"Is there no way out of my mind?"
I have borrowed the line from Sylvia Plath, as I’d been reading her diaries again in recent months. I was looking for something within these notes, rather than her poems because there was so much more detail and a better look inside her thought processes.
I write this at a time when most people are in the final push for that annual madness that ostensibly celebrates somebody’s birth, but seems to be more about a lot of other things.
You would think I am feeling pretty good in that so much is set to happen. The new book is coming out, not in time for Christmas, but that’s fine. I am resigned that we don’t have it, and that in the 1stquarter of the new year, everyone’s working to pay off what they did at the end of the 4th, right?
Funnily enough, my family stopped doing the gift thing in the 80’s, yes, that far back. The excesses of the decade never really came to us, and it was a lot less stressful to just know that we at least gave a shit about one another. I think we have done so.
I also realize that my own nature and attitude are to say the least, solitary. My path is solitary, and I’ve been that way a lot of my life. Even more intriguing, most of the characters in my books at least have someone in their sphere of influence who actually gets them and has them somewhat figured out.
Most of that is the world you wish to see, not always how it is. My stories are a mix of the ideal, the mundane, how it pretty much is, and the extreme of a dark rain that hasn’t fallen yet, but you already feel it.
I feel it all the time. Yes, my moods are generally better this year, but these are relative. While I’m working on characters and their development, even the positive, forward-thinking ones have a dark side.
Most of those dark sides are not good ones.
They are like most people I unfortunately come across: self-absorbed, suspicious, cynical, aware not of themselves but what they think they are, and concerned about the care and feeding of themselves.
Sometimes you have to do it. For many, that struggle is day to day, and I don’t disabuse people of it, because you do what you have to do. I get it.
We also see the facade, the one most put up either in public or on social media. It’s you, but it’s not you; just the part of you they want you to see. It’s usually because they are ashamed of who they are, or how they feel.
There is no crime in not feeling together, or happy, or joyous, or anything at all, if that is not you.
Now, the thing I have to explain is that with me in a split-second, the mood shifts and changes, like I just took a chair shot to the head. You go from feeling elated or at least okay to exhausted, uncertain, unable to even speak properly.
It’s like my ability to speak suddenly vanishes, like I lost my power. That happens in the studio at times, and I’ve never fully understood it. I can speak freely, and they I’m mumbling, slurring my words, and my brain is rushing ahead to words on a page that aren’t even there.
I sometimes sound like one of my friends, when we were young. He used to have this odd habit of mashing words; he couldn’t quite pronounce them, and so he’d say them as he thought they were supposed to sound, even if he was looking right at them. He also sometimes talked way too fast, and that might have been part of it.
As I also write, I’m reminded of Plath’s florid use of the language; so well-read she was, but I sometimes wondered if her writing was exhibition over exposition.
Plath admitted in an interview a lot of her early work imitated authors she admired, but then that is how we define our own styles. I’m not sure where mine began, but I can pinpoint certain authors, more unknown than known.
I feel impatient for a step into what I want to do with this new book, and the series that follows. But I have other books, other stories...they are not the same thing, and they might well be a damned sight better than this.
The door also needs to be kicked open. The next level has got to be reached, and I have only certain ideas of how to push in that direction.
It feels mostly that I am just throwing ideas at the wall, to see which of the shit sticks.
I tell myself my best hasn’t been written; perhaps not. Or the past contains the work that must be made better.
That is for certain.
Too many people feel that you have to be in a big city, New York, LA, wherever to be close to the action. But if you’re fighting too many hours a week just to pay your bills, what’s the point?
I feel I do that now.
I also just heard someone talking about some book selling, at high speed. Well, fine; how about letting some of us in here to show what we have?
That’s another battle in itself.
I have no need to write pages and pages of prose, descriptors, adjectives and trivialities of entire days, like Plath and others do. Those just don’t work; you spend more time planning and documenting, that DOING.
I have to think from moment to moment, and hopefully act on what I think of that that moment. Then something might get done.
The blur of recent years, and this business of doing what I want to be doing, and wishing for the time is based on what you’re allowed at the moment. Go from there.
This is not the best time to be sinking into my other, ectoplasmic self. I wrote of this in an unpublished work about a character who earlier in life saw herself not from herself, but outside herself. As if, she stood beside herself and watched without being seen.
That is something that I recall from very early on. I didn’t see through me eyes, but sort of beside me, to the side, and almost looked over my own shoulder.
Must be a name for that.
Oh well, strange days indeed, to borrow another phrase. I need more of my own I think.
Well, anyway, the new one’s coming and I’m going to be incredibly obnoxious about promoting it. Because I have no other choice.
The new one is the one that needs to be read, and needs to sell, because I think you really will fall into the story. Then from there, perhaps we can make it into something a little bigger.
I would like to live long enough to see how this all turns out, and perhaps have the time to really think about what I have in mind, and then act on it.
I think I’m where I am, because that’s how it is. The “is” will become something else eventually.