Friday, May 27, 2011

dirty old man

Now, this time say it with me, but with a British accent: “Yuh a duhty olde mahn, bubba. Wot a filthy olde buggah, you ah!” There, now don't you feel better? I know I do. Now back to bidness.

Well. I’ve gone and made some major changes to the novel. I cut out almost half the original characters—suckers have been dropping like flies. I realized there was quite a bit of redundancy, with two or three characters carrying the weight which one could easily heft, making them much too one-dimensional. This allowed (required) me to tighten up the storyline(s), so it’s starting to look much more manageable.

But. However more manageable it has become, one thing I have noticed is that all of a sudden there seems to be quite a bit of sex going on. Where the hell did that come from? Everybody is shtupping everybody else! It's rally quite disgusting, you know. What I had intended to be a serious story is turning into erotic literature. Ah, who am I kidding? Can I in all seriousness attach the moniker “literature” to what I write? Not this piece of hackish trash. Maybe it would work as a screenplay for a porno? Do porno’s even have screenplays? And why all the sex? Hmmmm? A lackanooky at home driving this?

Oh, and what was that about intending it to be a serious story? Me, serious? I can't open my mouth without cracking a joke, or making a wisecrack. Haven't my wife and daughter pointed this out to me umpteen times? “Can't you be serious about anything? Why does everything have to be a joke to you?!” So. They're right, of course. And of course, of course...A horse is a horse, of course, of course, And no one can talk to a horse of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed. So of course, I never intended it to be serious. Of course not.

But there is humor, and then there is humour. So humor me for a second while I cogitate on what type of humour my novel might exhibit.

The other day, well, it was yesterday, actually, I was listening to something on youtube on my phone on the way home. What was I listening to, you ask? Why the song from Blazing Saddles, you know the one, the one Madeline Kahn sings on stage, “I'm Tired.” And why was I listening to it? Well, my boss mentioned he was tired, and used a line from that song (he loves quoting from Blazing Saddles, but then again, who doesn't,) and I realized I hadn't heard it in a while, so I found it on youtube, and enjoyed it on the way home. And then I remembered that Madeline was in another of my favorite movies, “Young Frankenstein.” And then I started thinking about my book, which I spend most of my waking hours thinking about. And I thought to myself, if I am truly myself with this thing, and write it how it would amuse me, wouldn't it be along the lines of a Mel Brooks film? I don't know, I'm just riffing out loud, you know? Mainly the Scotch talking. But when 16 yo Lagavulin talks, shouldn't one listen?

Interesting little side note: I wanted Mena (one of my major characters) to stay with a family in my little German town, and have the husband be the Burgermeister (please forgive the missing umlaut) there. When I looked the town up in wikipedia, just to make sure it actually has a Burgermeister (because, you know, my knowledge of how local German government works is woefully thin,) I was surprised to see that the current one’s last name is the Germanized version of my own Polish name! How weird is that? Is that a sign I’m on the right track? I’m not superstitious, not in the least, but when things like that happen...

1 comment:

  1. Bubba, I do believe we must be brothers of some kind, separated at birth. I get that label occasionally too, about not being serious about anything, making a joke out of everything, which, for me, has always typically been a defense of mine against criticism and disappointment, because inside, I'm very serious and, concerning the pursuit of literature, very driven. Driven, for me, more toward reading and criticism than the novel writing like you've got the focused passion for right now.

    I hope eventually you'll consider sharing an excerpt or two of your novel-in-progress. I'm very curious to read some of what you've got developed so far. I suspect it's better than your self-doubt will permit you to proclaim.

    Happy writing weekend man!