Misbehaving Thoughts


Man typing an old typewriter

 Note: This entry was written in a Mark Twainian accent. Please drawl indulgently at the middle of words and the ends of the sentences. If you refuse to do it my way, you are going to miss how serious I am about this. And if you ever dare missing the seriousness of this post, you will be guilty of something worse: Wasting your time.

I wrote a 50 thousand words novel in 30 days. After the literary hangover, I asked myself “Now what?” to find that lame old faithful answer waiting for me.

Get back to blog writing, and tell you how that month went without getting me or anybody else – save some goats and cows on Eid and Thanksgiving – served on a table for dinner. That’s what.

Every story starts from one sentence, extended into a paragraph. That paragraph then grows into the structure of the entire story. My storyline and structure, sketched from beginning to end, was drawn in 2000 words. That part was creatively fun and fast and did not require the support of much IQ.

Then I just added fluff. Haha. Easy!

In reality, that’s when keyboard pounding, eye-straining and thoughts of “why the fuck am I doing this to myself?” really began. The Boring Middle, the long word-by-word walk crawl from beginning to the HOPES of an end. This is when my characters went crazy/nice/boring/mightastheypleased. They refused to do as I had told them to. This is when my faith in my excuse to exist faltered. Even the possibility of killing everybody, or shower them with loads and loads of happilyeverafters did not solve anything!

I don’t know why I called it fluff. It tasted more like nicotine grime and caffeine tar to me.

From around mid November, I always was in pain in the mornings, when my knuckle joints refuse to bend and straighten without making rusty screeches. In the evenings, the entire backside of my trunk heaved in awful moans of agony. My body parts took turns hurting, I hurt from fingers to elbows, to shoulders, to neck, and down to my scoliosis back and stumped tailbone.

And you thought writing was easy?

The story went from ridiculous to vulgar. Too many sex scenes, too much blood, too long essays, too short dialogues. I ran out of English words around the 28000th word. Then I ran out again on the 35000th. Only around the 42000th, that I assumed beginning to make sense.

Actually, it began to make beautiful sense around the last two thousand words.

On the afternoon of November 28, 2009, the neighbors were torturing a rotten audio speaker; playing it to its loudest wails. Amidst the obscenities (coming from the neighbor's speakers and my mouth), I heard a song about lovers who could not unite.

Hence, the last1500 words in the story was about the songstress.

Overall, the craft forced me into the the habit of watching and keeping track of my thoughts. This was my only daily meditation. The more conscious I was with my thoughts, the easier it was to manage my behavior and my characters’ destinies and the upward butts in my ashtray.

And just when I thought I was getting good at it, it happened like what Stephen King had said in “The Bags of Bones”, that writers teach their thoughts to misbehave. And I that have a blog to write.

That’s when I had to relearn everything from the beginning again, with all the misbehaving tendencies to scream at rotten speakers. Or cross over unimaginable boundaries. Or finish novel drafts.

With only a little bit of daily backaches, stiff joints and a Tolstoyan worth of cursing, you too might eventually overhear a heartbroken fairy, sing a sad song about things that might have been, and remember to offer thanks for the things that have become.

nano 09 winner
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