Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lift Off This Blindfold

I had been on something of a tear back in September on the next novel.  Then I realized it would be next year if I was lucky before it saw the light of day, and I wanted to have something out there in the cloud since all the advice I get about this digital publishing era centers on volume (woe is me: I write like a snail).  So I thought, I'll collect my published short stories.  And then I thought, I'll include something new.  Like a new short story in the Elizabeth universe, because it's going to be even longer before I get back to that.  So I started writing the short story.  And then I went to New York City.

So here it is the end of October, and I haven't touched the new novel in over a month. 

This happens to me quite a bit.  I tend to start things before I've finished another.  You'd think I'm good then at picking up threads, but not really.  Last week I finished the Elizabeth story and since then I have devoted my time to going through the 100 pages or so of the new novel, finding the voice again.  The music.  That's all you can do.  Perspective helps.  Sometimes a story loses its shine.  Sometimes you come back and you're more in love than when you left.  That's what happened here.  I came back really wanting to get back into this story.  The novel takes place in a big city, and NYC lent me plenty.  Sometimes the knots of a story will undo themselves with some time away.  My big plan when I left - a kind of 'double album' - seems less exciting now, though I may still do it.

I've been listening to a lot of music, like I always do, and the mindscore of the novel is somewhere between the fizz of Mylo Xyloto and the fog of The Suburbs.  My 80's childhood-Brat Pack movie-Star Wars freak fest.  I've also been hanging out a lot in the fuckyeahRuthNegga tumblr - my muse this particular go around (that's Ruth channeling Shirley Basey up top). 

The Book of Elizabeth taught me a lot about tenacity in writing.  I spent four years seeing that novel through to the end.  I left it for dead I don't know how many times.  It left me just as many.  See your vision through.  Even when you have lost the way, or you feel like you have a blindfold on.  You are never lost.  In the morning, the sun will always come up on you in the east.  Keep pushing.  That's what I'm doing with the new novel, and I'm excited to tell a story I want to tell.  I'm exicted by the idea of finishing a new novel - something I haven't done in years.

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