The Friday FiveFiled under: Uncategorized
1. Last night I stepped back into high school. One of my favorite bands from the 90s, Letters To Cleo, played a reunion concert in NYC after an eight year hiatus, even though they all tour with Miley Cyrus now as part of her backup band. I attended the concert with my best friend from high school, Jeremy. Lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in over a decade came back to me like they’d never left. I have a lot of history with this band. Back in high school, I used to run a super cool (read: super geeky) music ezine devoted to my favorite bands. Actually, I ran several, each showcasing a separate band. Due to my research on fun articles for the ‘zine, I learned a lot of tricks about getting backstage at concerts. Now, I should note that I was around 14 years old with a mouth full of braces. I looked kind of adorkable in a pinch-your-cheeks and help-with-homework kind of way. I would make scrapbooks for the bands I saw, printing out the pages of the ezines and filling the rest with drawings I did. I’d sidle up to a bouncer or a bartender, acting all innocent and endearing and ask if they could find a way to deliver the scrapbook to the band. This worked on many occassions; one band even dedicated songs to me at a concert. Though Letters To Cleo didn’t appreciate me enough to dedicate any songs, I did receive something better from them back in high school. The drummer, who I had a major crush on at the time, kissed me on the cheek to say thanks for the scrapbook. I hoped for a repeat performance last night. My boyfirend even gave me permission! Sadly, I didn’t take into consideration that he might not have aged well or that he would have developed poor judgement when he decided shoulder-length curly hair looked attractive on him. Nor did I take account that I am not 14, and while in high school I could stay out until 3am and go to school the next day, I could barely keep my eyes open by 11pm. As soon as the concert ended, I made a mad dash for my bed. I entertained grand plans of posting photos of me with the band, then and now. I can only do the then, and I promise to get the photos from my parents’ house the next time I go home. They are quite funny, and very embarrassing. Anyway, I’m feeling nostaligic today, the songs evoked long-sleeping emotions in me as I recalled listening to certain songs on repeat in my room until they spoke a mantra about particular events in my life. So for now, I leave this bullet point with one lyric I hadn’t heard in years. I dedicate to all those boys I crushed on in high school who never knew I existed:
Though it would be a kick to get my way / I hardly ever do
And the closest that i ever get / Is nothing on you
"I’m A Fool"
2. Concerts always make me think of writing. I started my foray in writing novels at a concert, though not a Letters to Cleo one. I’d been writing short stories for years, had notebooks full of poetry, a very detailed journal, and even won a few competitions in high school. But I hadn’t written a novel until I attended a Goo Goo Dolls concert back when I was 17. We had just studied Camus’ The Stranger as well as Hamlet. You could say I was on somewhat of an existential kick. Standing in the crowd of that concert, knowing how much the lyrics affected me but the lead singer didn’t know I existed, it changed something in me. I wanted to affect someone the same way. Give back, if you will. I knew I had no business trying out the music industry. Though I play a lot of instruments, I’m far from musically talented. Mostly, I memorize and practice certain songs until I get them right, but I can’t quite hear the difference between playing it well and playing it decent. I am tone deaf. If I ever auditioned for American Idol? It would probably become a classic YouTube video everyone laughed at. Until the Goo Goo Dolls concert, it had never occurred to me to write a novel, something in long form, something someone besides my teachers or friends would see. That night after the concert, I sat down and started. I came out with a book of absolute crap because it had no plot, no characters names, and contained essentially 75k of existental ponderings. But I’d done it. I’d written something in long form. It taught me not to be afraid again. (And Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I ever forced you to read that thing.) Thankfully after that, I started writing things with actual premises and plots and conflict. I also learned the beauty of revising. But whenever I go to a concert, I’m reminded of the day I started writing, and that’s what I find myself thinking of today.
3. I’m also thinking about how tired I am. I must warn you all, when I’m tired, I tend to make bad jokes! I am trying to keep my lips zipped at work, but a terrible one just slipped out. My poor coworkers; they should invest in earplugs. I’d like to sleep in tomorrow, but I’ve got to get up early and brave the cut throat jungle of the mall parking lot for Christmas/Hanukkah shopping. Last time my boyfriend and I tried to go to the mall three weeks ago, we drove around for an hour looking for a spot before giving up and indulging in ice cream instead. That may have been a victory instead of a failure, depending on your perspective.
4. Writing update: I’ve got two scenes left to write in the super secret WIP. I hit a roadblock a few days ago and realized my carefully planned outline no longer worked. Luckily, it only affected the last act of the book. I took some time to mull over the new direction, and I think I know what to do now. I hope to finish draft one by the end of the weekend. Incidentally, I’ve made a lot of progress on the brainstorm book idea I blogged about last Friday. I’m now 6k into that one and it’s going really well. The super secret WIP is nearing 100k, which is pretty normally for me. By the time I’m done, it will be down to a managable size of about 70k I predict.
5. Part Two of my ode to outlining series will be up tomorrow. I’m still organizing my thoughts and going through my outline/WIP for the best excerpts. The concert and busyness at work derailed my progress so far.