Friday, October 31, 2008


Ways to procrastonate whilst avoiding writing that new novel which has not developed any traction yet:

Obsessively check through the last book for inconsistancies.
Chat with your friend on Facebook.
Research overseas markets for short stories.
Read a page here and a page there of non fiction books that might be called research materials
Go to GOMA and look at art and try to find ways to call that research.
Cook meals for the entire week ahead of schedule just so that you will have more time to write later.
Develop a play list that fits with the new book - songs in a particular mood.
Line up all your related books on the writing desk.
Cut out pictures from magazines that relate to the book
Buy photography magazines so that you can cut more pictures out of them
Go through the last book one more time just so it is out of your system.
Dishes. Don't forget the dishes
Hang clothes up
Tax. Got to do the tax.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lost things

There was a man in the bed beside him with a dent in his head. Evan tried not to stare at the man but it was difficult. The man's skull had caved in in the perfect shape of a fist. He paced. Evan felt the pent-up energy spilling out of him and into the room, infecting everyone as if it were viral. The man would groan and swing his legs off the bed and suck breath in and walk the length of the room and back before expelling the breath and swinging himself up onto the bed once more. Sometimes the nurses took him by the arm and led him gently back to his little area of the world, dragging the curtain around the bed and the sound of their voices would be calm and soothing.

Sometimes he felt like pacing. He felt the drag of his body on the hospital bed and wondered if he would ever lift himself out of it again. He remembered running, running for the ferry, running to catch a paper taken and played on a breeze. The surprising pleasure of a fast pace. This would be lost to him now.

There was another man, this one with no visible damage, just a certain slowness when turning his head, an unfocused glaze when asked a question. Evan found that this vague other worldly look disturbed him. The man was in a wheelchair and he manouvred it slowly from one side of the ward to the other. Sometimes he wheeled the thing towards a wall and stopped there, staring into the light green paint as if an image of the Virgin Mary had suddenly emerged from the fingerprints there.

Evan knew that quiet searching stare. He caught himself halted, wondering, struggling over the things that he had lost. The names of people he had known until a handful of days ago, the confusing progression of days and weeks mapped out on a calendar, numbers, fragments of conversation. Television shows. He could hum entire theme songs and not bring the name of the show to the front of his mind.

Lost things, all of them, lost things.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


He used to be able to cook. He looks at the book and there are words in it and it is clear that these words are instructions. There is a picture beside the words and he can imagine the food on the plate. The words are the method to make this jumble of ingredients into some kind of order.

He used to like to cook.

He remembers the pleasure in it. Cooking, wine and music. These three things in a quiet house and the scent of garlic infusing the evening. These pleasures that he never took for granted, but he took their ease in his stride. He stands with the book open and the picture glaring it's accusation and he can smell it, the meal that will be made from it. His good hand remembers the chopping and the stirring. It is in his body, this memory. 'I am a good cook' he thinks.

He looks at the lines of text and the ingredients are clear, chicken, garlic chopped, wilted spinach. He has layed out the ingredients on the cramped surface of the bench top, each one measured exactly. He glances at the potential of it, the meal in waiting. He looks back to the book and the crawl of words on the page. Three words next to each other make some kind of sence, the list of ingredients match perfectly to the food he has assembled. The paragraph is more challenging. The paragraph is almost impossible. When put together like this, the words become a sauce, each letter, each word indistinguishable from the next. It is all the coloured by the concept of 'recipe'. The words make the picture illustrated on the right, but together they are liquid, swirling into each other, impossible to pin down.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I heard about a study done with people who were in a coma. The researchers hooked them up to an MRI. They asked them questions -" imagine watching a tennis match." They saw a particular part of the brain light up at the thought of this. "So, imagine you are walking around your house" - another part of the brain sparked. Two different sections, two different thoughts. These people were in a coma. They were thought to be in a vegetative state.

"If you are in pain, imagine you are watching Tennis. If you are not in pain, imagine walking around your house" A yes no answer. A conversation of a kind.

I stood by his hospital bed and he could say yes. He could not say no. I remember this, but the lack of a clear 'yes' seemed to indicate he was not completely agreeing. This was an important step at the time. This was a way of communicating. I remember struggling to form questions that were simple. True or false? But life is more complex than this. I struggled to find the simple things in life but there were none.

This is an interraction that I must replicate. A man. An ex-wife, the simlicity of yes, no answers, the complexity of the relationship that they are dragging behind them, the enormity of the journey that may lie ahead.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mobile Phone

This was a mobile phone. He touched it. They said the words 'mobile phone' and he remembered these words and the words 'text message' and scrambled to keep them on the tip of his tongue. He chanted the strange but familiar sounds over and over in his head but they were slipping away, even as he toyed with them. He weighed the metal object in his hand and it was familiar.

He used to use one of these things, the thing with the name that he had freshly forgotten. His thumb twitched. He held it up to his ear and listened to the silence. Nothing. It was just a heavy metal object. There was a screen on the front of it and two buttons on the sides. He pressed these and numbers appeared on the front of it. A light glowed. He used to use this and now it was an artifact from some alien place.

The nurse plucked the thing from his hand, his only hand. He watched her open it, and of course it opened. That was the point of it. It flipped open and there were buttons with numbers. It was both a revelation and a memory. It was something to do with the numbers. Calling someone, contacting someone. It had something to do with the numbers.

He found he had made a fist around the thing, he slammed it against his knee. He thumped it against the sheets. He was crying. Like a baby. He was crying. The nurse took the object out of his hand and folded it up into himself. He cried and he pointed to the thing with his hand, his only hand and he wanted to say 'what is the name of it?' but he could not. He couldn't do anything except grunt, and it made him cry. Baby crying.

"The mobile phone?" she lifted and tilted it, flipping it open and closed, open and closed.

"Yes." he said, sobbing. "Yes. Yes. Yes."

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I swing back and forth between possible characters. A few weeks ago I was so fired up to start this book. I was ready to write, but I still had my memoir to complete. I put the energy on hold. Now I seem to have lost my way with it.

I know that beginnings are difficult but I always forget how difficult until I try to begin something new. I am up and down with it. I think perhaps I need to sit with the books about brains, quietly reading for a while but this might also be an excuse.

I write:

Chris, Christopher, David, John, Jonothan, Frank, Gerard, Gerald, Paul.

I write:

You have a name that is short and practical. A workman-like-name. you have just turned 32. You are full of unearned confidence. You are deeply insecure.

We meet in our insecurity. We meet in our alienness, in the dammage in our heads. We both fail to communicate. We meet with our inability to accept the truth.

I am reaching into my guts yet again and searching for my own failings because a character must be floored. Without these floors we can not see ourselves in them. Whoever I become when I write this book, I will be cobbled together from my failings. Only with this beginning can I find some change by the end of the story.

For some reason I remember books I have read by T C Boyle. I don't want to write a book like this, although I enjoy them. Perhaps I am following the wrong path with this. I think about Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx and Ondaatje and I feel myself hovering at a twisted road shrouded in dead branches. I want to push through the lantana scratch and snarl. I want to find my way through. I want this path, not the clean and obvious one. I know that I am making life difficult for myself, but I will go to the shop now and buy a new McCarthy and begin to read it. I will find my way to this story via and different route.

The masturbation bit

His penis. He places his hand on it, against it. His right hand. He cannot hold it as he once could. His fingers are thick as if fresh from sleep. He is separated from their fragile grip, this peice of meat on the end of what was once his arm. He must nestle his hips against the dead flesh and it feels like someone elses hand laying heavily on hi. He folds the fingers around it. He has less of a grip than he once had.His movement is restricted. His fingers curl but there is a point where he could no longer force them into any kind of shape. They are stiff. Resisting the insistance of his moulding. Still there is enough contact here to provide some kind of feeling. It is a simple thing to lift his left hip, push it against the heat of his hand, a succession of lifts. It becomes a rubbing. This is the kind of exercise that his OT would reccoment, gentle repetative movements and it does indeed feel better. It is a gentle stirring, not the quick explosiveness that he remembers from the before time, but it is a distraction and he continues to push his penis against his unweildy hand, surprised by the little ejaculation when it comes, a quick climb towards the edge and a spilling over. An unexpected reward for his furtive exercise.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This is a process of nesting. Sometimes I go through images in art books at the library and find something that has the feel of what I am looking for. Sometimes I gather lists of related texts, books that are written in the kind of style that my new book will be written in. Occasionally, if I am stealing someone I know to embed in the character at the heart of my book, I will gather pieces of information about him, like a stalker, pinning pictures of him to my wall in the office, stealing pieces of our conversation and writing them up on index cards.

It is easy to misdiagnose my intention, but I am writing a book. I need to harness my little obsessive traits and turn them into something. It is part of my process of nesting. I have bought a new moleskine. This also happens. A new moleskine for each project. To finish my memoir I needed a reporter style notebook which was perfect for the task. This book has caused me to buy a soft cover moleskine. This is lighter than the other ones and I have never used this style before so it is fresh for the project. Of course I do not need a moleskine to begin it, but it is a kind of readying. It is a psychological girding of my loins. It is foreplay. I can’t seem to settle into the writing of the thing. I have written a masturbation scene. I think I could perhaps write sex. But this is not my new book. This is my last book with its talons still in me. Maybe I will need to explore his sexuality before I can move on. Maybe there is nothing left of me except sex.

I had a dream when I was finishing the last manuscript. I dreamed that I was cut open and there was nothing inside. This image haunts me. Perhaps there is nothing left for me to tell. I am completely exposed and there is nothing but the furious monkey masturbating inside this human-skin, laughing maniacally. Maybe.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The scent of antisceptic. The tightening of his throat. He was perhaps suffocating. He gulped air like a fish and he longed for something, someone. He thought of his grandmother, her soft hands in his hair. The comfort of her. The scent of powder, Johnson's baby powder her white powdery fingerprints on his skin. It seemed for a moment that this memory of his grandmother had more substance than the room around him. He was perhaps 12 years old. He was drowning in air. It was a reaction. She told him this in her soft voice, her sing-song accent, fingertips softer than the skin of a child and cool against the strangle-heat of his face. She told him to relax and he relaxed into the comforting softness of her belly. If he died now he would know that he was loved.

He opened his eyes and she was there but it was not her. It was a parody of his granmother, someone all skin and bone, beaky face. A jut of shoulderblades, a punishment of cheekbones and elbows and writst. It was not his grandmother at all.

Wife, he thought. Ex-wife and the suffocation was not the simple tightening of his throat, a reaction to a drug that they had given him. This breathlessness was all the things he had thought but not said, lodging against his voicebox. A congestion of words.

Shouldn't have married her, too young to know, failed, did bad, destined to make a mess of it all, destined to be together and apart. Shouldn't have had the wedding, the separation, should perhaps have filed for that divorce.

He closed his eyes and his grandmother stroked his face and it would be all right if he just lay here quietly in his care.

"You almost died," she said to him

He opened his eyes to the jut of her knit brow. He felt a peice of himself shrivel, a little death, a little choking pressure on his lungs and his throat and he was overwhelmed suddenly by the state of things.

"Just relax," she said, "I'm here now."

She touched his face and he couldn't feel her fingers on his skin. The right side of his face. The dead side. He wanted to feel the cool powdery softness of her skin but there was nothing. She was nothing to him. He closed his eyes and breathed in the bitter bite of antisceptic and he drank down deep breaths into his heaving lungs.

Ex-wife, he thought, ex, nothing ex. But every time he opened his eyes she was here with him and she would not be exorcised.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

context and memory

A large part of memory has to do with context. If you are in the garden you will be more likely to remember the names of plants. When I am at the bookshop I remember book names and authors. I remember them with my body. If I am looking for a particular book and I remember the title but not the author, I put my hand up as if to remove the book from the shelf and then I check what letter should be under my fingertips and then, mostly I will remember the name of the author based on the first letter of her name that I have just discovered through the touch of my fingers. Sometimes I will remember it visually. I will picture the cover. I will picture the words in the kind of type that is on the jacket of the book, and then, if I squint, I will remember the name of the author or the title if this is what I am looking for.

When you wake up in a hospital with a brain that is still swollen, the damage as yet uncertain, this is when your memories of illness will be strongest. These will be triggered by the smell of the place. The feeling of waking into your own history of pain. You will remember having your tonsils removed or a broken foot. You will be transported back to these moments. This is what I will work on now. The next bit. My next bit.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recycling stories

I write a part of a chapter and I have been here before. I have written a short story that explored an early version of the idea at the centre of the book. I struggled over ideas and images that would explain the kind of waking into the world that you would have. Confused, finding some things clear in memory, and other moments lost just beyond the edges of a swollen bruised brain. I wanted to explore this coming to the idea of the change in a kind of slow awakening. I go back through the story and trawl for ideas and images that could be re-used. I do not like traversing the same territory. I become bored of an idea if I have written it once and come to some kind of peace. Still. The ideas that are contained in this earlier version of the story are vivid. They are well worked. I want to use some of this in the current version.

I know I should just put the old story aside and start afresh but I can't stop fiddling with it. My character has changed. I have found a voice that it fresh and exciting. A voice that I am in love with in that flippant way I have of falling completely for a person or concept or book and remaining faithful to it for a time before waking up one morning wondering what I might have seen in it at all.

My character was older. He was middle-aged, tired and jaded and struggling with the loss of his identity as a sexual being. This was a theme I visited in my memoir. This is something I am finished with now. Today I can't imagine why I ever worried about my sexual identity. Today I am sexy and alive and without fear. Today my character has grown young. Perhaps he is in his early thirties. My new conundrum is not about age, it is about communication. It is also about beauty, which is something I still wish I could hide myself inside. My character, therefore is not beautiful. He relies on his wit and charm to make the conquests that he does. All this is what he looses when his brain is damaged and he wakes back into a world that is completely changed for him.

This is a segment from my earlier story that I am toying with, inserting it into the current draft, honing it back to its component parts. This is procrastination really. This kind of close work should come at the end of things, but I am avoiding my first human interraction. I am wanting to sit alone with my character for just a while longer:

He moves his toe. He knows it is moving because he can feel the rub of the sheet against his skin. His toe is thick as the trunk of an elephant, heavy as a car. The corpse of his leg drags at his hip. He moves his toe and he surfaces from the effort of it, panting.

The woman notices the movement in his toe and her eyes become wet and glassy. The woman is his wife. Ex-wife. Wife. He doesn’t know what to call her after all this time. He is surprised to see her here next to his bed. There is the relief of months between them. The acrimony finally dulled from a shriek to a sigh.

He can’t remember her name. He can’t even remember his own name. He wants to tell her that he moved his toe, but he can’t remember the word for toe.

“I moved…” he tells her, and her brow furrows.

She opens her mouth and sounds spill out but they aren’t words. She is underwater and her mouth is filled with mud. He can hear the mud popping from her lips, one drop at a time, each bubble of nonsense accompanied by a tear. She has forgotten how to speak, he thinks. She has replaced language with this gurgling.
“I moved,” he says, “I moved my –“ no word for toe but he strains to move it once more for her to see. His face is red with the effort. His teeth bite down against pain.

She opens her mouth and there are the bubbles of sound, rising. He almost laughs. She never made sense even when they were together.

Amongst the trickle of sound from her mouth there is a word he understands. It is the word he was searching for. Toe. He now understands the word toe. He moves his toe. He remembers movement.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Letting go of the last book

I don't understand my character. I don't understand him because I still have the last book in my head. All I can think about is how he will try to race the nurse off into bed. I think about him masturbating. I wonder about his penis. I have gifted him with a foreskin because I have an intense but passing interest in foreskins at the moment. I am interested in his masturbation which is furtive and full of regret. I am interested in his lovemaking which is less robust than he would have us believe. He is all talk. He hides shyly behind his own bravado. On the rare occasions that he has been in bed, sober, with a woman, be becomes quiet and shy and follows wherever she would lead him. I cannot think about him without thinking about sex.

It has been a week since finishing the last book and I am exhausted by the run towards its completion. I sat at a desk until my back ached and my head throbbed. I stood up to pace or to masturbate, quickly, thinking of nothing but the next chapter or the next. My body has been wrecked by the rigor of it. I have become hard shelled, snapped back inside my casing, safe but quivering. I think about sex with my new character because the old book is still in me, but I have no connection with him. It bothers me. I feel that we cannot communicate. We have nothing to talk about.

I sit with him but I am ignored. We have nothing to say to each other, my character and I. I try to lie with him and I am still aroused by him, but I am all sharp edges and grit. My last book is still around me. I am coocooned. The sooner I shrug it off the sooner I will be free to climb into another skin, his skin. I name him tentatively and know that this is not his name. I have to find his name. I have to be naked with him for a while, quietly. I have to shed years and my gender. I have to know why he insists on being quietly optimistic when I would shrug and underline my existential angst. We two are not one.

It has only been a handful of days, but I do not want to give it time and space and silence. I want to press him into myself, I want to take on his shape. I want to speak with him and through him and into him. I want to abandon myself and the last book. I wish it were out of my hands, I wish I could send it out into the world where it would not nag at me.

Then, maybe then I will begin to enter his body.

Pigs and marriages

He had been grilling a pig on a campfire. This was a dream, of course. Even in the scouts he had never grilled a pig on the campfire. He could still smell it now. He lifted his hand but he did not lift his hand. He rolled onto his side but he did not roll onto his side. He swung his feet onto the ground but he was still a leaden body in the sweat of his bed. Not his bed. Hospital bed. He was confused. He called for his wife but his voice was lost to him. He opened his mouth and pictured his wife and there was a void where her name should be. He reached for his laptop but his arm refused to obey the impulse and his laptop wasn’t there anyway. He smelt burning pig. Ex-wife, he remembered with a kind of excited relief, All that shouting and crying and thumping of walls behind him now. Ex-wife. Bacon, definitely the smell of bacon, and a name came to him. Rose. He reached for the laptop again, where was the laptop? Where was his arm when he needed it.

Someone leaned over the bed and he thought it might have been his ex-wife and he flinched. It was a stranger. A nurse in an ill-fitting uniform. He opened his mouth and there was a sound from it that he didn’t recognise. He was speaking underwater. The echo of it was too loud in his head. He struggled with the aquatic mess of syllables.

“Ro-“ he said, “Rose.”

“Jacob. Good morning. How are you feeling?”

“Rose,” he said.

“You’re looking so much better this morning aren’t you?”

He wanted to say, am I? He wanted to say, you should see the other fellow.

“Your wife was in before.”

His wife. He smelled gardenia and wondered if this was a direct reaction to the words ‘your wife’ just as the smell of bacon seemed to fit so neatly with the idea of Rose. The nurse leant closer and he realised that it was the smell of her perfume. A wonderful womanly smell. He noticed the tight pull of her uniform across her breasts.

“She’ll be back in half an hour. She said to tell you when you were awake.

He wanted to ask her exactly where he was, exactly what had happened. A stroke. He had had a stroke. Someone had said this to him or he had guessed it. He remembered the feeling of faintness and the fall. He remembered the fall. He put his hand up to his face but his hand stubbornly refused to move at all. He had misplaced his hand. He tried to find it, His left hand travelled across his body, came to rest on a lump of flesh that felt colder than the rest of him. His hand. He touched the fingers and knew that this is what he was holding.

“Rose.” He said and the scent of bacon sizzled in his brain.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roses and Bacon

One of the girls had become more inventive than the rest. He had begun to enjoy his adventures to the mailbox. The odd-shaped packages he would find there.

Snail. It was the title of her project. An experiment in snail mail, things made out of paper delivered the old fashioned way. She had sent him index cards the other day because she was using index cards at work. The index cards had titles on the top line, like ‘Paper project #25”, “Projected paper #26” and then there was something flirtatious written underneath this. He saw himself in her a little. He had met her once in real life and she was older than he was and shorter and quite unattractive and she made him laugh out loud. He could have fallen in love with her except for the physical aspects. Maybe he could choose to ignore these anyway, learn to navigate by his internal compass instead of the visual stimuli that he had learned to rely on, but still there were other girls sending him mediocre poetry. He had options. No need to leap to anything just because she was interesting and funny and smart. The irony in this was not lost on him.

He looked around for his computer. He thought he would message her now. See if her little green light was all lit up. She worked with her computer on and she was always there, rarely too busy for a quick exchange. His computer would be on the ground beside the bed where he had left it. He turned on the pillow. He identified the feeling he was experiencing as pain. He was strangely removed from the pain and wondered if he had drunk too much or taken drugs or something. But then he remembered the anesthetics and he wondered why he was on anesthetics and then he remembered completely and sank back into the pillow.

He thought about her. The ugly girl. Rose. The kind of name your grandmother might have, or a girl in a fairytale with pearly skin and midnight hair. When he was chatting to her on Facebook and when there was no way of actually seeing her, he imagined her like that, dressed in a Snow White bodice with her breasts pushed up and offered to him above the velvety fabric like the sweet steamed buns you could buy in Chinatown.

He thought that he would like to chat to her right now about what had happened, he could make a joke of it. Even a stroke could be funny if you framed it right. He thought about her and he was overwhelmed by the scent of frying bacon. Odd.

He thought about a table, nothing, a lamp, nothing, his brother, nothing, but when he thought about Rose he smelled bacon and he began to feel hungry.

He couldn’t be sure how long it had been since his last meal. He hadn’t eaten since before the stroke, the evening. Muesli for dinner. He remembered saying something clever to one of the prettier girls on MSN about the endless cycle of meal times and how he liked to mix it up a little. He was explaining to her how he was marinating some lamb strips for breakfast kebabs, lemon delicious for breakfast desert. ‘You are hilarious” she had messaged back. She had spelled hilarious incorrectly. He had to physically delete his subsequent correction of her spelling. Girls didn’t like it when you corrected their spelling.

He corrected Rose’s spelling all the time. Rose liked that. He was sure of it. She teased him about it in that flirtatious way she had of pointing out his actions to him, telling him exactly how she was framing their interaction, deconstructing their relationship as it was unfolding. He wished she was more beautiful in real life, or at least less ugly. He wished she could be someone he could fall in love with, but she wasn’t.

He smelled bacon and he raised his hands to fold them across his stomach, but it was only one hand. The other had not obeyed his brain’s directive and it lay at his side like a lump of solid meat, a dead thing, road kill.

Oh, he thought, I can’t move my arm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Evolution of a novel

The evolution of a novel is a strange and haphazard process.

I am reading Kluge by Gary Marcus to get a handle on the construction of the human mind. This is a fascinating book that shows us how a brain is constructed like a city. There are errant bypasses, one way streets, odd public art, houses built with their backs towards the view, houses facing what was once a view but is not the arse end of a shopping centre.

I follow a new track that has been stomped into the well cared for garden bed at the GOMMA building. People need to get from point A to point B. The easiest way is to hoist yourself up onto a concrete rise and wander through what once was a well planned garden bed. This is now a footpath built of dirt and careful trudging. The perfect metaphor for the creation of a book. I assemble random pieces of writing. Some of it is good. Some of it is not so good. I wander down paths I have set for myself and step up to dead ends and impossible climbs.

This is uncharted territory. I will need a brush cutter and probably some dynamite. I can see that I must reek havoc before I can settle into the architecture of the thing. I borrow people from the real world, fragments of conversation, images abandoned from a previous work. I cobble it all together with gaf tape and sweat. I start to loose perspective. The world begins to swirl around the vortex of what will become my book. Everything is a sign or a warning. Everything belongs to the work. I steal images and moods and relationships and shove them into the emerging city. I do so without apology, knowing that somewhere beyond this fragile beginning, I will begin to bury the people that I know in my own familiar flesh. This is the process of my work. This is the building of my novel.

Kluge; noun; a solution that is clumsy or inelegant yet surprisingly effective.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boy Scout

The girls liked him for his humour. He was sharp. He knew this, even through the fug of anesthetics he remembered the way he would answer them, rapid fire responses most of which made them laugh. Sometimes he could carry out several conversations at the one time. The girl on the phone, the three girls on Facebook, MSN. GChat, the text exchange interrupting his verbal conversation with a startling little vibration. He had become adept at multi-tasking which everyone said a man could never do. Sexing the brain. The ludicrousness of gender differences mapped out in neurological pathways.

He had heard a programme on the radio about experiments with rats. Girl rats navigated by little plastic houses that they dropped into a maze like markers. Boy rats seemed to navigate by an idea of North. Remove the houses and the girl rats struggled to find their way back home.
The boys boldly scrambled to their internal compasses like good scouts.

He remembered his moment in the boy scouts vividly, the compasses, the backpacks, the tinned food and the space-food sticks that everyone seemed to be enjoying that year.

He could not make fire. His campfire flared into an excitable crackle and then sank onto the damp ground, charred and exhausted. He held the compass aloft and followed the little arrow towards north, but somehow every turn he made led him towards an impassable stream. They followed him, snickering as he stepped out into the mud and fallen tree branches, waving him back only when he had tripped and sank into stagnant water up to his groin.

“You’re going the wrong way man. This is so the opposite direction.”

They slapped him on the back and dug their elbows into his ribs and snickered, spitting fragments of masticated space-food bars into the air. He grinned and said something witty and made them like him more, but he did this through a fist of silent rage and he wondered how they didn’t see this. How could they laugh and slap him on the back when he hated them just a little and wished that they would fall into the stagnant stream and maybe he wouldn’t rescue them so quickly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Brain Book

I have been writing about sex for 200 days at and the time has come to start something new. I am about to enter a new territory. This is uncharted grey space. This is an up close and personal hands on look into my brain.

The memoir is over and now is the time for my next novel to begin. The problem is the writing regime. With Furious Vaginas I have been writing about sex every day, and the discipline kept me on task. No slacking off, no sleeping on the job. I need to replicate this kind of obsessive discipline for my next venture. This is where The Brain Blog begins.

This is a book that will take me into my own brain. I will need to bury my hands in visceral research. I will need to read and respond. I will do this on line. This feels like such a complex project for me and this method of research seems like an extension of my previous work. This is my first post. Wish me luck as I stretch out to explore a new and exciting realm, the messy, slightly frightening territory of my own head.