Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

Morbid Reflection

November 1, 2013

Must be careful to not drift that way.

Just a reminder.

I was supposing that as this day drew near that I might be tempted to do just that.

However, without even realizing it I am excited to be here, one year later, ready to take some of what I experienced and move forward with it.

“The first time I moved to Paris,” he said to me with his rakish British accent, “I fell in love and married her and within a year we were divorcing, she took everything I had, and I had to move back home to live with my dad.”

He shook his head, “I was sixty thousand dollars in debt and living on the fucking pull out at my fathers flat.  I was 45.”

“Nobody makes it their first time in Paris, it takes time, but I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world.”  He paused, ran his hand through his hair, “I was in an awful place, but I was there for a reason, and I took a lot of photographs.”

Photographs that were about to be the main attraction in a big show at the Tate in London.  Photographs that had already done the Biennial at Venice and shows in Paris.

I knew he was an artist and I knew that he was annoyed by me.

Sometimes we are annoyed by that which reminds us the most of ourselves.

By the end of my time in Paris he would bear me grudging respect, and he hugged me when I was saying my good byes the last time I was on George V heading away from the American Cathedral to the Metro.

“Everyone comes to Paris to write a book, you’re not special, or unique, if I had a fucking dollar for every person who dreams about coming to Paris and making it as a writer, I would be a filthy rich man.”

He was not always the nicest with his opinions, but he had a point.

A point that I have been reflecting on as I sit here not at all sad to be in the place that I am.

Happy indeed, “I love my life,” popped into my head a lot today, walking through the park with my charge dressed as a bunny on our way to Music Together to do some Halloween themed singing and dancing; on my bicycle as I crested Lincoln Ave at 19th and the smell of singed pumpkin tops greeted my nose; again when I was walking out of a store on 9th and Irving.

I bought myself a pretty dress.

It had been too long.

I paid my rent yesterday, leaving me flush today, anything I earned was to be my special treat.  I dropped $21 at Bi-Rite on Divasedero getting myself some brown rice, avocado, cucumber, and crab sushi for lunch, some artisanal apples and persimmons, organic pears, and yes, some carrots for the bunny and me.

The dress cost $95.

I made $128.

I still came out ahead.

And I have a new dress to wear tomorrow.

Tomorrow it will fly out behind me as I wing down Valencia Street after work to make an artist’s date run on Flax.

Why Flax?

They have my Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I am doing the writing challenge.

I had an idea and I am going to run with it.

Because even if I don’t succeed at doing the novel, which I will, it’s there, I can feel it itching to come out of my head, in fact I can’t shake the story even if I am not sure of the middle and the ending, I have a beginning, an antagonist, a heroine, a character, and she, like Athena, longs to spring forth from my brain.

I am going to buy my favorite notebook, a bunch of stickers, and a birthday card for my mom.

Then I am going to go to Philz on 24th and write until I meet with John Ater.

Every day I have time in between this and that which I can fill with the writing.

The implementation to my laptop can happen on the weekends and in its own way become a second draft.  It will be a project, but a project I am happy to attend to.

My time in Paris was amazing.

Hard.

Challenging in ways that I never expected.

And when I look at the experience with a little perspective, where I was six months ago moving back from the experiment, to where I was a year ago, I can see that I took a fucking research trip.

I gave myself up to the city.

I walked as much as my feet could handle, and probably past the point they could handle.  I took so many photographs, I wrote, endlessly in my journals, in my blog, in notebooks, in a moleskin that I jotted down my financial spending.

I can tell you what I spent where on what day when in this neighborhood, pair it with the blog I wrote, see the photographs I took and recount in detail things that happened.

I gave myself a huge experience to draw from.

I gave myself the best artist date ever.

And to not use that would be sacrilege.

I suspect that what will happen is that I will sit down and start writing long hand and just see what comes.  Showing up for the page is two-thirds the battle.

Then when I take the words to the second draft from my notebook to my laptop I can flush out ideas, images, sensory happenings, I can write in detail what it was like to be in Sacre Couer on Christmas Eve pressed in to the masses of people singing with the choir, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the Metro stops, the way snow flakes looked falling in the light of the sodium lamps on Pont d’Alma next to the Eiffel Tower.

I can flush it all out and bump the word count significantly, I believe without too much of a stretch.

My first short story to get published was a science fiction piece inspired by something I observed on the Metro heading to French class.

It was published in The Bastille.

Which, fyi, small aside, has contacted me to submit to the December issue.

I shall be sending them some things, as well as some photographs.

How fitting, then to write my first real fiction novel set in Paris, a future Paris, one I get to make up, that’s the fiction, and a Paris that I will allude to in flashback, to the time when I was there, utilizing the astounding amount of data I collected.

That’s what I did.

I made a leap of faith and I went.

I did something brave.

I shall not let down the experience.

I shall continue to do something brave.

I will show up for the page and see where the story takes me.

I will write.

Wasting nothing.

My experience, my greatest gift.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: