Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sleepless, Brainless

Okay. I desperately want to be asleep and...you guessed it. Hi. I'll be your insomniac for the evening.

Writing. Yeah. It didn't do much tonight. Started trying to force things, got in that funk...even a quick and much appreciated peptalk from Junli didn't quite get the words flowing again. One decent scene. That's something. But mostly...one of those nights. That stupid voice...

I so want a draft of this story done. I want it out in the world a bit. There's other stories beckoning, after all. Another hint of one that came from the odd dreams last night, and got a brief scribble in the Book today, very rough:

The stone people sit upon the mountain, gazing out over the valley that is the world. So they have sat since memory had its beginning, never moving. Dirt has piled around their feet, and grass and brush; the wind and rain and time have carved wrinkles and tears into rock faces spottled with lichen. And since memory had its beginning, the people have come, always alone, to ask their questions. The questions are always big, no matter how small: Will grandfather ever return? Will the honey-skinned girl with black hair ever love me? Will mother survive her illness? Will my friend forgive me? Why is my lover sad? How can I heal myself? When did the talk become silence? Why is there pain? They come, and ask their questions, and wait, and go away. If you were to stand and listen in, you'd never hear a reply. No whisper, no shout, no rough, rock-hewn voice entoning ancient wisdom. But the people leave satisfied, and the stone people still sit, motionless.


And no, I have no idea what the story is about. Just have that image in my head. It will be something that I'll probably do a Bradbury on and freewrite with it, throw in a character and see what happens with this image. This is kind of how "And the Star Fell" started -- an image that haunted, which also sprang from a dream. I can almost see the character for this one. A young man, gangly, loping, with unkempt hair and a distracted air. The kind of person that, while he will talk to you and listen attentively, will always seem to have one ear, and one eye, cocked to a different realm. He will come to the stone people. I'll let you know why when I find out...

But for now, I'd settle for figuring out why, and how, my characters will act in the end game. I know why the girl does what she does, at least. Actually, I understand the old woman, too. I figured that out, at least, during the work day when I had some time off. And the boy's motivation is increasingly simple, as more and more I realize my narrator is not the main character, really. It's the other one, the one at the heart of the story, that perplexes. Mainly a matter of gauging how he'll react when faced with what he most desires, and with rejection, and with his own terrible guilt. Partly, I feel sorry for the poor bastard, because I know how it ends. I'm just not entirely certain of the steps he takes that lead him there...

It has something to do with the mendicant, a burning mark, a curse imagined...I can almost see it, damn it...

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