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boots or hearts/the tragically hip

See when it starts to fall apart
Man, it really falls apart
Like boots or hearts, oh when they start
They really fall apart

Gord Downie/The Tragically Hip

 

About a million years ago I had a job filing land titles. By lat/long. I sang the Hip’s “At the Hundredth Meridian” every day for months .All day.

It’s where the great plains begin, after all. The more I work on The Mourning Wolves, the more Canadian it becomes. I plan on mentioning the giant egg. And the giant perogy.

happily never after

for the first time in, oh, a year, I’m writing a short story. I should be writing the novel, but my bestest writing Twin sent me the open call for this anthology: Over the Rainbow.

And lo’, now I’ve written about 2K on this weird, slightly mean short story about these two henchpeople who work for the evil Queens, and whose job is to ensure Princesses don’t get their happily-ever-after, but my theory is the promise of happy-ever-after is harmful, and sets people up for disappointment. Not sure it’s overly original in scope but the narrative is, and the characters are assholes, and I haven’t actually written protags who are jerks before, and I’m really, really enjoying it.

I want to write pages and pages and pages of these jackasses, but for that, we need a plot that can support more than four thousand words.

We will see.

 

 

and, poet.

I’m about 50% done the almost-last (OMG) edit on this book and finally, FINALLY I can admit to being slightly proud about some/most/parts of what I’ve written and that makes me super happy. Like this.  When you name a character something ridiculous and he’s never supposed to show up and then he does? And then he says something that makes you laugh?

It’s like that:

 

“If you’ve brought a flask and you are not sharing…”

I turned. Poet. His hand out like he was demanding my entrance fee to this party. “No, not -“

“She’s not drunk, Poet.”

“Well, that’s disappointing.”

I cleared my throat. Poet, of the Rupprecht-Brodsky Poets, or something because all ten-dollar names had lineage, looked at me like he was bored out of his tree and tapped Quince on the nose. “Master Woodcock.”

Quince grimaced.

“Still an unfortunate last name,” Poet said in a sigh. “You could change it, you know, after the wedding?”

“Poet.” I widened my eyes and shook my head.

“I didn’t mean to you.”

“For fuck’s sake, Poet,” I hissed.

He fiddled with the button on his blazer. His boring, regular, funeral blazer. He was wearing a boring funeral tie and dull shoes. Someone else had dressed him. Silver cufflinks glinted when he talked, his hands always part of the conversation. “Oh come on, Haven, if we all act dead they won’t know which one of us they’re supposed to bury.”

Quince gasped. All I could manage was a blink.

Poet leaned in, his hand on my shoulder. “Arwen told me about the birth star.” His breath was soft and warm. “Be careful,” as his other hand touched the mark on my wrist. “Leave as soon as you can and do not come back here. And hide this mark.” He kissed my hair. “From everyone.” He stepped back and bowed lightly at the waist.

The scent of rot and roses bloomed around me.

where did you come from?

The girl could only keep looking, watching, feeling her heart in all its new pieces settle into the depth of her body like sand on the bottom of the ocean. As she watched him, her eyes settled on the dark blue pullover he was wearing. A spike collared bulldog stared back in warning. Something was written in football jersey script below the animal, but letters were missing, worn through, the remaining spread themselves across the width of the shirt. The girl ran her eyes across them, sounding a word out in her mind.

P ATH ETIC.

As she pieced them together she put her hand to her mouth to keep from crying.

anyway, going through old files so I can clear out some hard drive space and i keep finding single page snippets of stuff that has no contextual meaning. At all.

the first/last time we ever met.

i noted on twitter that this book was weird even for me. And lo’ it is:

“Come,” he says as the spill of yellow intensifies. He holds out his hand and she knows better. Knew better. Knew better than to come back when she’d been tagged by the Seek, to steal from the foodStore, to listen to the Queen of some hidden Hive and all she knows is that together, separate, they’re all dangerous. But the Queen’s voice is syrup and she reaches and his hand is warm and soft and feels like morning, like sunshine.

His teeth are sharp and his eyes shimmer blue to black and back again.

“Not today,” and she’s not even sure what he means but there’s a tug and a puff of goldenrod, all powder like a flashbomb favour, blinds her and the air is all tacky-syrup pollen and flowers as he pulls her through the store into some black corner, his other arm out and a door she didn’t know was there and a step

like

falling

into pebbled ground and asphalt, tar-black and she stutters out some plea, but not. Some sound of strangeness.

As her eyes adjust to the new inky dark and she looks around.

And the alley is unfamiliar.

And the Queen is gone.

it’s very first drafty, so doesn’t have to make a lot of sense. But holy biscuits and gravy I’m all: o.O

also, this cover version of “In the Air Tonight” by Dead When I Found Her is lovely.

the weirdest thing, like clockwork

it’s the change in the weather, when the trees lose their green, fade to the sick sun yellow, a weird reminder of what is lost, leaves the colour of sunshine, pale like morning. I suddenly only want to work on a story that I’ve called Mourning/Wolves for something like forever. Or Mourning, Howling, Calling, sometimes. Or the Wolves or this song, anyway, that I know I mention every time the wind changes and I think about this story:

Breathe deep

Takes me
We hold fast
Won’t last
And night falls
It’s just
It’s just as well

And if we danced all night
Fell so deep
If we could live to tell
What our eyes have seen
We are wolves here
And so I held you tight
Dared to confess
So you could feel my body
Steal each breath
We are wolves here

and also:

Sleep, dear
The world has gone quiet
I know you’ll wake up again when you feel the sun
So please breathe
I know you’re pretending
There’s blood at the discotheque
So sick what we’ve become
Come on let go

And kill the lights
‘Cause they’re blinding me
I’ve been watching all the stars go by
Devil takes my hand
And now they’ve seen our blackest hearts
Now they’ve seen the hole inside
Come on take my hand

I know
You’re broken on the inside
The city is flowing through you, that’s what you’ve become
So please breathe
There’s nothing worth saving
There’s love at the discotheque
So sick what we have done
Come on let go

because this story is both of those things.  And because it was cold and because it was wet, my brain went to this place in the story, to Junior and Salamander and Paja and maybe now a girl named Sunday Mourning, and maybe it’s not a short story and that’s why I’ve never been able to finish it. Maybe it’s a novel, and maybe it’s called The Mourning Wolves and maybe it’s about a girl coming to terms with who/what she is and maybe it’s about a girl fighting to save her makeshift family and maybe it’s about a girl who doesn’t want to live forever, or close to it at least because forever doesn’t always mean For Ever sometimes it means just a really long time.

I’m reading a book right now, about a boy, written by a boy. Or about a guy written by a man or whatever it is, and I can’t think of the last time I read a book written by a male author (except a couple of David Levithan books, one was great, the other didn’t resonate…) that felt so male. I dunno. It’s weird and I’m not sure I like it. It’s a book of much applause and ppl liked it but I, apparently, just like books by women more. Except The Road. So go figure. Anyway. Mourning Wolves.

I want the structure to be weird. I’m mulling over POV and what that will look like, and how maybe I want it to read like a fable or a tale, not in the way of Ellis, Underground (which I still must finish), but in the way of darker, sharpened things.  I want to keep the beginning of the book similar to the short story, and I want the diner to be important, because there’s a diner in it, and I want to keep this sense of sadness, but maybe that’s because it’s just fall, and –

she was fall leaves and winter solstice, and he loved her deep.

 

i read a thing

namely, David Leviathan’s “Two Boys Kissing“, and although it isn’t sort of a novel, in the way novels often are, but more of a commentary. A specific discussion of a specific time, reflected in the now, a place more like now.  It’s the soft voices of the dead, reminding me of watching Longtime Companion, and reading Paul Monette, and watching documentaries on the AIDS quilt and how people forget how horrible that time was, and how things are better, now, but better doesn’t actually mean Good, or right. And anyway, that’s why we need diverse books and that’s why I write stories about makeshift families, joyful, messy families.

…but since you are so inclined, pray that my friend and I be still together just like this at the Mont of Olives blessed by the last of an ancient race who loved youth and laughter and beautiful things so much they couldn’t stop singing and we were the song.

-Paul Monette

It reminds me of being afraid for people I loved, and walking around a very well appointed apartment, looking at art with a man who was most worried that one day his eye sight would be gone.

Hrm. That was a bit gloomier than maybe we want on a weird Monday/Friday hybrid (seasonal holidays are weird, yo).

I also woke up with a line in my head:

“Every time Cupid shoots an arrow, he risks falling in love.”

Every time isn’t the right word, but I suspect this may be a short story one day, along with “The Light’s gone out, Say Goodnight”, which has characters and a part of a set up, but zero plot. Which, you might know, has never stopped me before.

Onward, my pretties. The flying monkeys are coming.

con/sumed (contains spoilers)

okay. So I finally, finally finished Cronenberg’s Consumed, and lo’ did I enjoy it, and lo’ did it make me go: o.O also? Some weird plot choices, Dave.  I’m just not even sure why we completely, more or less, abandoned Nathan and his weird STI, or why we moved away from Naomi and Nathan’s POVs into Aristide’s (the novel is about Aristide supposedly killing/eating his wife and how that came about. Also, if you are interested, Cronenberg’s recently released short film is a companion piece to the book and you should go watch it) when, really, what interests me is not the inside-brain of the dude that maybe at his wife, but the brains of the two journalists who find this guy Interesting, and their completely awkward, twisted/weird non-functional relationship.

So, enjoyed, but enjoyed the first third way better than the last half. Which I know doesn’t even make The Math, but hrmity. If you like Cronenberg, and if you like Gibson (William, logically), there’s a very, very good chance you’ll like this book.

 

it was too dark and too large to find your soul in.

the clock struck midnight, which means scrivener’s word count reset – at last count I was over 600, and I must have written two or three hundred more, so  I feel Good, as the kids say, about the word count.

here’s where we are at, via the mighty screen cap:

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 12.18.54 AM

My wee homage to Master McCarthy, and a bathtub.

Tonight’s new bits and edit bits included bloodletting, a fake! trip to the bathroom, grilled cheese sandwiches and and inability to spell sandwich.

I will take almost 61K, however. The diner scene, where Haven actually meets the Blood King, will shortly be rewritten for the 4th time, because that’s how we get our kicks.

Also, am super jelly that I am not at WFC. Sad Face. Not the least of which is that the Voynich MSS is taking a wee tour, a thing it hasn’t done IN MY LIFETIME.

/sad panda