I'm on vacation. And I turn 54 on Wednesday.
To celebrate, I'm trying to write a novel. Again. While I still have time.
I'm trying to take my three years of experiences working in a record store back in 1979-81 and turn them into something like a book. I think there's sort of a story there, and Ghod knows there's some Characters, who I knew well.
If this goes according to plan, the novel will use a lot of the record store stuff I've posted here and add a lot more, in more depth, trying to make things as clear and detailed and funny as I can. Or at least get the details and the feel of that time down right, while I can still remember them.
The story will also use other things that were going on in my life at the same time, some of which I've also posted here -- that "8-by-40-foot trailer" post from awhile back, for example. (Old friends, consider yourselves warned!)
Remembering this stuff hasn't been a problem, so far. More new stuff just seems to bubble up the longer I think about it.
I've only had parts of three days to work on it, but so far I've bashed-out a 4,000-word narrative to kick things off, and I've tossed in another 2,000+ words of notes and pieces, plus there's some more notes I haven't even bashed into the laptop yet. That's more than 10 single-spaced typed pages, so far. I'll be bashing away on it during my next 9 days off, and maybe by the end of this break I'll have gotten Somewhere. I'll keep you posted.
The only problem I see will be getting out of MY head and into the heads of my characters, getting across things in their voices, describing what I assume they must have been thinking.
Oh, there will also be a PLAYLIST, naturally....
Don't know if this'll work, don't know if it'll sell, don't know if anyone would care -- I don't even care. I know I need to write SOMETHING, while I've still got time, and this stuff seems to be pouring out. I've told the Girlfriend repeatedly that I'd be a happy man if I could just get going on some big writing project ... and now it seems like I've got one.
I haven't bashed-out this much material this quickly in 10 years -- ever since I tried to take all my closest friends from my post-highschool going-nowhere years and turn them into a fictional rock&roll band. I got more than 20 handwritten pages into that before the story stopped.
And now I'm writing about the same period again. The Good Olde Days.
The funny thing to me is, I've had this material for over 30 years and I never even THOUGHT about fictionalizing it until I read Brian Aldiss's THE BRIGHTFOUNT DIARIES (see review below), about working in a bookstore. And even though Not Much happened in Aldiss's novel ... Well, hell, I can write a book where Not Much happens, too....
I might even post some new stuff from the project here, if something new jumps out at me as worth it.
Right now I'm calling the novel project GUARANTEED GREAT MUSIC!, though I've also thought over RECORD STORE DAZE. But mainly I just want to get some serious wordage down, and that hasn't been a problem yet.
If I can't make this one work, I might as well give the whole "novelist" dream up and just keep blogging 'til I keel over. And I'm not planning on going anywhere.
I'll still be posting here, during this -- probably as compulsively as ever. I have some new music-related books in the house that I've barely cracked open: Music critic Bob Palmer's BLUES AND CHAOS, & Jim DeRogatis's rock-crit-revisionist KILL YOUR IDOLS. I'm also a couple chapters into Brian Aldiss's writing memoir BURY MY HEART AT W.H. SMITH'S, which looks at least as charming as BRIGHTFOUNT DIARIES was.
And at some point, Kevin Ayers's BEST OF is supposed to come floating leisurely in from the U.K. ....
I'll also be working my way backward, "re-writing" old posts into Real English when I get bored -- King Crimson (post #666) is next up to be "translated."
These have been good days lately, and I know it. I'm broke but I'm happy. I even got out to The Beach last Monday, for the first time in 10 years.
And now, hopefully, I have a week and a half off to Get Some Work Done. I'll keep you posted.
P.S. -- Passed 10,000 words written as of late Monday night. This might actually work....
P.P.S. -- Passed 15,000 words as of late Tuesday night, and am still thinking of more details to toss in. Don't want to jinx it, but I'm wondering when this is going to start to feel like "work" ... though I'm sure that time will come along soon enough....