10 January 2009

digging the tunes

there is a song in my current play list i keep going back to. so i followed a dustland fairytale to day & age, and the killers has been running on repeat. it's good, it's where i am, and i'm listening...

a night out in silver lake

i met a friend for happy hour, and the great conversation turned into friday night out. i looked at my watch at 7 or so, and the next time i checked, it was midnight. all six hours were chock full of fun catching up, and random moments of the near-ridiculous sort.

we spent the evening sitting at the stairs-end of the downstairs bar in a german pub with three stories, a vantage point from which we saw everyone who ventured through. one of the greatest things about the east side is that it's a place where all congregate. by all, i mean, old, young, preppy, hipster, burger kings with birthday parties, intellectuals, dummies, and folks from all ethnic backgrounds in all shapes and sizes. i saw hairdo's and ensembles that would put most towns' halloween parties to shame, and gals whose updos and pink scarves would've been a better fit in the hallowed halls of a beverly hills alehouse.

one of the highlights: my friend and i were having a conversation about politics with some retard who fancied himself informed, when some crazy-eyed vamp plopped herself down in the one open seat between ourselves and the other end of our chat. while this might not seem all that odd to the two of you, there were a dozen empty seats at the bar that didn't offer the opportunity to act as a wedge between folks in an ongoing conversation. the retard left the bar, and the vamp sat there most of the night acting bizarrely. i'm pretty sure there's no doubt she's a witch...

and there was the super cutie palestinian boy who engaged us in a most interesting conversation. as y'all know, i'm fascinated by the middle east, and my intellectual and emotional curiosity for the ongoing conflict in gaza is as unrelenting as my need to talk to someone who isn't israel-centric. not that i'll ever understand the conflict or be able to solve the problem, i can't help but want to try...

so you see, from kings to witches, and dimwits to the insightful, a night out in silver lake is never one you'd call ordinary...


04 January 2009

67,833 words is all it took

it's not just that i finished a novel, it's that i actually finished something i started...

i'm awesome at starting projects i never finish. i'm not sure if it's because i lose interest half way through, or maybe it's that i don't ever commit to anything enough to need to see it through to the end, perhaps a combination of both, or even something else altogether. i don't know, but i know that something about finishing this feels like more than just finishing.

oh, and since i'm sure you're dying to know, i finished that never ending playlist with U2's in a little while yesterday morning, and this playlist kicks ass!


i know it seems a little bit crazy for someone who has graduated from college and grad school to make a claim that i don't finish what i start, but those bigger things were, like, ends to the means they once were. the novel is something else. it's its own commitment, took my constantly growing voice as a writer, gave me a gauge to grade my craft, made me work harder, longer, and seek out greater detachment, so i'd be able to someday let it go. it has been its own journey. and it seems as if it's a bigger risk to finish the damn thing, than it would have been to have spent my whole life writing it.

damn, this play list is rocking my world tonight!

cuz it's going out into the world now. next week begins the road to the greatest numbers of rejections i'll get, well, till the ny times hires me and i start getting all the hate mail i've been sending to bill kristol and david brooks the past year. and it's scary to me to send a 6-year (probably seven even) labor of love out into the world where it could find nary a fan.

but i'm me, so i'm going to close my eyes and jump.


trust in the time of heartache

many years ago, i sat down to write a novel. i sketched out my time line, my plot, and the bios of the main characters. i then set about researching, as it's set in a fairly obscure period in ancient egyptian history, writing bits of the story here and there, trying to figure out _how_ to write it, and eventually editing the damn thing for so long i wondered if i'd ever let go. i'm 34 pages shy of completing my final edit, and i find that it's as much a fictionalized autobiography of my marriage and divorce as it is anything.

don't get me wrong. it's good. i can weave a helluva tale, and being a bit of a wordsmith helps build the bugger, but it's a whole lotta me, and a whole lot of my greatest tale of woe, no doubt about it.

so aneksi is my main character. she is telling the story of her rise and fall as one of egypt's forgotten queens, in her own words, at the very end of her life, the very last day of her life in fact. aneksi fell in love with the wrong prince, but with him had an extraordinary love affair, and an even more extraordinary life. she was, as machiavelli would say, one who became a prince through ability rather than fortune, but lost her kingdom because of fortune. hers is most certainly a tale of woe, but of great love, great circumstance, and a great ride.

the point of my post, though, is trust. you see, aneksi has an affair at the end of her life. 'tis with a man she loves, but will never be in love with, because her heart belongs to the fuckshow she first loved. the end-of-life lover, despite not being her great love, is her "greater love" because she gives everything to him, including her unwavering trust. her first love got her blind trust and he fucking blew it to high hell with his betrayals. her greater love, however, was able to garner post-traumatic experience trust, the kind we keep so close to our chests that we don't give it away, cuz we don't want anyone to hurt us like blind-trust-guy hurt us. and she gave it to him.

she knew how trust hurts, and she gave it to him anyway. that aneksi. she's got some balls. and i sure do plan to follow her lead when i next get my shot at love....

'cept that, unlike my aneksi, i'm giving my heart too.