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Monday, December 29, 2008

Watching it all unfold

Relationships are complex.

Yes, I know, not a very mind-blowing statement in and of itself - but when standing before one as the 3rd party, watching said complexities unfold, that simple statement seems to take on fractal-like qualities.

Watching people interact - their back and forth, the way they talk and intuit what will or won't come next - has been something that's always intrigued me.

This past holiday I stood before my family and somehow managed to be the invisible person in the room, watching as each acted/reacted to the other; Carefully detailing how my brother's facial expressions change when turning from my sister to my mother. Watching how his facial expression alone directly impacts how my mother interacts with him. Not even a word said, no tone of voice - a look. A stare that says everything.

Then following my mother as she interacts with her husband - that look now on her face, transferred - and placed at his feet. This look IS Human interaction, hell, it's a whole conversation.

And somehow as this all happens around me, as the event plays itself out - my mind scratching along on my internal notepad - I can't help but wonder "how do I even begin to write this kind of stuff?"

I wrestle with feeling appalled that I would even consider drawing from this well to aid in my writing and yet, at the same time, this is the kind of 'real' that stories are built on. Emotional stakes and through-lines. Drama.

It's a strange feeling to find myself being aware of standing outside of it all, to be 'observing' and taking mental notes when normally I'd be in the thick of it with them.

More importantly, I'm not sure when or how I gained this sudden ability - is it some sort of 'writer' thing? I hope so because otherwise it just seems sort of creepy and weird. Useful, for sure, but definitely a tad creepy.

In other news, I cleaned my room yesterday. Again, nothing huge or revelatory yet at the same time symbolic.

As I sloughed my way through the debris that somehow managed to accumulate (where DID the floor go??) I found myself staring at old things. Papers, notes, scribbles. Drawings that I'd doodled, plots for stories never told.

I found my original notes for Savage Knights and laughed so hard I damn-near came to tears.

There, on my own - not knowing a damn thing about a damn thing - was an outline. Crude, but sure as shit, it was there. All my struggling of late with it, trying to wrap my head around it, fighting with myself to understand it - and there, in my hand, was this scrap of loose leaf lovingly entitled:

"Cool stuff I want to see in this episode".

Somehow, in my wide-eyed scribble of handwriting, I'd gone off and wrote all the neat things I'd wanted to see happen and then expounded on how best to do so; How I could go about realizing them. And this is back before I knew how to 'write' an episode, before I understood format or anything really. Just me with this head full of ideas writing 'Cool stuff' I wanted to see.


I must've held that wilted little piece of congealed glamour for 10 minutes, caught up in the reverie, before I finally snapped out of it. Things've been... odd... lately, my life is changing and changing fast - this upcoming year is pretty much guaranteed to be the most stressful and exciting time, well, ever.

But this little piece of paper - I dunno, it pushed through all the anxiety and frustration and fear I've been having like a lazer beam. Parting the stormfront, obliterating the fog machine that seemed to take up residence in my subconcious as of late. A searing reminder of innocence and fun from that gleeful lil' kid in my head, the one who should be bouncing around and tossing out ideas faster than I can write them.

I think I'm going to have it laminated or something, maybe framed. Keep it near by - a reminder of simpler times as I slog it out into the deep waters ahead.

New Years is 2 days (and change) away. Stay tuned, something big is coming down the pipe.


1 comment:

Rich Baldwin said...

It is very much a writer thing to take the role of observer, disconnected from the 'material'. Don't let it get to you - it can be creepy, and wigged me out when I started to do it, but it is *useful*. But being invested in the moment is just as useful, so I recommend trying to practice switching back and forth through the mental roles of observer and participant. It's good practice for changing from the POV of your main character(s) to a more cinematic 3rd person viewpoint, which makes you a more flexible writer.