Thursday, February 10, 2011

epiphany's at 20 below - for the creative process, anyway.

I did a lot of consideration today, on the background of my story, culture and how it happens, and music.

One problem I have in my creative life is that when I absorb an artistic influence, it needs months to tone down - be it the visual arts, poetry, probably prose, music, etc.  Partly because I don't go crazy for much, but if I like something, I Really, Really Like it. (On a side note, I've not read Lovecraft for 15 years, but I analyzed tonight's post, and hells bells, here I go writing like Howard Phillips Lovecraft, creepy weird fiction author extraordinaire.  Change that "months to tone down", above, to Years, people. Case. In. Point.)

I'm thinking that some of my short story was built from ideas or thinking about the song "Cat Faces" off the Ugly Cassanova album "Sharpen Your Teeth".  The song uses a lot of logging imagery (cat faces in the pines is a reference to scarring on a tree trunk) and it's a duet of sorts, between two male voices singing different and occasionally overlapping lyrics.  I don't know how they pulled it off, but it's really beautifully done and quite haunting - check the sample at under the album (Sharpen Your Teeth) song name Cat Faces -  it's beyond interesting,  it seems to hint at some sort of relationship, some fatalism, and an undercurrent of secrets and finality.  Partly I really like the higher harmony line sung by Tim Rutili, but I think the line "I lay down with the southern range" - which I initially mis-heard as "I lay down in sudden rage" really grabbed me.

I listened to this album all the time before I was pregnant with my son, and a few months after he was born, I started having these dreams about two teenaged ne'er-do-well boys gone missing, a stubborn and ambitious teenaged girl who goes looking for him, and the bad things - the fallout, I guess - that collects along the way.  I set the dream in the woods between all the small towns I grew up around.  The dream series had plenty of plot, but it's quite grim.  I know what happens (and got over writing some of the icky bits immediately, knowing they need work) and more-or-less when and how.

I'm stalling though, because I know that bad things happen to good, and not-so-good people in the real world too.  I have a story and something to say, but is the excuse to write it really going to be "but it was such a good one!!"?  I feel I need to go with the depressing, but highly realistic ending that I've written, but I feel like someone in the story has to be redeemed.  Or the greater good has to be preserved somehow.  I'm the kind of person who watched The Book of Eli, and wondered how many other body parts were going to get shot off - because I can only take so many amputations in one movie.  I write poetry, fer heaven's sake.  Okay, rat-infested, steampunkish on occasion, gin-soaked-floozy  poetry, with a little cute supernatural thrown in for relief, but, still, it's poetry, damn it. I don't like amputations in general, but hey - look who's got a story that even has one old pale foot missing the commensurate body to go with! And....I'm not entirely sure why. Damnation without redemption for the sake of a good story just seems...wrong for me.

So, I'll write all the squicky bits.  The faster, the better.  Then maybe I can find a way to play omniscient and
omnipotent being and tweak a few plot points, allowing at least one major character  a realistic way out of durance vile.
I hate writing the squicky bits.


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