I haven’t been this out of control for a story in awhile. I think that not interacting socially with friends in about a month due to illness and various emergency trips is starting to take a toll. I’m going a little batty. Also I’m still way behind, and time is ticking, and I have nothing very witty or interesting to say, so I’m just going to go back to working on my fiction and hopefully by Thursday at 1:00 this will all have worked out.
I didn’t sleep very well last night. After watching what had to be the greatest game of football I’ve ever witnessed I was all sorts of out of my head. I watched the Superbowl at my place alone because I’ve been so sick, but afterwards I was all set to go charging out into the streets of New York to scream and jump and hoot and yell. Then I coughed for about twenty minutes and decided to take NyQuil. Which was a mistake. Because I was so freakhog wired so it didn’t settle me down so much as make my thoughts come alive in weird NyQuil day-glo-green fashion. The people wandering the street outside screaming sporadically became people bursting into my apartment screaming sporadically. And the excitement of watching the players on the television turned into me arguing with the players in my living room about…I don’t remember what…something incredibly stupid that I had a very strong opinion on. Which Harry Potter book was the weakest or something. And I’m pretty sure that around two in the morning I was standing on my couch trying to text people. Although I might have dreamed that. I might have dreamed all of it for that matter, such is the riddle of NyQuil.
But it’s time to work now. I mentioned few weeks ago how I was getting a little too good at meeting these deadlines, and how I was just stupid enough to let that screw me up, which it’s dangerously close to doing this week. Granted, I was/am legitimately ill, and writing last week was impossible. But I could have gotten a lot more done this weekend than I did, except I didn’t because my stupid past-self was convinced that I could meet any deadline. So now it’s Monday night and I’ve got nothing and those cheeseburgers are making me so sleepy…
I’ve pretty much got nothing for this week’s story. I still feel pretty lousy, and I’m having a hard time concentrating and the Superbowl is on. So this is awesome.
I mean, I’ve got a little something in mind about a dad and his son, but it’s not much. And I’m really really running out of time, so I’m thinking this is going to be a smaller literary piece, more like Private Showing than anything. And it’s going to be short. I hope. I don’t really have control over that. Not as much as I’d like. Anyway, I haven’t done any straight writing in awhile. I always set out to write straight literature as best I can, just good strong writing and simple characters, but next thing I know I’ve got zombie knife fights and wormholes and god knows what else going on. Writing is a very strange process. Fact is, I’m learning, that the simpler stories take more out of you. Trying to write a heartbreaking love story can drain you more than the most complex plot. Unless you try and write a heartbreaking love story with a complex plot. But that’s just silly.
Right. So something light and simple is coming…I hope.
And I’m utterly underwhelmed by these Superbowl ads.
Yeah I’ve got absolutely nothing for this week. And I’m still sick. And I can’t think.
I had the day off today. I got my haircut, ate reheated fried rice and slept through about ten of the eleven episodes of Monk that I were on my DVR. Love that Tony Shalhoub. Also, Captain Leland Stottlemeyer created my absolute favorite, “Where have I seen that guy before” moment for me a few years ago when I first started watching the show. Obviously if you’ve never seen it then you have no idea what I’m talking about but if you have seen it then you can probably place Stottlemeyer’s sort of low pitched mumbly walrus voice which bothered me for weeks because I knew I had heard it somewhere and I didn’t want to IMBD it for some reason. Anyway, the guy who plays Stottlemeyer also played Buffalo Bill in “Silence of the Lambs.” The revelation was shocking. I’m still waiting for the writers of Monk to craft a scene where he’s demanding that Monk puts some lotion into a basket for some reason. Good stuff.
I’ve got nothing. And my head isn’t working.
I have nothing going on in my head due to sickness, so I’m going to complain about being sick for a bit. Or rather, I’m going to attempt to figure out why being sick makes writing so freakhog hard. Of course, trying to write about why writing is currently difficult is…confusing. Basically, I don’t feel that bad, but I have no imagination. I have no playfulness inside my head. I have no interior monologue. Actually, I have an interior monologue, but it’s talking to me like it’s embedded inside of a giant marshmallow. It’s very difficult to hear and even when it does get through all I receive are bland white descriptions of mushiness. And this is bad. Because coming up with a story is all about being playful, all about listening to my inner voice, all about taking in the world around me and screwing with it, all about solving a riddle in reverse. And my brain is currently capable of doing none of these things.
It’s getting to a point where I’m hoping that two people on the subway next to me will suddenly engage in a heartbreaking love story for the ages so I can just take that and slap it onto some paper and not have to work through this marshmallow.
Below is the short video, “George Lucas in Love,” which is a fun little take on how Lucas might have come up with the Star Wars universe. Some days I wish it actually happened like this:
So, I’m fairly out of it. My head-cold is progressing and I don’t feel so bad, but my brain just isn’t working. I hate being sick, mainly because I’m so not myself. I just sort of wander around being confused. Which, actually, sort of sounds like myself. It’s just different. Either you know or you don’t. Earlier today I thought I was back in high-school.
All of this is fascinating, I’m sure, but my point is that, while it’s pretty easy for me to come up with stories in this state of mind, it’s very difficult to remember them five minutes later. Also, the stories tend to be about jello monsters who come barging through my door (by the way, never get me started on NyQuil), and I’ve already written a story about a big blobular monster, so that’s out.
Point being, I’m nowhere.
The witty witty title of this post is in reference to Janus, the Roman god of doorways and the namesake for the month of January. Yes. He’s the god of doorways. There are some other things under his jurisdiction, but right now I hate him and his stupid month so that’s all he gets in my mind. Also, janitors are named after him. Suck it.
I’m sick. Again. This month started out with me being sick, then there was a middle part, then a family member was in the hospital, then I threw up all last weekend and once that passed I came down with a head-cold.
So this is for you, Janus. Go <BLEEP> your <BLEEP>ing <BLEEP> into a <BLEEP> with your stupid doorways and then <BLEEP> with a <BLEEP> until your stupid little month <BLEEP>s! You <BLEEP>ing <BLEEP>!
The more of these stories I get through the more relaxed I am at the start of a new deadline. On the other hand I think my freak-outs at the end of the deadline are becoming more frantic. But still, with each new story there’s a stronger sense of possibility at the outset than with all the one’s before it. I can write about anything I want. This euphoric feeling will last until about Wednesday, at which point I’ll have to actually get to work and things will go crazy.
Also, back when I started this project, I talked a lot about not being able to throw away any ideas. Usually the first idea that came into my head had to be used because that’s what the deadline demanded. Since then I’ve learned that I have a teeny bit of wiggle room and I can toy with different ideas. However, I still don’t think I’ve gone with anything but my first idea yet. It turns out that my initial ideas are usually my strongest. They may not be my best, or my most interesting, but they’re the one’s that have enough meat and bones for me to build a story off of. The end result is usually very different from where I first think I’ll be headed, but it always seems to come out of my first idea.
Also also, here is a fantastic article about ketchup.
I forgot to put the “Click here to continue reading,” bar into that last story before it posted. I corrected it as soon as I realized but for those of you reading along using Feed Readers I’m afraid I may have dropped a gigantic story-length post into your computers. Sorry. Unless you prefer that. Some people don’t like to have to click back to the site to read a full post. I really have no idea but my gut tells me that 6,000 word long stories aren’t generally welcome in Feed Readers. I certainly found it to be a pain in the ass and hopefully that won’t be happening again.
Also, I realized a few days ago that the amount of rigmarole I’ve been putting at the head of stories has steadily increased. Between pictures and the print-link and the copyright and any side comments it had gotten to be a little overwhelming. So I took most of that down off of the old stories. I kind of liked most of it, it felt like the title page before you got to the actual story, but with the web one needs to think more like a newspaper than a book when it comes to layout. People don’t like to have to scroll down to see what they want. So unless I find a really perfect picture (The Nighthawks is still at the top of “Private Showing”) I’m going to try to keep it as simple as possible. Thus, less rigmarole.
Also, it’s fun to type rigmarole.