A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Sunday, December 01, 2002


Sunday morning and I had to vacate the premises. Coming to you
live from Starbucks (to be uploaded from an earlier broadcast). The cat gave me
a look when I left. About as wide-eyed as she could get. I had already spent a
good portion of yesterday at the movies and then wandering around Portland, and
this look seemed to say, "Really? You're going to take away this
much of my weekend." I guess it's good to be wanted.

Time is the enemy. Three days already off work and not a word
typed (though, I should get a pass for Thanksgiving). It's easy to fill the days
with other things, and let stuff slip away. I thought about writing, at
least. I actually theorized that my abilities are centered in my eyes. Beyond
the values of seeing--seeing people, seeing books, seeing what my fingers
say--there seems to be an actual connection between my brainspace and my eyes.
Like if my eyes are heavy, dark, tired--if I have that feeling like I've been
swimming--I can't do it. I can't sit down and go. I need to remember to take
advantage of clarity of vision. Just like last week when Glengarry GlenRoss
taught me that a well-chosen movie can knock me out of a funk and get my energy
going. It's got to be the right movie, though. No matter how good, say, a Wong
Kar-Wai flick is going to be, its pacing isn't going to lift me the way
something with a faster rhythm and more punchy dialogue will.

I've been digging a lot of Elvis Costello lately. Got a hook-up with like four of the recent Rhino double-disc packages--all albums I didn't get in the Ryko series or from the Warner Bros. period, and I've been digging into them. Each comes with an extensive booklet with notes about the record from Elvis--and not just stuff like, "Oh, we recorded in this studio on this many tracks and built it around this riff." It's more about what was really going on in a more general sense, the climate of the times. And honest feelings about how the finished product. I wish I had ripped it all to MP3, but I'm not sure how I'd fit it on my player. It's pretty full, and I always have to dump something to put a new album on. Today the Chemical Brothers got moved to the dustbin so The Roots could fabulously move in.

Look at the above. It's Time advancing on my front line. A
slice of gingerbread is already gone, and I only just opened Word. I have plenty
of Eggnog Latte left, though. (Joke from the few minutes of the recent Muppets
Christmas show that I could stand to watch (shut it! it's not the same!): I like
my women like I like my coffee--a latte!" (Say it out loud if you don't get

Expect to hear from me again, after the obligatory music list.
It's 11:06 a.m.

Today's musical choices: The Roots, Phrenology; Elastica "Love Like Ours (Volume version)" & "Unheard
Music" (w/Steve Malkmus); Elvis Costello, "What Do I Do Now?" (a
Sleeper cover, with the great line, "can we try again, no one told me it
was raining
"); Gene, "You;" Shed Seven, Going for Gold;
Suede, A New Morning.

The Everlasting is today's point of order. 

I actually began today by inserting a scene ahead of
the one I had previously worked on. I wanted more between Lance and Ashley.
There is a whole delicate balance here of writing enough for each relationship
so that you can understand why each person is in it, and give a good sense of
the union before tearing it apart. I've got to give enough to make it work, but not so
much that it's boring. I am finding Ashley the hardest, perhaps because she's
the least colorful. Mandy is next, and she's going to be easy. The ones who are
nuts tend to take care of themselves.

This scene is one I pretty much pulled out of my ass.
It's just a conversation and it may be too long and have to go altogether or be
cut done, but it's a good exercise. You take two characters and you just make them talk.
If you have an opening, you can just run with it. If you can't, then maybe you
don't know these characters as well as you think you know them...you know?

It was completely packed in the Starbucks today. Perhaps it's
the end of a long weekend, perhaps it's the weather change. It's dark today, a
lot of clouds. It was cold out and when I came inside, my glasses fogged up.
Maybe people are hiding here. The great thing is, with the headphones, I can't
even hear the hint of a peep from them. And while usually music influences what
I write, today was strangely opposite. I had some lines about clouds, letting
the sky inspire me, and then similarly themed lines showed up in the Gene song.

Current Soundtrack: Elvis Costello, Spike

Note: On this and the last entry, I used Front Page to try to make formatting easier, but it's just fucking it up. I will go back to my old method next time.


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