. Feeling the need to be outside more. I hope this nice weather holds for a few more days.

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