Monday, October 17, 2011


Tense. I've been messing around with tense in the next round of my novel revisions. I originally wrote it in past tense. A friend gave a draft a read and suggested I play with it in present tense. I was excited at this notion at first and played with it some. But I'm not sure it works with this piece. I generally like present tense writing, the active adrenaline of it. I do however feel this novel works best as a sort of memory play, told through the narrator's jaunty attitude, which transposed into present tense has a weird disconnect, the tone doesn't match the proximity to the intensity of things happening. If I were to make the present tense thing work, I would have to do more than tweak verb-age. The tone would have to be completely re-written. And the tone is one of the elements I'm very proud of. I think it's fleshy and charming. 

Over the weekend my girlfriend and I got out of town for an evening. One of her favorite beers is Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale. The brewery is just outside of Chicago, in Barrington, IL. We've been wanting to do a little getaway there. Get a cheap motel and go drink it up at the brew pub, not have to worry about driving back into the city. Unfortunately they were out of pumpkin ale, but we had a wide array of other brews; the Hop Slayer Double IPA, Jack Stout, Nut Brown Ale. Some others. We drank and ate until she got a gassy stomach ache, then we cabbed it back to the motel. She passed out and I switched between War of the Worlds and The Shining.  In the morning we ate some stale food in the continental breakfast room. Then went to Dunkin Donuts.

I finished reading It by Stephen King this weekend. I had been working on it on and off since April. I did really like. He delved into a deep sprawl on the town history, character histories within the 1100 page novel. And I liked the heavy detail, you really got a deep sense of the characters and the town scape. And the finale had a psychotropic tinge which I liked. One of the things about Stephen King novels I find, is that I don't find myself scared while reading them, but a subtle paranoia lingers with me during the revolving span of working on one of them. And I attract creepy happenings. For instance, several years ago, I read The Shining.  I was reading it on the Red Line one night and some one fell violently on me. He was bleeding from the mouth, bleeding on me. At first, startled up from the page, I thought he was attacking me. I pushed him. Realized he was hurt and offered to help him. To buy him ice or something. He ran off at the next stop. I was left with a blood smear on my copy of the book and my work shirt. Later that night I woke to pee and for a split second thought I saw drops of blood all over my arm. In the hotel room Saturday night I awoke to pee, and in washing my hands in the sink (hotel style, the counter was in a separate space than the toilet and tub), looking at my vague black outline of a reflection in the dark, I jumped at what I thought for a second was the black outline of another body next to me. In the end it was only my eyes adjusting to the dark,  or so I think. I like books that fuck with me head. One of the things I like about books versus movies or plays is that they are like a subtle drug. Working off the imagination, causing it to fire, it puts you in the author's head at the same time as the author is getting inside your head. It alters your consciousness whether you like it or not. 

As part of the Occupy Wall Street movement a lot of people are closing their accounts with major banks. While I stand with and support the movement, and agree with the notion of closing one's account with a bank they don't agree with, I watched some videos of people doing so and they kind of annoyed me. In one video two girls went to close out their accounts and had big protest signs with them, and of course the videographer. They were asked to leave and were so surprised and angered by it. Now, the real objective of closing one's account, I think, is the build up of it on a massive scale. If enough people close their accounts and withdraw their money, that could hurt the capital and revenue of that bank. That's where the objective should be, running into a bank with a protest sign expecting to just go about one's business is obnoxious. It comes across a disturbance, antagonistic, and the protester loses power. Just go in, close your account, exercise your right as a consumer to stop doing business with an institution you're not happy with it. Sucking the blood out of the bank will go a lot further than waving the proverbial pirate flag inside a place of business. The bank tellers are not the fat cats, making them feel shitty about doing their job so they can collect their hourly and pay their rent is not the best use of energy, I think. Block traffic, shut down the city. I support that. But something about these girls' aghast and offended reactions being asked to leave with their high held protest signs annoyed me. Other than that I support the 99%. I'm certainly one of them. 

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