So I have been . . . absent. Sort of. By absent, I mostly mean that I have not been posting much on this blog. If you follow the Sarcastic Muse, then you probably catch me over there once a week or so. (I attempt to write coherent posts about editing and such. Conclusive evidence that any of it is useful cannot be provided.)
But I’ve got to get back on board with this writing gig, so I’m here to dazzle you all with my tales of interesting . . . okay, no, interesting probably isn’t the right word.
To be fair, I have been writing lately. I have been writing a lot, a lot, a lot.
About Estonian poetry.
Somewhere in the midst of my research, I finally started reading a book I’ve been deliberately not reading for two years. Mostly because I had it only in Estonian, and let’s just say this is not the kind of topic you want to read in a foreign language unless you have an affinity for headaches and a desire to kill things. Needless to say, I realized that perhaps the author — in all his talk of signs and signifiers and structure of the text (see Juri Lotman for more details) — was on to something. Something that I could actually use for my novel. (Thesis? What thesis?)
And the novel I’d had percolating in my head for a year and a half came tumbling forward at full speed, as if it had been parked in a garage somewhere in the back of my brain and had suddenly been hit with dynamite. Yes, almost two years ago, I started a (rather bad) novel about . . . stuff. It was sort of a fantasy, sort of a sci-fi novel. Actually, the fact that I can’t tell you exactly what it was about should raise a red flag. That’s why I stuffed it in the mental garage in the first place.
But it had a character I
liked loved got along with. One that I wanted to give the right story. She just didn’t seem to know what her story was yet. Which was fine. I’m patient understanding capable of attempting to accommodate characters. I had other projects, anyway.
Well . . . characters are vindictive. We all know that. I shouldn’t really be surprised by what my own are capable of given that they are born from the strange, spinning dark hole I call my mind. But this one? She’d been quiet for a year and a half. The second my thesis had a definitive deadline with an end in sight, I couldn’t get her to stop talking. She’s still talking. (Note: she can’t even talk — she’s mute.)
(That doesn’t stop her.)
(Seriously, I have been having strange dreams lately.)
She’s been so loud for the past week that I had to actually stop writing the thesis to appease her.
(Yes, yes, I’m back to working on the thesis now.)
So there you have it. I have answered the problems of writers everywhere. Having trouble writing your novel? Don’t know where it’s going? Characters not talking?
Step One: Start writing a thesis.
Step Two: Procrastinate.
Step Three: Get serious about completing it. Try to stay on task.
Step Four: Problem solved. (You’ll just have different ones.)