Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Well played, sir

So once again, my friend sees through my bull and says the one thing that cuts to the core of things for me:

"Why aren't you working on your novel?"

Well played, indeed.

I've distracted myself with other things, I answered. And that's true. But in the last year, it has also been difficult to think too far in the future, much less to pour real effort into a long-term project. (Yes, I realize my 366 Days project is "long term," but in many ways it's also just short bursts and has become more random and infrequent in recent weeks, as various personal anniversaries have approached and lingered and refused to pass.)

It's why, I think, I've been reading lots of graphic novels instead of "real" books. Why I've been watching random TV most nights.

But those are just excuses, yes? I'm supposed to be working on a novel. It's what I do. Who I am.

It's funny, but I get this odd restlessness. I can feel something bubbling in my subconscious, seeking escape. Sometimes this results in me building assemblages or doing paintings. Sometimes I get the old sketchbook back out. Sometimes, it results in stories.

I think I'm feeling a novel coming on. It's like that ache you get a few days before the flu sets in. Or the aura experienced in advance of a seizure. Or the smell of rain in the air before the summer storm hits.

There's an invisible world just out of my reach, names on the tip of my tongue, characters like featureless mannequins beginning to acquire definition in my mind's eye, like images from a dream that's fading, or a recurring nightmare that's beginning to coalesce into the physical realm.

I feel it out there, coming closer.

And when it hits, you'll be the second to know.

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