Six slow night miles - half trail, half pavement. All dark, barely a moon, just the headlamp and the red blink of my husband up ahead, half mile, then mile, then eventually gone. But there were bats and crickets and frogs and stars. Lots and lots of stars.
There’s a point in every story, usually about 1/3 - 1/2 of the way through, where, if it’s going to start going downhill in a way that’s tough to recover, that trajectory is going to start showing itself right around that marker. If it’s a story I’m attached to (and most of them are, or why bother with them?), that’s a devastating, almost debilitating feeling. Once in a while I can use brute force to push the story to around the 2/3 - 3/4 mark just to be sure, but often if it started to go bad earlier, it doesn’t get any better. And so I end up with a tall stack of stories all stalled in about the same place. I’ll make myself open those files, still, and try to work with them again, but I’ll get overwhelmed with a strong sleepiness almost immediately that makes it hard to think. Everything feels like I’m looking at it through Vaseline. If I close that file and work on something that hasn’t stalled yet, everything clears. At least until I hit the 1/3 - 1/2 mark on that one, and then we start that cycle again.
Writers are weird.
“I believe pain breeds wolves and joys give rise to moons. We grow forests in our bones so our memories can’t find us. I believe we hide and haunt ourselves.”
— Pavana पवन
Burlesque, pawn shop slumming for new pocket knives and other trinkets, a night celebrating Dia de los Muertos, maybe even in costume? Running Mt Charleston trails, the Erotic Heritage Museum, the Bellagio conservatory, used book store browsing, casual strip grazing (in the foodie sense), roller coasters, indoor skydiving? Another small tattoo?
Must be a November weekend in Las Vegas with friends. Hurry up.
“What interests me about fiction is, in part, its flickering edge
between realism and where a tear in the fabric of a story lets
in some other sort of light.”
— Ben Lerner, in the NYT
“We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there.”
— Clarissa Pinkola Estés