(I’m just kidding. The title of this post is a lie. If I were any sort of an authority on Things to Avoid or How to Avoid Them, I wouldn’t have impaled my foot on a porch in January.)
It’s only right that I should make a post about routines and how good they are and how much they contribute to the flow of all of my creative juices (especially the tasty ones) at the outset of a week which has effectively shattered my routine into itty-bitty pieces, stomped on the pieces, dug the pieces out of its grubby shoes, and fed them through a wood chipper. The resultant dust could be used, I’m told, to craft a glitter-bomb which might then be fired at the idiot who put my lunch in the freezer the other day at work, ruining my fruit and by extension my afternoon writing session. Wait, that idiot was me. DONDRAPER YOU, PAST ME.
/Sidenote: I’ve heard of frozen bananas being a delightful treat. Where did I hear this, and what lamebrain banana salesperson perpetrated this myth? The banana I pulled from the freezer went from a dong-shaped brick to a soggy, mushy turdlet in about three minutes flat. It was in no way appetizing, let alone delightful. /Sidenote over.
Stupid thing is, this week hasn’t even been all that busy. It’s just little things cropping up here and there that throw, not monkey wrenches, but rather tiny little gobs of dust into the machine. The gobs congeal into blobs, the blobs congeal into lumps, then the lumps team up into hulking greasy monstrosities and jam the machine and shake out its lunch money while they dangle it over the edge of a Sarlacc pit. Sharknado, I think I mixed up my metaphors a little.
BUT. (There is always a butt, and there is always a but.) Virtually all the advice on writing I’ve come across in this little (mis)adventure of mine says that, JUST LIKE IN RUNNING, when it gets hard, that’s the time to put your complaints and your excuses and your frozen bananas aside, put your fargoing head down, and KEEP CHARGING. Like JFK said, we don’t do these things because they’re easy, we do them because we get cupcakes at the end. *is handed a note* Oh. We do them because they’re hard. Am I hungry? Who’s hungry?
Anyway, funny things happen when you get the fargo out of the way of your story. When you really step back and allow things to happen, it’s a little like putting a pair of pants or an old jacket through the laundry without checking the pockets. You never know what tasty treats or piles of change or forgotten bluetooth headsets will shake out. (I don’t want to talk about it.) In a recent post, I included a passage wherein one of the characters, through the magic of magic, drops a piano on her boss. Not for realsies. For fakesies. (And NO, clever reader, the boss in question is not a stand-in for my boss. At least, not my current boss. Evil laugh.) It made me chuckle. It’s a sudden, unexpected, karate krane kick to the kranium (c-c-c-combo!) to make sure the reader is still paying attention. It’s like a cool, refreshing little cloudburst in the dog days of August. It made me happy.
Then the Id-Writer went and carried it too far. That scene (dude gets pulverized by falling piano, bits of blood and brain everywhere, nothing major) immediately gave rise to a tagalong scene where another character conjures a roaring jet engine a few steps behind a contemporary of his and paints the apartment with uh, the other guy.
So, you know, that was kicking around in my head, and NOW IT’S OUT. This is why I think writing is some of the best therapy. Who knows; some day, many years from now, it could very well be YOU AND ME standing on a tarmac somewhere, with jet engines roaring away nearby, and because I got it out of my system by writing about it, I won’t feel the least bit tempted to give you a tiny little shove back into that ginsu blender of death. MAYBE.
That being said, writing the gratuitous turbine murder didn’t feel the same as writing the inexplicable piano. Felt like I was trying too hard to make a square peg of violence fit into the round hole of my whimsical little story. Even as I wrote it, I had the feeling that it wouldn’t survive the first pass at editing. As I ruminate on it today I feel even more strongly that it may not even make it to the first edit. It just doesn’t fit. If there’s such a thing as a gorefest book, it’s not going to be written by a guy like me. Certainly it won’t be written by a guy like me in a book like this. This is a family book, goldfinger it, filthy language notwithstanding. Frankly and sadly, I’m not sure if the piano-death scene will pass muster either, for that matter. It’s awfully sudden and awfully disconnected and it ends up communicating some things about the character that I’m not at all sure belong in this book. Much as it amuses me, it’s just one of those Things That Will Probably Have To Go Even Though It Makes Me Sad (TTWPHTGETIMMS, copyright 2014 Pavorisms).
BUT WHO KNOWS? Maybe on the day I edit that passage, I’ll be seized by the same fit that caused me to write the same violent inkblood-spatter as I was the other day. Maybe the Id-Writer will club the Ego-Writer with a typewriter and end up making me keep BOTH scenes intact. Writing is fun like that!
At any rate, to provide the update you don’t care about (more like the sort-of-hardcopy record that I may, one day, care about), I am still making my writing goals this week, bollocksed testing schedule and miscellaneous job stresses notwithstanding. BARELY MAKING THEM, to be sure, but making them nonetheless. The blarg, here, has suffered, but that’s its job; TO SUFFER AND RECORD MY SUFFERING.
So I stumble onward, crashing and careening down my unmarked writer’s path, completely failing to fail at this project for yet another day. I’ve not missed a deadline yet, a fact simultaneously terrific and terrible, because my inner Howler Monkey knows that the failure is out there somewhere. Lurking. Waiting. With teeth.
Fifty-one thousand words in, now. The sun’s not visible over the horizon yet, but something tells me it’s hiding there.