Trying to be funny? One might as well try to be in love. So I think as I mull over the quandry of 'what should I write about next?' This is probably one of the most boring topics in the world to write about. Who cares about my obscure habit with words? Not even me... certainly not the Dog, or you, dear reader.
I think I am going to end up going back to the book I was working on this fall, The Psycho Killers Hit List. This is the story of a group of stoner artists who discover that in the hip urban neighborhood that they have moved into, there is a gang holding vicious dog fights. This knowledge makes the artists decide to report them to the police--who tell them that unless they had evidence of a dog fight in progress or evidence, that there wasn't a hell of a lot they could do. The dog fight locations are kept secret by the gangs, always on the move. They basically, with the aide of a couple cops, stay one step ahead of Chicago's cops.
The artists and a kid they have taken in decide to take matters into their own hands when a neighbor's dog is seen being shoved into a car by a gang. One of the artists tries to intervene and is shot. A few days later, after the cops have failed to make an arrest in the unwitnessed crime, the other artists decide to take matters into their own hands. At the next dog fight, a few days later, they show up with shotguns. They end up being out gunned and are basically just shot to hell.
How I will write this story is another matter. I have tried all kinds of different narrative voices, and yet none seem to fit quite right. I suppose in the end I need to just write the story down in third person and see what happens? Anyways, I am not committed enough to this story to feel confident in the project. The comedy I have been writing in the blog seemed more exciting than the book, and so my talents, such as they are, have been engaged in trying to be funny. I did make myself laugh, and other people at the readings, so it felt very real and exciting to me. My work was finally being brought out into the light of day, and people really liked me. This surprised me. I don't know why it should, since I have been writing forever and people have often liked the way I arranged words? I guess that's just my crippled ego or something else too engrained inside of me to ever expect to change in therapy or even with mood? Whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, like I was getting at, I am unsure of where to use my craft? I want to write stories that have the basic -- people are created by a society, and that society has to change before the individual can hope to. No matter how alone we feel, we all think similarly in things like dress and haircuts, as any few years of pictures of oneself in various fashions shows, of course. The cloak I will put over this thought, the way that I use fiction to convey these thoughts, is not something that comes intuitevly to me. Poems and Short stories come up intuitely, when inspired. The novels are different. They require following a map, just as much as writing fancy words that have meanings deeper than just moving along the plot. I relish the writing itself more than the planning.
Without planning, the prose is free to go where ever my whimsy wants. A good thing for a disorganized stoner. Not that I have been getting stoned lately, actually, because of a tight budget. The break is fine with me. I like it, not need it. Tonight I am toasted though, after spending the afternoon watching Spike the dealer play on line poker--black jack, mostly. Some five card stud, texas hold em and whatever. I thought about writing about on line poker while I was over there, and a way of doing a new painting came to me as we puffed on 120 an eighth kind, kind bud. The thought about writing about on line poker had me wondering how the hell I could make that funny? This is what lead me to write in this entry, actually.... after I came to the conclusion that I shouldn't bother writing until I knew what to write about? I decided to write about not having anything to write about. How is that for self-absorbed?
At times like this, I remember all the cab experiences and think that maybe I should write them out. There are plenty of heart stirring moments, danger, sex, drugs and fast cars and crazy tempers and fights with junkies in the middle of the night, whores begging me to fuck them for the ride (as well as a lot of other people who came on to me). But I have no context for all of these images. No way to make them into a tale that might help the world a bit. They are all like burning buildings in my mind -- gorgeous yet deadly; interesting pictures without context. I saw no god out there, or rythmn of life, or any of the noble myths I read myself into believing at some time or another in my mystically addled youth.
At times like this, I also think of the writer business things I should be doing, like researching places to send my words that pay a few bucks. I have a manuscropt that just may find a publisher one day, but I sent it off just once and got a bad response. Not my audience, I guess. Other people like what I did. WHo do you trust?
Instead of writing, I have of late been reading with the intensity of a man trying to leave the world for awhile and crawl into a tale that makes perfect sense of all mystery.
Why the hell would you care about a few words that hold no laughs or thrills or kills? I need to write roller coaster rides...
A breif review of my habits as a writer is needed to make this text stand alone for those readers who don't know me.
------------------------------------------------all work here is the sole property of John Scott Ridgway, Chicago Illinois, host of the elves attic reading, every Friday night at the Big Star Cafe.