Steamshoveling into a basement

I can’t wait to get all of my journals into HTML, so I can change the font so they all look like Motorhead album covers.

Last night, I taped about an hour of my rambling about Summer Rain. I set up the camera and taped it on the VCR using a VHS tape running on the slow speed. I don’t care about the picture too much, I just needed the audio. So this way, I can put 6 hours of discussion on each tape. And after an hour, I realized it will take a lot of fucking discussion to get this thing rolling. I am hoping that by the end of May, I will have enough notes to start an outline and a completely new draft of the book.

I brought Bill home last night and hung out at his place a bit, caught up with Jen and saw Liam. He was running all over, and talking about steamshovels. I guess he read this book, which I sort of remember from my childhood, about this steamshovel that digs this basement for a building and gets stuck at the bottom, so he becomes a furnace. Oddly enough, I had a dream last night where Liam kept saying “Boba Fett” over and over.

I started re-reading this Rupert Thomas book, to get an idea of what I want to do with SR. There are a lot of fine details about his writing that make it memorable. I think it’s because he never directly builds up his characters – they are built through strong incidentals. Instead of saying his characters’ age or height or looks, he’ll talk about the cigarette they smoke or their mannerisms in such a way that you build up the character based on your expectations of a person that would drink that kind of drink or whatever. And the characters really build in your head, come back to haunt you long after you set down the book. I like that.

I’m hoping to re-read about 5-10 books that contain pieces of SR that I like, and take a lot of notes on them. I also hope to collect together a bunch of music that will help me to write. I want to make tapes containing songs that I listened to in those periods, or songs that remind me of then. That’ll help me write a bit more. It’s too easy to listen to music that distracts me, or puts me to sleep.

Everyone writes like the life of a writer is supposed to be some sort of snooty person who sips tea and grows roses and listens to NPR while restoring furniture, and then writes 10 lines of a poem per day in a pink notebook with a giant, swooshy, caligraphy pen.

Fuck that. I want to write like a Marine kills. I want to use my keyboard like an M-16 and sneak up on the enemy of the blank page and destroy it with words. Not writing is my enemy. All of the pretty flowers and all of the puppy dogs and all of the lace and fake-ass english accents need to be covered with napalm via an airstrike. Writing isn’t some sort of nose-in-the-air art form that I send off to the trendy journals with printruns of 50. It is how I survive. Regardless of my audience, regarless of if I even have an audience, it is what I do to continue.


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