Wednesday, July 15, 2009

As the nigh-endless absence (in blog-terms) from posting on this blogs, connotes, my late last attempt at getting energized about writing failed. Eventually it just ground to a halt. I just couldn't figure out who to write somehow, and I couldn't figure out why. So, I tried going in reverse; I went back to basics and just concentrated on reading, reading stuff I enjoyed. I felt like I had gotten so blocked up with pretensions and hopes and impatience that nothing could get out, and I just had to do something to detox my system, stop worrying about whether or not what i was doing was amounting to something or was important to some grand scheme and just take it easy, man.

And I think it has been helping. I don't know if I am done with it, but it has been nice to stop worrying about the future for a bit. I visited home to renew my driver's license, and while there I picked up all the paperback Redwall books I had, and I have been reading those. Just getting back in touch with some of the stories that originally made me be so interested in stories in the first place.

In fact, I have been giving some special attention to considering the topic of storytelling itself, and what makes for a good story. I have a theory on that, which I will outline in a later post. One of the problems I was having with writing is that I didn't feel like my stories meant anything, at least the ones I was working on. There were things happening, and characters having thoughts, but they didn't seem to matter to me, which made it impossible for me to really care to work on them. They didn't seem to have a purpose. They didn't seem necessary. Hopefully, going forward, if my theory is correct, it will make it easier to come up with stories that I actually want to complete, since they will have a purpose for existing. Another problem I was having is that I was trying to write about the things that I didn't really understand, places and situations I haven't been to or visited, or spent any time trying to visualize. This lead to a huge loss of confidence, since it's really hard to write a story about, say, a cop working in Chicago or landed gentry during the Regency when I don't acutally know anything about those places or people? Sure I have vague I ideas for stories, but without any sense of place of habits, trying to flesh those stories out into words is just impossible. In retrospect, trying to writes those stories is pretty dumb. Better to put work on something I know like, small-town Illinois (which I actually find insanely boring) or, ironically, cosmopolitan Rome. (I have some more research to do there, but its coming along. I really need to get to work on brushing up my Latin.)

Also, I have been fooling around on the guitar some more. The one I am using is a POS, and the second string just does not like to play, but it's enough to start learning. I finally learned by what the sequence of notes are. There are sharp/flat notes between all the normal notes except BC and EF, which I remember by thinking of the phrase "neolithic coitus". Or at least one that approximates it.