Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You get what you pay for, I suppose.

 Another night, back at the keyboard. And another night with nothing particularly interesting or germane to write. I have a couple ideas I'll sketch below, but if I were just stumbling across the internet, I'd move on. You've been warned.


 Anyhow.

 The girlfriend's out of town for a fortnight, so I'm on my own for a while. As much as I'll miss her, I'm glad that we're getting a little space apart here and there. I worry that she sometimes expects more out of me than I can give. I know she deserves more than I can give, but that's just how that goes.

 It was a weekend of firsts. We went to the Northshore to meet some folks and give her dogs to her mom for the duration of her trip. Her mom's nice and I can tell she's a pistol. Her friend (and her friend's mom) were equally charming, and her friend's house just rocks. The friend's an artist who has started a career writing children's books, of all things, and it seems she's starting to see a bit of future in it. Good for her and I was definitely inspired. It's always heartening to see someone who's actually making a dream work.

 In any event, I apparently was a hit all around, and so was the dog. He was pretty good the entire weekend, apart from some cat harassment and nearly getting his little butt stomped by hassling some dude walking down the street. I do love you, little buddy, but if you deserve a ass-booting, you better hope I'm quick on the draw.

 I had thought about writing a jeremiad about my antipathy for tattoos. I don't exactly hate tattoos. I don't have any and I don't ever see myself getting one. I'm not much into symbolism in general, nor am I one for flair of any sort. My various homes in adulthood have all been noted for the spartan style of decoration, I dislike writing on t-shirts (with the exceptions of the shirts Momma gives me and ones from home), and I don't buy bumper stickers. All the stuff hanging on the walls in my current pad was here when I got here.

 And for the most part, I don't find tattoos on people all that attractive. Once in a while, they'll detract from a person's overall aesthetic joy, but that's rarer than my cynical nature would like. For the most part, they're just there. I can appreciate the skill that goes into making good ink, and I certainly appreciate the basic artistry of the craft. Still, I don't much care for them one way or another.

 I do wish to emphasize, now, that this whole deal is just an aesthetic judgment on my part. It neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket if you, dear reader, get some rockin' ink done. Give it hell, kid, that's what I say. I have dated people with tattoos, and it's safe to say the bulk of my own personal universe has at least a little tattoo of something somewhere. Hell, my old man's a Marine, it's the law he had to get a tat back in the day. And in any event, it's really not worth writing about, is it.

 In other news, I have been kicking around some fiction ideas. I'm still holding on to my "Kolchak-slash-The-Dude in New Orleans, writing about the 'supernatural' in a world ten years past the Masquerade falling" idea but I don't know if I'll ever go anywhere with it. It's like I have less a story to tell or a character to explore or even a world to map out than I have a need to write a noir-ish urban fantasy where the lead character isn't a constant whiner who nevertheless always kicks ass and get the girl. My model protagonist is less a hero and more like Horace Benbow in Sanctuary or one of Philip K. Dick's lead characters. A guy like Arthur Dent or Dangerous Davies, someone who just gets caught up in things and is trying just to get out to the end in one piece. My character would be a terribly journalist-qua-journalist, but hell, that's what I know.

 I'd like to do a period piece about 1960s non-British Invasion and non-San Fancisco rock music. The guys cutting weird records for post-Elvis Sun Records and pre-Willie Mitchell Hi Records. Wild-eyed country boys blasting out edgy, primitive music that mashes together blues and country and trucker speed. Your Tony Joe Whites and your Doug Sahms and your Roy Heads and your Jumpin' Gene Simmons. I just learned he wrote "Indian Outlaw". I won't hold it against him, they did shit like that in the '50s.

 Anyhow, given that the whole era is pretty much ignored in the History of Rock & Roll popular idea, it might be a neat way to introduce that knowledge into the noosphere with a novel about some country boy from, let's say Amory, trying to be the next Jerry Reed and all that entails. I know a lot about that time, but I would have to do some serious brushing up. Plus, most of my information was from the liner notes of CD's I no longer have in my possession.

 A third idea is of a disillusioned Southern Baptist preacher, a man who has lost his faith, not necessarily in God but in his religion. I'm not sure when to set the story or what the reason behind his loss of of faith, but I do see him as a character trying to nevertheless attend to the spiritual needs of folks left behind by society and maybe fight a few real evils along the way. I don't know whether to make him a ghost-breaker, someone that exposes charlatans preying on the vulnerable, or if I want the evils to be of the Lovecraftian kind. However he fights, though, he fights with not faith in God or any sort of spiritual back-up, but with reason and compassion. A humanist preacher, and I have known quite a few. Just an idea.

 And for what it's worth, if anyone who actually has the drive to write for real sees something in these ideas and wants to run with, well, go right on ahead, buckaroo. They're all cribbed together from others' ideas, anyway.