Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So How's the Book Coming Along, You Ask.

Playing in the background: Weird hissy growly noise from the closet. Either that's the heater settling into this whole being on thing, or my room is haunted.

Well, you didn't ask, but every now and then I just gotta tell ya anyway. And the answer is, both great and lousy at the same time. I seem to have the Curse of the Interwoven Story Threads. You know the deal - novelist has three different proto-protagonists romping through the fictional landscape, the idea being they all meet up at the end when something Really Spectacular happens that just, you know, pulls it all together. Next time I write something I really gotta lose the interwoven story threads and just plow along with one narrator, however unreliable. Course, then how do you cover the stuff that happens that doesn't happen to your narrator but that nonetheless happens and is like important enough that you have to know about it before your narrator does but she's, you know, not there? Like, for example, the sleazy detective going to visit the psychiatrist at eleven at night and falling victim to an unfortunate accident that takes him out of the picture in a more or less permanent kind of way. Neither the detective nor the psychiatrist are graced with the honor of being narrators, but they have to carry the story line anyway because the disappearance of the detective is like really important and if you don't get to, you know, actually SEE what happens, then you won't have a big aha moment later on when you find out that one of the other minor characters has been Up To Something that's, well, minor, but that has an important effect on how the whole thing comes out and hearing about it second or thirdhand simply won't do.

By the way, I seem to be having my monthly fit of hyperfertility. In case that's not obvious. This morning at work I tried to write a Motion to Compel Order for Summary Judgment and Request for Sanctions on Quantum Meruit Letters Rogatory, which, in case you know nothing about law, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I was practically bouncing up and down at my desk and coming up with way too many excuses to scoot down the hall to the copy room and back at high speed. If I time it just right I can slide into home right outside my office door. And yes, I have had too much coffee, thankewverymuch.

Back to the book though. (This is the worst kind of hyperfertility to have. I want to do everything all at once but I can't focus on any one thing in particular. For the amount of stuff I actually get done I might as well not be hyperfertile at all, and oh look, a cloud.) I have this one thread that's going great guns, featuring my twelve-year-old-just-turned-thirteen, his new girlfriend (he thinks), the Enigmatic But Evidently Not Evil Government Agent and, uh, the bad guys. Fine. Then there's the Bad Guys themselves, who have their own thread and that's, uh, not going so well. And finally there's the Family Members, who also have their own thread that basically has not existed since chapter the first, or maybe second. In order to have the Interwoven Story Threads you must first have actual threads so I think I might be in trouble here. To say nothing of the fact that one of my narrators has been unconscious for about the last six chapters. Approximately. I thought I'd turned the corner on this thing and was about to wrap it up in the next month or so. Now I'm thinking not so much. Unless, of course, I go take the Family Members completely out of the picture and just have them show up for the Big Reunion at the end of the story. See, I told them to stay on the damn cruise ship but did they listen to me? No. Not even the midnight chocolate buffet could do that.

The thing is, I know what they do. I know the officious uncle and the family friend/criminal go case the various haunts of the Bad Guys in hopes of catching them, uh, being bad. But what do they say? Where do they go? Does anyone even care? Or should I pitch them all out and focus on my half-insane art-dealer would-be assassin, who's fascinating and who wears tight tops and short skirts? Or am I, in fact, completely incapable of even seriously considering this dilemma because I am both hyperfertile and COMPLETELY SCATTERBRAINED?! Oh look, a cloud.

Apropos of nothing, Joan and I were watching something on NatGeo about locusts, those creepy grasshopperlike structures that get together in gangs, fly into the sky with the sound of a B-52 engine, blot out the landscape and eat all the crops. Before they're old enough to do that, though, they're these cute little nymphy nymphs and instead of flying they kind of hop and walk along. They really are kind of cute. Anyway, they're hopping and walking along and I started saying, "Boing! Boing BOING boingy boingy BOING walk walk walk BOING" and Joan about fell out of her recliner laughing because, um, I don't often narrate the activities of onscreen insects, I guess. And this somehow became an iconic Jen and Joan moment because, after taking out the trash one evening, Joan said, "I think there are some boings in the garden." So there were. And they were pretty cute. I didn't even know it was boing season.

Having said all that, I think it's high time I took my meds and went to bed, don't you? Because honestly, I'm not even sure I'm qualified to be blogging right now.



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Jen said...

Uh, okay, whatever...BOING!