I’ve been doing late night watercolor sketches lately. It’s good that I’m painting, but I think I’m doing it more as a means of distraction. I’m still not sleeping real well. I’ve reformed how I’m going about constructing my story, so I think that it’s going better. If I can’t get real momentum going I have to sideline this story soon and return to my other novel idea for thesis. This one just seems so timely that I want to give it an opportunity to breathe.
Of course, the subject matter is a bit troubling, so that might be one reason that I’m having difficulties, writing and sleeping. I might be, as they say, too close to it right now. The other one has built in distance–its protagonist is in college and there are demons and dimensional rifts involved …
I haven’t seen Megan for a week now. I can feel her pulling away again. It’s hard because there is something between us, we both know it and acknowledge it, but there is also all of these other things acting against it. I just wish that we could just get to that place where we can be good with the circumstances we have: the distance, the time constraints … whatever. Other people do it. Fuck.
My buddy Zack said to me the other day (before we caught the midnight premiere of Predators) that “this girl is going to break your heart.” I told him that I knew. He said it again, like I didn’t believe him or listen to him. He said, “sometimes someone needs to tell you though.” The thing is, I do know. I really do. It’s already happened and continues to happen. But it’s not even just that, it’s that I really do know what the stakes are. I know what’s against this. I know what kind of relationship we have. And I really do care about her.
And I’m not disclosing everything. I haven’t always been perfect when we’ve been together, haven’t always been a friend they way she’s needed and haven’t always given her the impression that she needed. But to go into these details I have to go into others and I can’t talk about all that stuff. That’s part of her story. It’s not my place to talk about right now.
So, that might have something to do with my insomnia too.
As I’ve been working on my novel project I’ve been reading different books and different voices that I think might help organize my brain and help translate the dream of this story onto the page. It’s also given me an opportunity to read some things that have been on the shelf for a while, such as Michael Shaara’s For Love of the Game and Bret Eaton Ellis’s Less Than Zero (which I currently have in my bag with a bookmark in it). I’m interested in the ways that these writers navigate change and social situations and how they use memories and flashbacks while also moving the contemporary narrative forward.
And I’ve been painting. I’ve been sketching rough ideas out on paper and fleshing them out a little in watercolor paint. I’m trying to be a little looser in my style right now, letting the water move a little more on its own to get a freer picture. I do fall back in some of my precision details, so it’s a work in progress. And when I talk about “it” being a work in progress, of course I mean me. Because what watercolor painting is really about is how I interact with the paint: I choose how much water to use, how much paint, what color, and what size brush. I push the brush. I follow the lines that I sketched out (or that I see in my mind, since I don’t always use a pencil first). Watercolor is about control, taking and relinquishing control. Water is chaos and as the painter I’m trying to harness it. Sometimes the picture is a little more beautiful when you let the chaos impact it a little more. But that’s something that I have to acknowledge as I’m painting and it isn’t easy. It is the same in writing. It is the same in life. And I’m working on it.