2/7/13

you'd nearly swim in it

Suddenly, coloured lights swing up through the dark... a silver flurry of ribbon and paper falls from the ceiling and over the upturned faces of teenagers who dance awkwardly with their arms... here's a glam rock drumbeat and some descending guitar chords... Gary Glitter begins to sing... HELLO, HELLO, IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK.

gently, we sail back out onto blog lake

I took a couple of months' break to work on what I vaguely called 'a project.' It's actually a novel, but I was reticent to say much about it because that's a cliche that leaves you open to snark, isn't it? At least that's what the self-effacing chickenshit part of my brain (which is pretty much all of my brain) told me. I also remembered a pretty funny Peter Cook joke I read somewhere: "I met a man at a party. He said 'I'm writing a novel'. I said 'Oh really? Neither am I.'"

I've tried to say "I'm writing a novel" out loud without cringing, but I can't do it. I'm clearly battling some deeply ingrained prejudices of my own in that regard.

Yet the writing itself is coming along well. Up until shortly before Christmas, it felt like I was working on a dozen little vignettes and I feared that I lacked the skill or vision to draw them together. Then (in a moment analogous to one I experienced during my PhD write-up) I passed some invisible divider and found myself working on a relatively cohesive single thing. What a lovely feeling.

As with the PhD, once I got to this point I realized that vision might have less to do with it than bloody-mindedness; repeated evenings spent squeezing out reluctant words have brought about an accretion of material that reads more harmoniously than I dared hope. Whenever the blinking cursor tries to take the piss out of me, as it often does, I breathe deep and easy and then remind myself that anything - even one sentence - will move things along. So far, (55,000 words so far to be precise) stubbornness has served me well.

"But is it any good?" - Kells accented voice at the back.

"umm... here's some music."

"Is it drone? It behher be fucken drone."

"...none more drone."



Over the past couple of weeks I've listened to Mountains' new album Centralia a lot, so much, in fact, that I can second guess every little bleep, bloop and musical curlicue in its rich textures. It's as good a drone album as I've heard in years, especially in and around its middle section where a piece of music called Propellor manifests slowly and quite majestically over the course of twenty minutes.

At 9 minutes and 40 seconds all goes fuzzy, fuzzy, fuzzy - and it sounds so inviting and warm that you'd nearly take a swim in it.


Yum.

5 comments:

TAD said...
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lucy joy said...
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Gardenhead said...
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TAD said...
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Gardenhead said...
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