Saturday, January 06, 2007

As 2007 Begins

There will be no New Year's resolutions in this space. I don't do those, because I figure if there's something I should do, I should do it when it occurs to me, and not wait for some arbitrary date to make some kind of statement. I can't live for statements--they don't motivate me.

Today, a week into the new year, we're celebrating Christmas. Again. I've lost track of how many of these we've done, and we missed one of them. I don't mind them, because Christmas, to me, has always been a time to reconnect with people. So we connect. I have to admit that this holiday has perplexed me a little over the last twenty years or so.

The religious aspect of Christmas has never held any influence on me, and the commercial aspect disgusts me, but there's people. And food. Relatives of any number of degrees of distance and big heaps of roasted meat. And potatoes. But I digress.

Today we're gathering with Michele's half-siblings and their entourages at the MIL/FIL Manor. When I say "entourages," I mean spouses and offspring. In addition to the Demon Nephew there will be five other imps and gremlins under the age of ten. Last weekend there were more, but six of them ought to generate enough chaos and noise to scare Manuel Noriega out of whatever palace he's in now.

The only downside to all of this celebrating is that I have some stories that are really screaming at me now. A novel and a couple of screenplays produce great ideas by the dozens every day, and I only have so much time to commit them to paper (or pixels, as the case may be). I fret that though I'm working, I don't have anything circulating except my second screenplay, Running the Asylum, about which I won't hear anything for almost a month. I dart back and forth between my novel and one of the screenplays all day, and my progress with each is stunted for it. I'm most inspired on the novel right now, but the screenplay is closer to a completed draft, so I feel torn, but I may have stumbled on a bit of relief.

I'm reading Kundera again (Ignorance this time), and that made me start thinking of my novel in sections. While I arranged those it occurred to me that the first section might make a good short story with a few judicial adjustments. So I'm pounding on that first section, and the characters, the settings, and the themes are all lining up really well. I never have to worry about plot, because that usually takes care of itself for me. I love where this one's going, and I might start pestering people to take a look at it in the next couple of weeks.

So while I don't do resolutions at New Year's, I am finding my creative life taking a more significant direction. The lethargy and despair of the last eight months seems to be lifting, and the stories demand to be told.

So far, 2007 feels pretty good.


Anonymous said...

I have Unbearable Lightness on my nightstand and read a few pages every night before bed. Kundera is good, Kundera is great. Amen.

Pester me to read when you're ready.

Jason said...

Thanks. I'll do that. I've gotten almost all the way through yours, and only one title has recommended itself to me. I'll email you and let you know. I fear, though, that it's more "me" than it is "you."

d chmielewski said...

I believe that Manuel Noriega stays at Palace Leavenworth, or one of its many sister palacial estates in the good old US penal system. On the flip side, anything that scares him out of there must be more terrifying than Bubba with a loofa sponge.