Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spring Springing

I know there's still snow on the ground and more forecast in the near future, but I swear that I smelled spring in the air yesterday. And with spring, a male writer's mind turns to thoughts of ... love scenes.

Ok, not all the time. At my age, I need a little bit of time in between writing such scenes. But in my work in progress, I'm getting very close to determining what kind of story I'm really writing. Is it a love story or is it a tale of love gone cold?

It has all the makings of a love story. There's thousands of miles of distance, rancor between family members, young kids who tell it like they see it... It opens with death. Love story all the way!

Here I am, 35,000-words-plus into the story (with lots of holes since I've kinda leapfrogged over some of the important 'What the hell is happening?' stuff), and I'm about to print things out so I can literally cut and rearrange chapters and scenes. It's not the way I handled my first novel, but this one feels different and feels like it needs some back-to-basics "storyboarding" tactics.

I'm not sure this will work, but when it comes to love, I've found that you never know exactly what will work until it doesn't. I've got to be myself and let the shreds of story fall as they may.

How do you approach a crossroad in your story?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

J.D. Salinger, You Goddam Phony

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, for a guy who's supposedly dead, you've been in the news an awful lot.

And for a guy who mostly hid out in his hermit hole, coming out on occasion to scream at trespassers, get eggs and coffee and shoot the shit about the weather at the local place in town, and gawk at the girls at the high school, you've been getting a lot of how ya' doins by all those folks who you probably wouldn't give the time of day.

Seems to me that all that talk of phonies (I mean, who talks like that?) seems, how should I put it? hypocritical now that you're back on the literary circuit. When's your next book coming out, anyway?

I keep seeing folks on the train reading your previous work. As if you're going to rehash that old tripe! I mean aren't the Glass family pretty much half empty at this point? Off to the vapor, with you Zooey. And don't forget to send Esme a bit more squalor, Seymour. Bananafish, bah!

Jerry, you've found a new family to write about, right? The people of New York became boring long ago. But what's been going on down at the Cornish, New Hampshire, Post Office? What have you been listening to down at the barbers where you get your ponytail waxed? No, that probably wasn't you, actually. But it coulda been.

I don't know, Jerry, I think you've probably got it all wrong. You actually can't stay locked in the 1950s and '60s. Literature needs to breath or else it gets really dusty. But then that might have explained your penchant for younger women. Keeps us young, they say. But, Jerry, you were 91 years old when you died! Goddam, that's pretty friggin old.

Still, you did ok, man, God love ya. Maybe it's all right that you might have new works come out as long as you don't have to deal with the media freak show that would have occurred if you'd actually had them appear during your lifetime. Maybe your kids will go into seclusion in your stead if new works by you emerge from your Cornish cave.

Hey, stranger things have happened.