Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Working Notes

I realized I hadn't posted working notes since March. I had a lot of blog entries while I was doing the residency, but have been continuing to take notes on my process and what comes up as I work. Here are the latest from the end of the residency onward:

21 June – Headlands workshop
How you approach a landscape:
Collecting questions – what does it make you think of? What do you want to know more about?

Military landscape – fear and defense. Think about the duality of who has been here before, the desire to protect against attack, inclusion/exclusion.

Nike site – cold war ruins.

How each epoch has to defend itself against a more and more advanced technology until we end up buried in a cement crypt.

Legacies of the structures of defense – what remains. What historical ghosts are not readily apparent?

Juxtaposition of uses on the same land – military relics and beach.

Annihilation of races – technology, disease – how people disappear. FOR CHOICE – how people disappear, physically, mentally, spiritually, historically, and what remains after they are gone – what gets left behind (foot paths, trails, artifacts). Allison OD’s in an old miner’s shack.

Nature is designed for impermance, humans strive for immortality, for things that endure past our lifetimes.

What constitutes inquiry?
What gets erased?
What remains?
And what power do we actually have over what remains and what disappears?

Public space – the need to create ownership, to mark territory.

16 June
It was over in an instant for Denny, but for me, it takes a lifetime for my brother’s body to land on the ground.

15 June
Choice is Hamlet – realized that today when I decided to make Matt the one haunted by Denny instead of Ray. It was an odd moment, thinking that, and then feeling, oh yeah, that feels right, and then realizing, it makes the novel a retelling of Hamlet.

12 June
My deepest, darkest fear is that Choice will never achieve the density it needs to make it interesting.

It’s odd how some milestones can loom before you and they’re big and you see them coming from miles off and others just happen, they slip past you before you even know they’re gone.

What if Matt turns 15 during the novel and no one notices. Not even Matt.

Sometimes I still feel like I’ve maintained an idyllic, fantasy notion of what it means to be a writer, and I will never be able to be successful until I break through that gossamer screen and get down to the hard and fast reality of it.

I feel as if I know nothing about writing.

Idea – after I get the beats down, write the scene as narrated summary, exposition, action, outline.

2 June
The art that fascinates me is where it’s one thing when you look at it, but then you see what it’s made of and that creates an entirely different idea of what it’s about. Like a mosaic made of broken dishes depicting a woman washing dishes at the sink. But that’s not the kind of artwork I do.

It is difficult to find the stillness I desire in the maelstrom of my life.

1 June
Reading How We Decide – do we become fixated on negative experiences because our brains are hard-wired to figure out what when wrong? To learn from our mistakes?

Choice title – The Shadow of Doubt
I suck at titles.

29 May
10 unusual things in Denny’s room

28 May
What I don’t understand is that I have all these ideas, and instead of getting excited about putting them into action, I just want to lie down and take a nap.

I am limping my way back into writer mode.

And then, suddenly, I am back in it because I am doing it.

Prompts for Choice:
10 things Matt knows about Denny that no one else does
10 things Matt doesn’t know about Denny
10 things Matt misses about Denny
10 things Matt hates about Denny
10 ways in which Matt is like Denny
10 ways in which Matt is nothing like Denny (maybe 20)

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