Book progress and Pandora

My last posts have been heavy.  Good grief, how can anybody keep reading this heavy shit?  It freaks me out, and I’m the one that’s writing it.  So I’m gonna try to write a lighten-up post.  Let’s see if I can do it.

OK, right off the top, I am very proud to say that after I got the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo goal accomplished, I kept right on writing the novelized memoir I’ve been trying to write for 40 years.  I just decided, hell’s bells, I’m totally disabled, I’m stuck in the middle of East Bumfuck, North Carolina, with shitloads of time on my hands, and what better opportunity to finally go ahead and write the damn thing?  Not to mention the constant triggers. Why not turn that to good use, and novel my ample ass off?  I’m just shy of 69,000 words/227 pages right now, and gaining.  I’m writing two to three hours a night.

But I want to talk about Pandora, the internet radio that you customize yourself.  That link might just lead you to my radio station, “Joni Mitchell Radio.”  It has all the stuff I was listening to in 1970, the year I’m writing about.  So you know, the oldest sense in your “reptilian brain” is the sense of smell, and after that, sound. I’m sure you’ve all experienced the phenomenon of hearing a song, and BAM you’re right back where you were when you first heard it, or that time you heard it during some significant event.  Like for me, The Eagles’ Best of My Love takes me BAM back to the first moment I heard it in 1976 when I was a cutter in a small factory that made very high end leather clothing.  I was cutting a fine piece of suede and I had to run to the bathroom to cry, because if I got a teardrop on the suede it would ruin the piece and I would get a whole lot of shit from the owner, justifiably really, because the paper-thin hides were incredibly expensive.  I had just broken up with my boyfriend and musical partner of four years, and the song precisely described the entire situation.  So even now, many many years later, the minute I hear the intro, I burst into tears.

The point is, this ability to design a radio station that plays exactly the music that formed the soundtrack for my life as a teenage runaway in 1970 helps immensely in my efforts to evoke the pictures in my mind that I hope will come out my fingers on the keyboard, and might even help somebody else feel those crazy mixed up things that happened to a very naive sixteen year old at the mercy of a hard, hard world.  So far I haven’t incorporated too many lyrics into the text, but I think that will happen in the rewrite.  This writing is strictly to get the damn thing down and out of my head.  It’s incredible how much shit is pouring out in the writing, stuff I have repressed all these years: so many sexual assaults of many varieties and levels of violence.  Oops, sorry, I said I was going to keep this light.  Well, this is reality, so I can’t really censor it, can I?  But I can listen to the radio.

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6 Comments

  1. Congrats on NaNoWriMo! I tried and failed again this year, but I know I’ll be trying again next year (and in the meantime)

    Reply
    • Thanks! Took me two tries to finally get there. Try to think of it more like a warmup than a failure. Just keep plugging along and you’ll get there eventually. And who’s to say you can’t just keep writing at your own pace?

      Reply
  2. Congrats on your memoir progress. Working on mine too, and, hey, I was just thrilled to get an outline on paper.

    Reply
    • Thank you! An outline is such s good thing. I am working without a net, as I have all my life. I think it is fascinating how our writing styles reflect our styles of living. Good luck on yours!

      Reply
  3. Reading what you have written about your writing is sending me back to sit down with the one I am writing, have been writing, since…..2003. Thank you for the nudge.

    Reply

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