I’ve started all the housecleaning stuff here that I wanted to get to before my mom arrives. After all, when she left here back in late September, she was leaving a really clean house. I came home from New York to the tidiest house imaginable. It made me so happy.
I wouldn’t want her to arrive next Monday and think, you know: Jesus, doesn’t this gal ever clean anything?
Because, truthfully, when I’m not working on a project (or seven) I’m a bit of a cleaning freak. To the point where I can sort of be annoying. I’m one of those people — I might not actually say it to you, but I’ll be privately thinking it: Wow, did you just move something a fraction of an inch from where I had it?
You’d think I wouldn’t be so — well, I guess anal-retentive is the phrase for it but it sure is unattractive — but you’d think I wouldn’t be like that, since I have 7 cats who usually decide that everything pretty much goes wherever they want it. Still. I do notice when things aren’t exactly where I last placed them.
However… Cleaning is not the voyage I’m speaking of, up there in the title of today’s post!
I’m speaking once again about Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, the new novel that is fully underway in my brain.
It’s exciting. That whole process of writing a new novel — how the ideas begin to just sort of tumble down into my mind. Sort of like clothes falling down a laundry chute or something. Ideas just tumble in and I have to keep running to my notebook and jot down notes. That’s when I know for sure that a full-blown novel is actually in there, preparing to come out. It just really excites me.
It’s such a different process from, like, Girl in the Night, where I have no clue what I’m going to write, or when I’m going to write it. I only know that I want the book to be under 200 pages, so that means about 18 “Letters” total, depending on the length of each one.
Beyond that, I don’t have any clue what the “Letters” will focus on. The book is just a great big blank in my mind, extending before me. Then, suddenly the next title for a “Letter” will emerge, and maybe a color or a tone will accompany the title. But I won’t really know what it’s going to be about until the piece completely arrives, sort of like a mist rolling in at the edges of my awareness. And then, suddenly, the whole piece will sort of “download.” It could be weeks between title and download, though.
In the Shadow of Narcissa is a similar feeling, but it’s a lot simpler, since each of those pieces is only about 600 words. The only difficult part of that book is to try to retain the perspective I had as a toddler, when the inside of our house was pretty much my whole world, and everything about being alive was brand new and I didn’t understand anything.
I still don’t understand anything, but nothing is brand new anymore.
Well, I shouldn’t say that; I still have feelings about things that I’ve never felt before. So that’s cool.
Anyway, it’s a wonderful feeling — to have all these ideas rushing at me about Thug. It feels like it’s going to be a really complex, dark, amusing, intense sort of filthy book.
You know, in the old days, I used to have to write with the voices of my publishers in my head and their financial agendas looking over my shoulder — which also meant that my agent was looking over my shoulder, too. And that meant I had to seriously rein-in some of the things I wanted to write. Even though I seriously miss having publishers, it really does sort of free up my mind. My imagination. Since the small press market has shrunk so drastically, and each press is just glutted with writers trying to get a deal, I just write what I want to write now and then worry about who there might be to publish it after it’s done.
It just feels so good. Really liberating.
All righty. It’s Tuesday yet again, which means I have no food in the house!! So I gotta drive into town and do something about that. For some reason, the main road out of here is closed. So I have to sort of go the back way — the road that winds along where the old Erie Canal used to be about 200 years ago. And it’s a lovely, narrow old road. However, it takes long enough to get to town and back on the regular road.
Meanwhile…Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter thing this morning. He actually touched on some things I think about a lot. You can read it here. Today it’s about grieving — having to grieve publicly, I guess is how you’d describe it.
Okay, I gotta scoot! Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang! I leave you with nothing today because I didn’t listen to any music at breakfast. I just sat there quietly and looked at the cats eating while I ate and I wondered how I got here (to Earth) and how they got into my life and where we’re all going to after this… I love you guys. See ya!