Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

PEace and Quiet

Kelly's at work. Mom's off with my sister, Jeri, shopping. I have the place to myself so I'm going to...jeez, I dunno what. I haven't heard from Kasey, yet, and she's not answering my calls. So that's not getting done till next week and there's still the last section of it to do, aimed at the institutions and libraries. (Note: just got a call to postpone everything till Sunday)

I guess I'll re-read that script I'm editing and see if I can come up with some new ideas for it. I'm not a good mind reader and the direction I'd take this is not the direction the writer/director wants to go. I think I got one clue when he said there's not enough action in it -- he sees this as an action piece and it really is a horror script. Is he thinking of "Predator" maybe? I haven't seen "Avatar" yet and don't really want to. I'd rather seek out something more original.

I'm having a bit of a back and forth with Brendan over POS. This is looking like a 3 year job to me before I can even begin to feel comfortable enough to let it out in the world in full, and he's accusing me of falling into my usual trap of wanting the first draft to be close to perfect. And he's right, to an extent, but I'm still too unsure of my command of the ins and outs of his world to just let it rip. And as much as I say it's all about the emotional journey, if I write something that would make no sense in Derry -- like if I have Brendan buy an LP at Austin's Department Store and it turns out Austin's never sold LPs -- it won't matter how true the emotional context is...dammit, the fact is I'm afraid I'll hurt the story with my lack of awareness. And it means too much to me now to let that happen. Which feeds into my creative paranoia.

I want to live there for six months. Talk to people. Get an honest feel for the place. I've only been in Derry a total of six days spread over two trips that were four years apart, with the last one being three years ago. And so much changed just between my first and second trip. In 2002 people were still afraid and the town shut down; in 2006 I saw several people out jogging. So it matters...and now I'm so locked into wanting this, I've actually begun paying the lottery. If that's not ridiculous, I don't know what is.

Of course, I went through the same thing with "Bobby Carapisi," to a lesser extent, as regards Bobby being a major league baseball relief pitcher. Took me years to get comfortable with the jargon he'd use and his less-educated patois...and being from South Philadelphia. And even now I'm not totally sure I got it right enough to work with a baseball freak. But I did get comfortable enough with it to let the books be published. And I will NEVER be one of those writers who goes back years later to rework what they've done (John Fowles did that) so I get one shot to make it right. Then it's mine forever.

Gusty, windy day, today. Going to be freezing, tonight. And we're going to my other brother's for Christmas Eve dinner. I think I'll go for a walk.

No comments: