Friday, March 4, 2011

Here Today, Blog Tomorrow #4

My day starts at 10:00am, in which I spring out of bed, mosey over into the living room, think better of it, then wander back to bed. The next time I get up, it's 11:50am. Guess my body was really jonesing on sleep. Wouldn't think that it needed more. After all, the dreams I was having weren't that exciting to warrant a double feature. The first dream was me in a large bathroom, scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush with five other guys in jumpsuits. Then the lights flickered and I knew, right away, that I was in a prison and that that flicker was becuase of the electric chair. The second dream I was in a strip mall and I spotted one of my old bosses and saw that he was buying a shop in the area.

I brush my teeth, say good morning to my wife and call the agency. My new job will start either on Monday or Tuesday depending on if I get a call today.

My wife and I discuss Despicable Me as she readies herself for work. I kiss her goodbye.

On the web, I check my email, facebook, pay my phone bill, finally, and sit back to watch some Good Will Hunting Scenes on Youtube. I'm sipping my coffee, taking in the emotional build up of these scenes. Then it occurs to me that I really should get to work on that third novel I've been planning. It's been stuck at forty pages for years. Some authors say that the second book is the hardest to write. Well, speaking from experience, I'll say that that is not always the case. The third one is the hardest. Especially when it deals with a subject I love to death: History. When you're writing about things that have happened in history, it's a tricky balancing act. No matter how accurate you paint the picture, there will always be something made up you have to throw into the mix. That's usually just so you can connect the dots between fact and fiction.

I didn't write anything last night. I was too tired.

My strategy for today is to see if I can write 500 words for the second short story collection, one of the novellas, and see if I can start adding to my third novel. A 1,500 quota isn't what I had in mind for today but, damn it, I love these characters too much to have them fade away.

In the meantime, I sit back and watch the season 2 finale of Prison Break.

Later, I find that the mole on my neck is irritating me. It must be because of a change in the weather. In any case, I make a call and schedule a doctor's appointment on the 14th to see when I can have this thing removed. It's been with me for years and never gave me any problems until now.

I head to the library and pick up a copy of The Town. Heard it was a good flick. When I get back I get a nasty case of the hiccups that lasts a good twenty minutes. I do the hold breath thing and drinking a glass of water upside down to get rid of it. Now I have a headache from all the work involved just to get rid of it.

Some time later I make it to season 3 of Prison Break, run to Walmart to pick a few things and start preparing myself to go work out at Xsport Fitness. I figure the writing can wait until later tonight.

At 7:30 I decided against working out today seeing as how it was raining like crazy. Went to Walmart. While I was there, I checked out the book section, which I always do. Picked up this copy of Jodi Picoult's Sing You Home. I thumbed through it for for a bit and in the jacket crease, I discovered something interesting. Inside was a companion CD with lyrics by Jodi Picoult herself. I guess the whole book with soundtracks thing is starting to take off.

I leave Walmart, make it home through the pouring rain, feed Bandit, our cat, and unclog the tub drain with some Draino Gel.

My wife comes home. We discuss work for a bit and then I dive right back into season 3 of Prison Break. After the show, I click the TV off and ask her why she never watches this show. She tells me it just wasn't her cup of tea. That and the show Bones. Then we both rip on The Chicago Code. From what I've heard, nobody likes it.

Somehow this conversation leads to books. We started on Stephen King's upcoming novel 11/23/63. She said she wouldn't read it because it really walks a fine line about what you can change in the past. "Wait a minute," she says. "A book about a high school teacher who goes into the past. Already I wouldn't be able to get into it." This book, to us, is a case of what's wrong with time travel literature.

We then talk about H.G. Wells and his immortal classic The Time Machine. In that story, there was a good straight line to the future by 800,000 years. In the book, the time traveler was talking to a room full of his peers but, basically, skeptics. What worked so well is that he was really talking to us: the readers. We were the skeptics. That's what made it work, he broke through that barrier and made it believable.

This spirals us into a discussion about Time Travel. We went through the facts and flaws of time travel covering The Time Machine, A sound of Thunder, The Butterfly Effect, Paycheck, Donnie Darko, The Terminator series, Somewhere in Time, The Back to the Future Trilogy, Timeline, Deja Vu, and even The Hot Tub Time Machine.

We narrow it down to this - Time Viewing? Totally possible. Because you are stationary, viewing a different place and time. Future Travel? Another possibility. So long as it is permanent and you just travel to the future. Past Travel? Not likely. In traveling to the past, your present self would be gone and even if you got back, whose to say that you wouldn't become crazy from such an enormous time displacement? Plus, the past is set in stone, unchangeable. So even if you could alter something, it would effect or permanently dislodge everything else. Perfect example: A Sound of Thunder.

So, when we look at the clock and find that we've been talking about this stuff for over an hour and a half, we're both surprised. Talk about a time displacement, huh? But the discussion does me good. Because my wife will always be the first reader of my work. In order for it to be believable to me, it has to be believable to someone I trust. So, now I know that any time travel story I have in mind must be either time-viewing or just a straight future travel story. No past stuff. If every person is the gatekeeper to their own imagination and have to have suspension of disbelief, you better believe I want to be holding all the keys.

My wife heads to bed.

The night ends with me, sitting on the couch, writing calmly to classical music. The night is young. But the future looks bright.


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