Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book 'em

Oh, dear. Like the unwanted pregnancy that turns out to be a favorite child, a new novel, perhaps a novella, has sprung forth from my brain to the computer over the weekend.

I hadn't planned it, and the inspiration is based on half fanciful recreation of teenage experiences, but more on recent dreams. Unlike some dreams, perhaps inspired by too much pizza before bed, there are no all-singing, all-dancing dinosaur musical numbers, but a series of plottable scenes that, transmuted to print, lose some of their fantastical qualities, but intrigue me, and hopefully someday, readers.

Yes, I awoke at four a.m Saturday morning, cranked out the first two chapters and went to bed contemplating the subsequent ones. Even doing four loads of laundry while reading a Kurt Vonnegut book could not distract me from new chapters for the characters that have emerged, almost fully formed, out of nowhere but my psyche and a cup of coffee.

If I sound like I'm bemoaning a new spurt of spontaneous creativity, perhaps I am. Who needs another gay novel, me in particular, its typist, when several others lay half-written in print drafts and on my computer (and double backed up on an external hard drive and separate discs. I learned that lesson to the tune of a 2001 computer failure and an $800 drive recovery bill).

Anyway, I'll withhold the details of the new book, excepting that the process this time isn't going to be as labored as previous works. I suppose all those years of fumbling away at the first three will make the subsequent ones' completion simpler (Monkey Suits was written first, and Cyclizen drafted in greater form before PINS, which I self-published first, it being the coming of age tale and all. Confusing? A bit).

What I hope to be the next one (yet a different novel) needs work, proofing and an agent. Frankly, were I a more daring author, I could pitch this baby based on the first two chapters alone.

At the same time, I'm finally dabbling in e-book creation software of my already published works, to some befuddling code errors. Perhaps I'll Kindle my way into the 21st century, knuckle down and just let some hireling make it e-work, with chapter links, etc.

Related to this theme, visually at least, are images from the work of surrealist painter Jonathan Wolstenholme. I first saw a gallery of his work while attempting to peruse Facebook on my new cell phone.

Facebook friend Mark Dylan Sieber, a self-described "disengaged designer and ink slinger," continues to post beguiling galleries of graphics that demand downloads as witty screensavers. Visit his blog now.

Sieber posts galleries of famous and little-known artists like my favorite French impressionist-realist, Gustave Caillebotte, who was not only a great artist, but quite the hunk. See for yourself.

A poorly trimmed poster (cropped to fit an ornate junky yet suitable frame) of his "Floor Scrapers" adorns my writing room wall (partially because, as a former dancer, I recall the sensation of freshly sanded wooden sprung studio floors).

I first saw Caillebotte's work in a 1995 visit to Paris at the Muse´d'Orsay, where his works, and "Un Coin de Table" by Henri Fantin-Latour, brought me to emotional catharses and inspired both published and unpublished works. Caillebotte's "La place de l'Europe, temps de pluie" at the Chicago Art Institute, also brought me to tears. Perhaps on each occasion, I was simply an exhausted tourist. Doubtful.

This post is also a pleasant way to bump down my previous post about that ... hideous Alaskan creature (see below), whose name I refuse to ever again type or speak, and as a sort of blathering response to a query from another writer that I join in to a 15-Questions format he posed to some writers (on Facebook, yet again) about their process. Obviously, I broke the rules and chose my own format.

As to creative inspiration, I think I've answered that in my own way. Should said new novel-in-gestation ever be published, an inside secret to you will be that I just now chose to make the story's love interest resemble a modern teenage version of Caillebotte. Why? Why does a dog lick his own butt? (Because he can.)

So now, I will, as one floor scraper seems to be saying to the other, "Get back to work, hot stuff."

[reposted from my Cyclizen blog]