Friday, February 04, 2005

Bluebirds, Puppies, Armageddon

Like a lot of others, I have a 9-to-5 job that pays for the fiction jones. I come home, and after dinner and cleanup, and if I can pry myself away from Smackdown! or American I-dolt, I park myself in front of the computer and write highly inspiring stories of love and redemption, tales that feature bluebirds, puppies, and ice cream. I do this despite my exhaustion and profound desire to pick at my toenails.

Surprise! I really don't write about bluebirds, puppies, and ice cream unless they are used in the commission of a crime or cause a painful death. (It's amazing what you can do to someone in an ice cream vat, not to mention the damage that a feral puppy pit bull can do.) The only time I have to compose is after work and weekends -- I'm cranky after work with exhaustion, cranky on the weekends because I'm missing out on doing something fun. You know, the things normal people do. Wife claims I'm just a curmudgeon, which is true.

What I'm realizing is how much my mood at the very moment I sit before the keyboard informs the tone of my fiction. "No shit! you're saying. "Yeah, no shit!" I say back.

Yes, this is no revelation to anyone who's bothered to write, but I'm starting to wonder if my cynical, hypercritical, stone-hearted stories of human cruelty and death and destruction and worlds engulfed in blazing Armageddon would turn into bluebirds and puppies if, say, I wrote when I'm not so spent or down -- instead, when I'm drunk, high on coffee, or the post-coital bliss that I will not detail here but which the mere mention of will certainly generate the majority of comments to this post.

Regardless, as I continue my transformation to a modern-day Jaggers or Fish/Abe Vigoda, it's clear that I won't become a better writer if I was of better temperament, just a different one. As I've said before, those of us who write fiction are by nature introverts, weirdos, cranks, or just simply insane.

(The rest of the post was cut out, and turned into a separate post, which makes it seem like I'm really working hard at this.)