Life looks like it’s about to get topsy-turvy for a bit. I won’t be able to get to my computer for awhile, so I’m back to the old fashioned “pen & paper” technique. Happy to report I’m just as slow writing on a notepad as I am on a keyboard. Sometimes, though, words are a little different on a page than in a file. I don’t erase as much as strike through, or simply let the words pile upon themselves like my thoughts have just been in a terrible accident.
What definitely remains the same is my tendency to read aloud, and very often re-read. I find reading aloud akin to sharpening a tool. I listen to the sentences, and many times the cadence will come to define the way I write. I am this way with just about all the stories I work on, but especially OCTOBER ANIMALS, which concerns itself with language, with influence, and a type of vocalized spell. It is a musical book, I think, and it is very much designed to be that way.
Last week, I started writing a sestina in a rural hotel and today I may finish that work in a guest bedroom, elsewhere. This particular piece serves as a bridge between the previous reality and the reality to come, and it is composed of the many recurring phrases and details contained in earlier chapters.
OCTOBER ANIMALS borrows quite a bit from poetry, though the sestina is (I believe) the only time I employ formal poetry in the manuscript.
Funny to think OCTOBER ANIMALS may find itself finished some 2,000-odd miles from where it started. These stories have their own lives, much like we do, and they go through emotional and physical turmoil and they, too, have memories buried inside of them, and everything seems so immediate in the moment.
I don’t know if I will record the entire book as audio, but I am thinking of select pieces from the manuscript.
But, first, I must finish the work and read and re-read to myself. Then, I can read it to you.
I also have to find a place to live.