Thursday, January 3, 2013

Did It, Maybe, I Think

One distracting thing that happens daily are distracting emails containing amusing links, such as this one, purportedly some rare video of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as a child. A caveat is that many, if not most, of my friends, are politically to the Right, even though I'm a Lefty. Amazing how we get along, and a laugh is a laugh.

The next distraction came in the form of a grocery excursion I thought would take, maybe a couple of hours or so, since it would include lunch. Having just moved to Denver, we're on the lookout for a good organic grocer besides Whole Foods, as well as a decent specialty grocer. Nothing wrong with Whole Foods. We just like local.

We'd thought we found some grocers, and took off into the haze of the freeway. Perhaps the worst thing about Denver is that the Metro area is about as walkable as Kansas. No matter where you want to go, plan on driving. A lot.

Not only was the grocery thing a bust, but it took closer to four hours, pretty much blowing off the day. Besides, the dross of the day before always weighs in. Sure, you can complete all your tasks, on a good day. But problems that don't get solved are like dark spots on last year's dental X-rays: They don't go away.

I didn't get to sit down to write until 8 p.m. or so. I can't say with certainty that I got in 500 words. It could have been 400, but it could also have been 600 or more. I forgot to look at the start point. It felt okay, though.

I will say, though, that as you try to explicate character through narrative, something happens, and things take on a life of their own. A similar phenomenon happened to mean years ago, when I play I wrote for a class assignment was accepted for staged reading/quasi performance from a theater group at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

No, it wasn't the famed Magic Theater. But I was still pretty stoked. What struck me, though, was what happened to the play once the director and actors took over. It took off in a different direction. Actors, after all, are artists, and interpret dialogue and dramatic action the way they see things. So does the director. I found myself rewriting dialogue right on stage, as it was being read, questioned and interpreted. It was a rush I'd never felt before and haven't experienced since.

So it goes with this novel-writing project. The characters are having their say, and, Milquetoast that I am, I let them do it and get out of the way. I've always thought good writers were less generators than mediums anyway.

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