Skip to main content

Introduction to the Plan


The plan

I’ve been working, off and on, the last ten years on a piece of writing. I think that it’s a book, but it may turn out to be something else. I call it a memoir, unless Oprah starts grilling me and then I’ll crack and call it something else. It will still be a memoir, but I crack easily around strong women. I’m the ultimate unreliable first person narrator in all areas of non-fiction – it’s my gift -- and time to put it to work.

One of the problems I’m running into -- at 50 thousand words, I’m losing my place – I keep coming back to the story without a feel for the story. I’ve been trying to find a way to read it, and then write more of it – all in one big chunk of time.

I’m trying to do too much, so I’m not doing anything.

The only way I can think to make it manageable (other than getting software that follows my plot and lists my characters, which, let’s face it, is not going to happen.) is to go back and break it down into chapters and build up from there.

It’s not that I don’t know the story – (I’ll outline it at the end of this) – it’s organizational.

So, since I‘ve been averaging about 700 words a day for the last month, I’m going to turn my daily blog of random things into a daily update of chapters. I think that getting a bunch of chapters together will tell me what to do next.

This will be a process – I will try to get the spellings right and the approximate shapes in between the rough lines. I might leave gaps to be filled in later. This is going to be a warts and all thing – but since I don’t have too many readers, it should be fun -- a in-on-the-ground-floor experience of funness.

It’s also what I’m calling the, “plan.”

Here’s the story:

In 1984, a man comes into the hospital with a massive heart attack. Lab tests show that the heart attack was large enough to destroy his heart muscle, and, based on the experience of the RN taking care of him, he will most likely die in three days. Because the heart will die progressively, not suddenly, the man will be intellectually alert and responsive for most of those three days.

The nurse knows that the patient will die, but the patient does not.

That’s the story – 3 days in a coronary care unit with a nurse and a dying man. Each day a major section, each day with a theme.

Also – expect lots of ambergris, and the mucking around in fluids.

The nurse changes – the man dies, (or does he?) The real story is in the nurse – the question and the tension in the story will come from the development of the nurse over the three days– is he Ishmael, Ahab, or the big fucking whale?

Starts Monday!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Wedding and Funeral

Went to a wedding and a funeral this weekend with Mary. Sacramento, Santa Rosa, then home– a whirlwind trip through weekend bay area traffic. The traffic was horrible – life changing horrible, but not unusual.
As with most things, it’s a balance of an the unnamed terror and an easy chair in a padded room that rocks. 
The wedding was delightful, part of an interconnected strong woman’s club that marries off their daughters to provably weaker men. And so, the cycle continues, but the company was nice and I’m too old to wonder at the process anymore.
The funeral was for another interconnected strong woman, who, by hinkey or dinky, was a scary woman that I used to work with as a nurse. She would have been surprised that I outlived her, much as Charles the cat was. Please pay attention out there – this is how life works.
(To be fair, she didn’t put up with shit and I liked to throw handfuls of it around as if I were Christ standing on the back of a broken piñata heaving candy cigarettes to the…

Only once

For clarity, I think I will write this only once.I do not write confessional poetry, and I do not write things down as a form of therapy. I write because I have something unique to say in a unique sort of way, a way that I think is universal in an analogous manner, not as any sort of literal telling of the truth.  I trowel spackle onto pages with a straight edged blade, I don’t paint aging widows with a brush. (My soul has been psychedelicized, but this shit’s not about me.)It comes in this form – that this relates to that, in this way – A form that I think illustrates things that are too true to be looked at straight on – personal truths that are usually discovered through interactions with other people – truths that are often relational, unreliable and subject to the weavings and debris of human beings. Truths that sneak out and become a miraculous surprise of insight – like a Zen master hitting you on the head with a baseball bat at just the right time.I don’t think I’m the only on…

How do I know when I'm done?

I left a message on Facebook for someone I care about that ended with the words, “one won”. I did it just because I thought was funny. That led to a whimsical discovery that I no longer had to place a period at the end of my sentences – in fact to do so would be rude and identify myself as an old person. 
It seems that, for online use anyway, a period has become a loud shout -- a purposeful exclamation point useful only in drawing unnecessary attention, or as a way of making an angry burp of anti-social angst. Sentences no longer end, they gently back out a side door when no one is looking -- they’ve become bars without a jail, or that angry driver just ahead of you who hesitates before moving through an intersection just to make a point of how stupid you are.
Since a period is no longer an end to a thought, its new function has evidentially become nothing but a stuffy ritual of formality that writers can now use to mark up or down generalized feeling of huffiness, or perhaps a way to s…