Posts Tagged NaNoWriMo

Freddy’s a Mess – The Paragraphs That Knocked Me Dead

{What follows is the passage that killed my Wrimo spirit on day 3. It was too directionless, purposeless for a novel, so I am back to writing other stuff, but I thought I’d share this meandering passage…}


The morning marches in uneven increments. We think we understand how time progresses as we work, whether we’re pulling weeds or dinking and dunking with numbers. We think that work gives us some regularity to our experience of time, but in reality, we imprison ourselves in boxes of ticks as if we’re stomping our feet, marching to the beat of a drummer who will never die, who thuds with the pulp of an inflated heart, and we feel hairs changing to gray, feeling at the same time perhaps an opportunity to defer the gray.

The carpets are well worn and on some days, Freddy sees 100-mile-an-hour tape all over various loose threading portions of the carpet, but there aren’t any portions like that. Freddy seems to transport himself to a spot in the future when the carpet has never been replaced but the workers have been there all along. We wear through these paths in the carpet as we go to the restroom or often, back and forth between the break room. In the break room, every time he’s there, Freddy reflects on all of the large drinking vessels that get filled with purpose and wonders why anyone with these jugs would ever need to go back multiple times per day. We’re all good like our websites say. We spend our days drinking gallons and gallons of water. Coffee and water get tossed all over the rug, usually after the jugs have been filled, and the rug has amazing resiliency as the liquids seem to evaporate as you watch, before you could ever grab a roll of paper towel. But all of these liquids through all of these years must rob the carpet of beauty. There’s no way to think of it otherwise. Then there are those times when all of the people in the cubicle farm, gradually filled with an increasing despair, a destitute that grows like mold, surely billions of spores of that stuff growing through the carpet fibers. Those cubicle farm people need a break from the bleating of the insanity, from the pounding of the ping of the fluorescent lights, keyboards with varying degrees of greasy finger stains and oceans of crumbs between the keys making all of the sounds fuzzy with the clickishness, and they leave the cubicle suite and flow into the giant building hallways, normally riding the elevator known to be something like an Read the rest of this entry »

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Fighting Wicked, Trying Not to Quit

I’m going to try NaNoWriMo again. Last year, miserable failure, so I needed a new strategy. This year, instead of trying to write masterfully, I will simply write. Can I turn off the inner editor for more than three sentences? Who knows, but I will try to turn off the editor for four weeks.

I’ve taken writing courses in both fiction and poetry recently, and I have found that my classmates have uniformly disliked my material. I’m a modernist sinking in a sea of well-trained crafty dime store novelists. I wish I could craft anything well, but I’ll be damned if I’ll write something that’s been written millions of times.

I’m not a writer, but my heart gets sparked when I write, so damn the people who don’t read the shit. I’m going to write the shit and we’ll see where we go from here.

When I left the mental hospital tonight (thankfully having been there as a visitor trying to share hope rather than floating there as an admitted patient), the staff member told me to watch for deer. The full moon was fogged behind deep purple curtains, so I had to use my bright lights a few times. I was resentful of the clouds while others are dealing with horrible winds and floods. I tried to be a blazing trail of alertness. There were no deer encounters, but there was a dead dog. So sadness pervades my evening, not as severe as the pre-visit crater of terrifying depression, but creating doubt that I have any chance at writing 50K words in November, but here on October 30th, I feel determined to plough through.

Every word I write seems to murder one of the parasitic creatures inside my skull, which temporarily alleviates the pain, so on we go – let’s kill some pain.


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The Evil Flow of Two Buildings – A NaNo Excerpt

We float over to the bank building on the same block as the park, directly North of the park. It is a strange animal, a lanky thing with legs curving out from the bottom of it, and it is about 25 stories. It has gold windows, highly reflective, so when Freddy sits in a space in the park where the light from the windows is bright, he feels as though he is actually in the sun, but then, here is the shaky business of that building: the light from the sun actually creates a coolness that’s more frigid than standing in the shade. Freddy thinks it is a direct alteration of the sun performed by some evil that hides beneath the gold and bright surfaces of the windows. Freddy is sure that something terribly unethical occurring inside of that building, a large blob that lives on several floors. It is so contaminated, it freezes eyes and burns into Freddy’s stomach.

Finally, still on the same block but backing up to the park directly to the East is the most sickening garage building you’ve seen. It has been painted on the outside, whitewashed with a warm cocoa paint, the color so warm, it sparks a sense of smell, that smell of industrial paint that is most similar to the nice smell of Elmer’s glue that Freddy got attached to in the second grade.

Freddy had tried to park in this garage and the experience was horrifying. He spiraled up and up, getting an upset stomach, finally finding an empty spot, looking desperately for a stair case to get back to the street level. He climbed down the stairs, climbed because they were so wicked, worn and ugly, and the walls created a claustrophobia even for one who rarely experiences such things except when surrounded by people. Freddy felt as though he were on a journey to the hell many don’t know. There are many hells, but he was going to the one where you find all of the evil souls who tortured you during your lifetime, directly or not, and this particular hell, you never leave. Freddy has been to one hell from where some massive power lifted him up by collar, broken fingernails, ripped face, tired eyes, rotted teeth and dangly, soupy muscles, and placed him gently in an AA hall where there were strange-looking angels who proceeded to save him from and continue to lift him out of that hell. But on that day in the garage, Freddy knew he was heading to a place where there was not going to be any rescue until he opened the door to Rollin Avenue, which is on the East side of the garage, on the opposite side of the park, and at that point, something buoyed his spirit, but he was sure it was false hope, seeing the man with only one leg and a crooked Cardinals hat with milky foam running down his chin and on to his old, caked jeans. All around Rollin Avenue there was the crumbling dust of tan buildings, acting like a sand storm, raping the eyes, with cars darting North and South, speedily to get through the horrors of the death of a city. Freddy mumbled I am lost and I pray for my death, but as he walked around the corner and started heading West on 14th, his spirit started to lift for no reason.

On the outside of this sick parking garage, back on the park side, the diagonal lines of the up and down platforms of the spiral are visible and when Freddy looks carefully, he sees the evil grins of millions of dead souls. He promised never to park in that place again, and he has not even walked on Rollin since that day that almost struck him down. Sometimes, he sees that foam spittle running again, glowing, flowing, eating all that is in its path and he is sure that he will be a big foam guy as his life ends unless there is an angel that ends it on a timeline that is quicker than the one in Freddy’s deepest fears.

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How the Sewer Ruins Christmas – NaNo Excerpt

The cement slithers in the coolness of the creepy blue air and Freddy’s feet feel the grind through the Florsheims. He’s been wanting new shoes for weeks, but he hates shopping, and reflection on this reminds of him of the thickness of Christmas that is approaching too quickly. The neighbors put out their Halloween lights in September and this is his signal to run from the evils of the season, not of Halloween but of nature’s darkness that places mold inside of Freddy’s brain cells and makes them smell so that other people can see this seeping gas coming from Freddy’s head and he prays every morning for a little light in the season of fall. It never comes, but all of man’s false lights blast his head with and fuse the mold, growing it fast, allowing it to steal any sense of worth. This is true for Freddy, this effect of man’s outdoor lights. The lights wash his brain cells. His mind feels power leaving as the water runs down his body, down the driveway and into that sewer that has trillions of pieces of clay from 60 years ago, clay that man thought would last forever but that now barely holds the slick green, moldy water. Freddy thinks that the water comes back up in the lawns, in through the electrical systems and then into the outdoor lights. He walks down the sidewalk and watches these lights in a broad overview, looking down the street at perhaps 9 houses, all with lights that seem to be fused with evil, they seem to be seeping a green that makes the light some sort of power that evaporates the good that only occasionally floats in the air of the neighborhood.


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NaNo Etude 6 – Essay Time, Ha Ha

Today, all of the goo came pouring down through the top of my head. It became friendly with my throat. These moments when the dust floats off the blinds, the ear buds are blasting my brain, and my brain goes away. Far away. I want to write words that make people feel the way I feel when I hear my favorite music. This is what I want, keep wanting, want more than anything, and if I found it, I’d quit everything else and write, write, write for the rest of my days.

Stupid ass.

Words are limited, intentionally limited. Words aren’t meant to represent the spiritual. They can only point to the spiritual, and if you asked me to point to something spiritual, I would look at you with screwed-up eyebrows.

My hero said that fiction should be about what it’s like to fucking live. I love that inclination, especially for the 21st Century, but I will never be capable of doing what he did. Should I try? I suppose. It gives me a sense of purpose, but that goo tells me that I’m fooling myself. I’ve been fooling myself for decades. I feel as though I can do it, but it won’t come out. It’s stuck in the goo, the green goo of a stupid ass.


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NaNo Etude 5 – It Ended Long, Long Ago

One day Freddy realized that his entire unconscious undertow was against the world, and he thought, yes, all the way against the world. If Freddy thought too long and hard about his unconscious desires and judgments, he would need to be locked up, but he couldn’t stop. A chocolate creme Oreo and he was never going to stop now.

The water under the sharp white bridge was entirely calm even when people dove into it.

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NaNo Etude 4 – Dark, She Is

Today, the movement of people around me, all around me while I sat on my stone wall, they were swimming in a tidy movement more like dance than participating in false comforts of commodities.

She was there, over in the corner of the park, pacing the bricks like she did yesterday, speaking into her cell phone, doing most of the speaking, shaking her hair that seemed to be what one would call bunned-up, but she was dark. I could pierce through to a determined kindness and a patience, a gentle warmth, but it was covered in these gray shadows that she was crafting all around herself.

Her purse, same as yesterday, massive black leather thing, bigger than a backpack. She smoked and she was smoking with stressful mannerisms but she had magnificent control. The traffic was pushed to the opposite side of the street from her, in a curving motion, and it was entrancing to me, this power.

I continued reading my book. One paragraph was magnificent, making me feel as though my reading it was creating a new life for me, a new universe.

She floated across the street inside of a massive treaty of care, right in the middle of the block but all of the traffic had lifted and there were only silent, parked cars.
She continued her conversation. All of those energetic people walking on her side of the street slowed down as they neared her as if a magnet was preventing their approach rather than drawing them in, but as it presented its resistance, it made them absorb the peace of her facial turns, she still talking on the phone, her face warming and charging the air with silky fur.

I read my paragraph again, wanting my new universe more than ever, and I looked up, and she was gone, gone, gone. All the way gone. The furious commerce was back, grotesque at full speed. I rested my skull inside the palm of my left hand, let my book fall to the brick and contemplated what tomorrow might bring.



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NaNo Etude 3 – Bright North and Big Decisions

The building was not so overwhelming, maybe 25 stories, but it was all gold glass, and as I sat on the rock wall in the shade of the monstrous black glass building, perhaps 65 stories, the reflected sunlight from the bronzish goldish windows on the statuary guard to the north started to warm my brain. It’s unusual not being able to look North because of the bright. All of the action was North, but I bowed my head and thought about big decisions, the decisions you make when you are sure they will change your life. When my brain warms, I want to make big decisions.

During the last several years, the only big decisions I made were about how to kill myself. However, I am alive, so more precisely, the decisions were about whether or not I wanted to suffer and try to pray my way through or if I simply wanted it all to end. In the older days, a third option was to get smashed, which usually nullified the first two options within an hour or so, but I’ve exceeded my usage of that option, and death is much preferable to slow, miserable, alcoholic death.

Today, I didn’t feel like making decisions, and that brought about a pleasing feeling as I watched some very beautiful people traverse the sidewalks and I wondered if I’d consumed too much starch for lunch.

It tickles me to think about how praying my way through has occurred so many times that I almost believe that any bad thing will always pass. Perhaps not odd to you, but when I am in severe despair, I am always convinced that it will never end unless I end my life, but now, there is a different part of me which tells the other that he’s lying, that it will pass. It intrigues me that everything passes, and that knowledge seems to persuade me that I should never be joyful because the bombastic fear that the joy will end overshadows the joy itself, just like the gold windows shag my northern view of all of the action and all of the other beautiful people.


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NaNo Etude 2 – She Is Out; She Is Out of Control

She gave him up.

–The bath water might be too hot and I wouldn’t know, and he might drown but he runs and walks but he’s only two and he might drown.

She wants to be steady and she wants him back, but all she can do is see us slobs.

–I left the grilled cheese on the stove, but at some point I turned it off. I don’t know when I did that but I turned it off, and what if I didn’t turn it off.

We hope she keeps talking to us slobs and she can have him back after she’s spoken with us slobs long enough and has a new-found steadiness from the ultimate of surrenders.

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NaNo Etude 1 – Tickling the Shards of Glass

Ticklish, gray cements steam through pedestrians’ hands and crumbles of sunlight bake the depression into mammoth canyons of glass and powdery bricks.

Freddy feels his feet being heavy and maudlin, feels the materials of the walking bridge shaking his tendons, making him glance around for wheelchairs, making him wonder how the architects and the engineers determined that the bridge would be strong enough, and the street is maybe 14’3” below on the West edge, but only twenty feet to the East, it must be over 17 feet, so Freddy thinks of the steep grade of the street as he imagines a day when a giant truck with a man who is chewing smashing amounts of green, leafy, stinky tobacco, gritting his soupy, French-onion-teeth, showing a self-aware insanity just before his 14’11” semi busts the bridge allowing Freddy to feel himself caving through shards of glass and then on through carbon fibers barely protecting the truck’s top and back first into a big bed of lettuce.

But today will only be gray without the excitement and joy of shards of glass and Freddy reaches into his fuzzy pocket and has slight relief at finding his key card, wondering what other kind of animal would do what he is doing today in order to eat or sleep in a place safe from predators that live high on the dog every day in the thickness of the sea of dead brain cells.



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