Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Monday, May 10, 2010

Velvet haze

After printing up the 312 pages I've written for "Place of Safety," I read through some of the later sections and found there are moments I honestly do not remember writing. I don't know if that stems from being so lost in them they became like a reality I have yet to live or if I'm just slipping into Alzheimer's. I say "a reality I have yet to live" because I want this story to come across as something Brendan is living as he tells it. Not a memoir but real time for him, as though we've gone back to this awful period in history and are seeing it ourselves. A true "eyewitness to history" sort of thing.

I don't know if I can get away with that -- make it both immediate and all-encompassing while still keeping it in a human voice -- but I think that's why Brendan's been so adamant POS be told in first person. The third person POV puts a curtain between the reader and the story, so it never strays out of the realm of a tale being told. While that can work beautifully in many instances and gives a far greater chance for lovely prose (and blithe self-indulgence), it just seems wrong for this. Brendan's life is not a story, it's his truth...and he wants no more space between him and the reader than is absolutely necessary.

Of course, my not remembering could also be a case of me just jettisoning information I've transferred to another form of memory so I can make room for what has yet to come, like dumping the cache on a computer. Hardly as romantic a notion but probably closer to what's really happening in my brain. I've survived most of my life by having very selective short-term remembrance while the long-term is so deeply buried in my brain, you'd need a master technician just to locate it, let alone dig it out.

Oh, and just for the sake of counterpoint to the "Free Derry" photo from yesterday, here's how that area looks, today.

Tomorrow it's off to LA for a few days (WAY too few). I was born in California. It calls to me. I haven't always wanted to live there, not like I do London or Paris and how I've recently wanted to in Ireland (albeit for more literary reasons, and I would do so in Galway, not Dublin), but it's more my home than anyplace else in this country.

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