12/24/16 - Back to Work

Tags Art

I resumed work on the novel. I did some good work on it in the summer then took some months to organize my thoughts, which might sound like a cop-out but actually I did need to marinate the story and do some subconscious chewing and testing, which I feel is now finished. I made a few changes while I was reviewing the first chapter, then realized I wasn’t using the correct draft. I switched to the correct draft and found the exact same change I’d just made, word for word, had been made a few months ago.

It’s funny how I am so absentminded, but my memory for writing, specifically exact sentences, is extremely good. I think part of it is I have a definite sense of how a sentence should be structured, how it should look and feel, and that never changes. One year for NanoWriMo I decided to rewrite a novel I’d been struggling with a few years. This was a true rewrite, starting with a blank screen and not consulting the original draft. As I worked, I easily remembered whole passages from the original word for word as if I’d just written them the day before. Maybe that’s not exceptional, maybe it’s something all writers do, but considering my abysmal memory it always stood out to me.

I started reading about Frida Kahlo last night. She is definitely the most interesting artist I’ve read about so far. I haven’t gotten far in her life, I’m just now to the point where she had a mirror mounted over her bed while she was bedridden so she could be her own model, but she deeply resonates, whereas Dali and Magritte are “just dudes” to me. (I like Picasso better but he was so prolific the tiny book I have about him barely scratches the surface.) I never saw the 2002 Frida biopic and amazingly it is available for streaming on Netflix. The last dozen or so films I looked up were only available on disc. I’m not sure what to make of Netflix’s streaming library, it feels like they’ve moved to be more of a “catch up” service than a well-rounded library, but it could be that as streaming has gained popularity the rights are becoming more difficult to acquire.

Tangent on that, I wanted to make sure I was back into film before I signed up for discs again, but I think I am. We watched a lot of television for a while because wanted shorter things to watch to unwind at the end of the day, but I think we’ve exhausted most of the good programming currently available. I definitely prefer shorter series, such as American mini-series and streaming original series, which are usually about a dozen episodes, or British television, which is usually 4 to 6, over traditional 24-episode American series. Aside from the general quality difference, since 24-episode series are catering to cable television and a different audience and are structured around commercial breaks with lots of paid advertisements incorporated into the show, I am not interested in long, drawn-out stories that clearly don’t have a planned endpoint. Stories designed to go on indefinitely certainly feel that way while watching. Breaking up films into two or three sittings seems about right for my current mood.