Friday, June 28, 2013

In Which I Write about Nostalgia Again, Likely Rather Poorly

A whim possessed me today.  There's no other explanation for riding an extra Trax stop in hotter-than-the-fires-of-Mordor heat so that I could walk farther to get back home.  I sensed nostalgia edging in and I just caved.

The extra Trax stop took me nearer to campus, and allowed me to mimic the walk I used to take home several years ago now.  Except that, of course, it's no longer that walk.

Buildings have changed, gas stations have been redesigned with repaved parking lots, entire business have left.  It's a familiar landscape still, but it's also an unfamiliar one.

At first I chose to attribute it to the quiet of college summer, but the longer I walked the more I felt everything to be immeasurably different.  It hasn't been that long, not really, not comparatively--but so many of these places have become landmarks of the someone-once-lived-there or I-used-to-eat-sandwiches-in-that-place-that-doesn't-even-serve-food-anymore variety.

The purse slung over my shoulder felt wrong, felt as though it should be weighed down with more books and slung over the OTHER should cross-strap style.  Houses that used to have beautiful flower beds look straggly and sad.

I never had noticed the kind of spectacular cityscape that I could see as I made my way downward.  My thoughts back then had probably been too full of philosophers and essays and worries about whether or not I was good enough, whether I was smart enough.

Honestly I think this might be the closest that we ever get to time travel: walking paths that we once walked, where inevitably we find ourselves accompanied by our former selves.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

In Which I Say Hello to Some of My Characters

I recently decided that I'd really love to have a first draft of a whole, entire novel finished by the time I turn 30..which is a date that isn't terribly far in the future.  Just a few months, really.  More than six, less than ten.  And it won't by a long shot be the first time I've given myself a goal.

It will, however, be the first time that I absolutely don't fail at my goal abysmally.

That said, I have multiple in-various-stages-of-progress drafts that I find myself resisting, and I wasn't sure which I would tackle. It's proving to be a challenging decision.  And this is why.  My first step is this: to read what I've already written, assess its merits, and see if I like the people with whom I've populated my stories.

But here's the deal.  Though they are fictional, I kind of like all the people with whom I've populated my stories.  And to further compound my difficulties, one of my favorite characters spends a good deal of one of the books dead.  It's kind of key to the premise of the novel, which is basically that a group of his friends are trying to honor his last wishes that they put the 'fun' back in funeral.  And while his friends are interesting enough, I suppose, they aren't as interesting to me as he is.  Which presents the quandary again: he's dead.  And how many flashbacks can a girl do before the audience says "Enough already!  Where's the FUNERAL, for cryin' out loud?"

One of them's a reimagined fairy tale, but it's actually on the bottom of my list at the moment because though I like my vague ideas that are associated with it...the plot's a mess.  Just nonsense.  And not in a Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss or Roald Dahl kind of way.  Straight-up nonsense that makes no sense.

And behind door number 3, there's story?  I don't know, I guess it's kind of a love story but it's also kind of not a love story, and I want it to be about someone who literally tries to lose herself in order to find herself...but she's being followed around (entirely unintentionally) by the former-boy-next-door who always recognizes her on some level without really recognizing her.


I suppose I'm typing this out to help myself make a decision, and all I've really done is narrowed my choices from 3 to 2.  I'm wary of the third becoming something overly sappy, but that's never been the aim and I think I might wither away if anything I wrote was ever favorably compared to oh...Nicholas Sparks.  Which means that if I chose door 3, I wouldn't want to be writing sentimental, drivelly yuckiness.

This bears more pondering, but not too much more.  I have a deadline looming.  (Who cares if it's one of my own creation?  Also: this goal.  Means I might actually have a successful Nanowrimo this year.  We'll see.)