unearthing

Yeah, this one's all narcissistic blathering, so you might want to skip it. No? Fair warning, then.

It's no news around here that I had a rough Monday. Well, actually I had a rough Sunday evening into the wee hours of Monday, most of it spent not sleeping and fighting the Demons Within.

Rock and a hard place, my friends. That's where I was. I get in these places sometimes, when I actually, gulp, wonder if it's all worth it.  I even considered the Q word, not just with the book, but with writing in general.

And if you don't know what the Q word is, ask a writer.

Hell, I could do something else. I'm not writing to feed myself. I could do a whole lot of nothing. I got two great kids and that, honestly, could be my sole accomplishment of my life and someone could kick me in the ass and tell me to just be content already.

But I'm not built that way. I'm just not. Art is no luxury, not for me. I hear the undertones of  aesthetic drive in music I think a lot of people don't hear. I read a book and I can smell the blood on the page. (No. Literally. Paper cut.) (Kidding.) It means I'm constantly unsatisfied in ways no Normal is. I'm a

Creative, that's always been the best term for it. I can't help it. I throw friggin dArts and twists at everything, to the point that most of no one gets what the hell I'm saying or thinking. I've learned to keep a lot of it to myself, more for their sake than mine. I keep Creative slathered on like rubbed in sunscreen--it's always there but others can't always see it. I use it as a wall to keep people out. Not that I require approval from others on how I think.

Except I do. I realized in the wee hours hell yeah, I do actually require it. When I put myself out there artistically, it's actually FOR the other guy.

And that was when I realized I was fucked.

I read something on Linkin Park's new album A Thousand Suns (likey very much):

For months we'd been destroying and rebuilding our band....blahcoolstuffblah...We didn't know if any of these unorthodox ideas could be incorporated into a traditional album but we knew we didn't want our next album to be predictable. Sitting together in the same studio where we made our first record, all six of us voiced a commitment to going out on a limb, to making something truly daring. We asked ourselves: were we all earnestly willing, more than ever before, to abandon the precepts of commercial ambition in pursuit of what we believe to be honest art?

Linkin Park, in their own words broached "the creative unknown."

Easy for them to say. They're already international superstars. They already have more money than they can spend in a lifetime.Their art already fed them.

Then I remembered I don't eat off my art either. And that I haven't achieved some kind of fame doesn't really matter to the Art anyway. Creativity is an addiction. It's always looking for the next hit, and the best hits are based in creating, not being consumed.

And I realized, there in the dark, that I made the same decision right about when LP did, two years ago. I had climbed out on a skinny limb in the writing of SCAR. I've said a few times that it's the closest my writing and storytelling has ever come to my internal vision. Is it perfect and ready to show the world? No. That's what critters are for. But it still is mine. Me.

Scary shit to throw out there. I realized how much of myself I'd poured into the book, a freaking horrifying amount of myself. And so I tossed and turned and mulled and finally read just to shut down my mind.

I'm not a "close" person. Oh, I fake opening up very well. I lie by omission and sometimes outright, and worse, I'm damned good at making people feel like they know me. The blog only perfected that skill. But really, I'm all covered over like Tut's tomb, with a low nobility entrance. You know there could be something under there, but srsly, you got no idea. There's a shitload of artifacts, and I don't mean that in a nice way. I got pieces of ugly stuck in the crevices of my soul, and there's so many cracks in that stone even I can't find them all, stinking places nobody, least of all me, wants to go.

Oh, I'm not perfect hiding all of me. Sometimes I'm a fast-moving river where catching a part of me is like snatching a trout from snowmelt. Only a few people on this earth might recognize those metallic flashes when they see them, and I'm pretty good at making you look the other way.

But then I started writing SCAR. From the start I knew it was a different book, something else. It's fucking out there, man. I never really intended to sell it. Never thought out why, besides how implausible is a future where the Episcopal Church could wage crusade, where there's a graveyard in the sky where all the meaningless dead go, much less a place or time where homosexuality is beneath discussion? I just figured too weird. But I kept at it, not knowing why, plugging along off and mostly on for two years.

Never thought out why.

Until long about Sunday night into the wee hours of Monday, when I couldn't sleep.  I thought about it, really thought it through, and realized THE SILVER SCAR is a body of clues that could unearth me.

No wonder I couldn't sleep. Scary shit, friends.

Even scarier? There's no way to go from here but down.

Fuck.

11 comments:

Laurel said...

Just the snips and hints I've seen about Scar make it sound completely amazing. I think you'll have at least one fan!

It is reallyreallyreally scary. I sent my first full (badly written) novel to someone I worked with. Outside sales. She lived 6 states away and we only saw each other at meetings 2x a year. She also had a background in editorial so I knew her opinion was better than, say, somebody I knew from the carpool line. But mostly, there was distance. If she thought it was stupid and I sucked, nobody else I knew would ever find out.

And truth be told, there was a lot of me in that book.

I still haven't told my mom I write. She's been telling me I would be writer since I was six or seven but I'm afraid if she finds out I'm writing she will want to read it. My awesome, cool, super-supportive, everybody else wished she was their mom mother.

It takes big, hairy balls to put your stuff out there. And yours is going to rock, I just know it.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Thanks, Laurel. I do like the book. It's had a few readers who seem to like it. But freaking out? A bit...

I completely understand the mom thing. My mom doesn't read my stuff, but expectations come from outsiders and it doesn't help the process at all.

Natasha Fondren said...

Yeah. I feel so exposed sometimes. It is scary! But then it's also very fulfilling because people write you and you discover you're not alone. And in opening up, you find that you don't need to cover yourself. You can just be you, out there. It feels so good to be honest.

Which is why I write under a pseudonym. *snort*

I used to explain to my students that some people were Strivers and some were not. I forget the speech. Something to the effect of Strivers will never be satisfied, but without them, humankind would never advance.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I need that speech, Natasha!

My psuedie work leaves me much less exposed. Maybe I should sell SCAR under another name... nah. I'll just have to take my lumps.

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