September 19, 2006

Ready. Set. Help.

As my mental illness number approaches the little 8 tilted on its side, I have decided to ask you for help.

I've forgotten how to tell a story. I'm all bogged in sentences and carefully explaining things.
So. That. GENTLEREADER. Understands.
Screw that. I'd rather go watch television.

I have been working in a manner so unabated and insane that I've lost track of what I LIKE about this novel, which, I have realized WAY too early, is much too personal to ever let another soul read. I know, right? Just to be perfectly clear, this is not autobiographical. Just...personal. Big dif, but it doesn't FEEL all that different from where I am sitting now, in the middle of it. I'm so freaked that that I am messing up things I normally excel at, like motherhood (impatient with INTERRUPTING COW JOKES MUCH? Recently, yes.) And Public Speaking, which I usually enjoy, but is currently so terrifying I am turning down gigs I would normally LEAP at.

gods and Between are neither at all autobiographical but both SO personal and I didn't realize HOW personal they were until they were already out on the world and I was burying myself in a NEW novel to not notice how much of my inner Grendel I'd exposed. Now? I already am seeing terrible parallels and desperately trying not to learn valuable life lessons or come closer in some way to understanding myself. SO NOT INTERESTED. Because, really, my naval lint makes me cranky and exhausted. I'd MUCH rather watch television. And yet here my navel lint is. Pestering me to explain VERY CAREFULLY TO BELOVED FACELESS READER OF MY NOVELS what it all means, when really, it's just a damn good story.

Here's how I write: I get bored, and so I tell a story to myself. Then I tinker around with it because I want to know what happens next, and I want what happens next to be the right thing. Faceless Reader and Judgment comes later, and should be, to some extent, a surprise and completely disconnected from the initial process. NOW? I'm discombobulated and am vowing never no never not never notnot shall i ever do things out of order again. It's just a damn good story, I say to myself. It's just a damn good story..

Now all I have to do is remember how to TELL one of those.

SO, anyway, for the last two days I've been doing a lot of watching television. I love TV. TV shuts the brains off and the heart slows down and one approaches a state a being that is perfectly contained as itself and nothing more, like the platonic ideal of a sofa.

When my brains approach permanent hiatus and I begin to sneak up on flatline, I go watch the show at zefrank.com. Ze is sort of like television, only smaller. And low rez. And he has both more thinking and more poop jokes, so if he ran 24/7, always on tap, I think I would be a happier person. I would put in little earphones and project his GIANT TALKING FACE onto the inside lens of my glasses. Total escape into duckies and a vehement desire for peace and the 4 second cut away....Lint? What lint?

I haven't even been telling stories here, on FTK. I've been talking ABOUT stuff. I've lost my innate sense of Beginning. Middle. End. I've lost control of language.

Screw it. If you need me, I'll be watching television.

If you want me to TALK, I can talk ABOUT things. Mostly I can talk ABOUT TV, since watching it is what I do now:

1) Lorelei would NEVER have gone and slept with what's-his-bucket. That's just DUMB. DUMB way to end a season, DUMB hole to have to get out of in the final season.
2) SATAN has the reins at project runway --- VINCENT? BACK? Come ON! And you KNOW they will bring him back AGAIN at fashion week, right, like they did last season, as a HELPER. What kind of help is THAT? Couture glue bottle, anyone? It is Vincent without end, AMEN.
3) Super Password is the best rerun going on Game Show Network. Yes. Game Show Network. You know things are desperate here as I wait for the season premiers that aren't on Fox to kick in. I mean, DUDE when is MEDIUM coming back????
4) Except maybe Match Game. Because I think Gene Rayburn was crazy sexy. And I heart me some Fanny Flag.

I could go on like this for a very long time. Back to the novel I am not currently writing due to my full TV watching schedule....I dream these people. I swear to you this is the best novel I have ever not written and it is marching endlessly around in my head. I go to sleep with them. I wake up with them. Laurel and Thalia, Thalia and Laurel. I have a draft. It's currently in vivisected chunks on my floor because I had to tear out a whole wrongful section. NOW I have the missing pieces in my head...I see what should happen.I see the story, in my head. And there it stays.

There's a fundamental disconnect going on here. I HAVE the story now. I just can't tell it. People who love me are watching me snatch myself baldheaded and are telling me I need prozac or a trip to the mountains or to exercise more. Okay. I can try all that. But I suspect it's crap.

I look at FTK over the last few weeks, I sure have been talking ABOUT a lot of things. That's' the problem. I've forgotten how to tell a story. I've forgotten how to do the FUN parts. It's sort of like knowing how to be PREGNANT with all the attending vomiting and enormous butt-getting, and yet you go all Agnes of God and only see doves flapping if someone asks how the sex was, and THEN you NEVER ACTUALLY GET THE BABY.

So, I am taking the rest of the week off to watch some lovely television, and you, oh best beloveds, if you are kind and delightful and want to virtually pet my hair, are going to remind me how to tell a story.

No comments---let's do this via e-mail for the shy among you. Ask me a question. Tell me an anecote from your grandmother's life. Send me a link to a picture. Write me a Haiku. YES, I said HAIKU. These are desperate times, and I am willing to even try poetry. Send me ...Something. Give me a jumping off point. For the rest of the week, I will tell stories about the things you send me. Some will be true. Some will be foul lies. I just want to have FUN.

Writing has been work recently. If I wanted to WORK for a freakin' living, I would have become an environmentalist lawyer or a hooker. SO. Rest of the week is about PLAY. I'll blog here, and exercise more, and take a day trip to Stone Mountain. I'll even take my own homemade version of Prozac, which involves drinking Pomegranate martinis all day long on Saturday while watching a COMPLETE BACK TO BACK season of America's Next Top Model on VH1.

Ready? Set! Help.

Posted by joshilyn at September 19, 2006 11:02 AM | TrackBack