Thursday, October 27, 2016

Writing October, The Conclusion

It feels almost like summer today. The sun is right on top of us here in Colorado's Front Range. This is the whole reason why people are moving here, well, that and the weed. It hardly feels like the close of October at all.

The light is bright white too. The wind of the last few days have stripped all the trees in my little town and that only makes the sun even brighter. I don't know how I feel about it. The naked trees have helped me to see certain aspects of the neighborhood and the town that I did not see when things we obscured by the modest foliage of summer.

In a way, I'm grateful for the light, the bright, the sun. I've been in the process of writing a group of short stories called (pre)Occupations since June or July. It was my intention to write 12 of them, but as I'm getting closer to the end, I think I'm only going to write 10. Where does (pre)Occupations and the October light in Longmont, Colorado have in common? Well, nothing much, really.

I am not sure why I wanted to write this project. It was a deliberate decision. It was a choice. I wanted to write a group of long short stories that have Longmont, specific occupations and a specific flavor in common. Initially, I chose this project because I wanted to use the town where I live as a backdrop for my imagination. Secretly, I wanted to do this project because I wanted to look for likable things about my town. I like my town, but everyone knows I don't want to be here. I want to be on the coast somewhere, anywhere. People really like Colorado. I'm just bored with it. And I wanted to be all about my town.

As I'm writing the final pages of this project, the stories are happening, almost in real time for me. It's October in my story and I directly transfer my feelings on the day to the page. I think this is not a bad way to work. October.

Some of the highlights of this process of (pre)Occupations have proved beneficial. For instance, I've never written a sex scene, ever. I've always thought it to be tacky. I wrote one in “The Dishwasher.” I've never endeavored old style-pulp like I wrote in “The Waiter” and “The Dancer.” And I've never really connected characters story to story. For instance, The main character in“The Waitress” is the a minor character in “The Waiter.” “The Waiter and “The File Clerk” share several characters and a few locations. It's just been a fun thing to do. I suppose in a way, I still think in terms of film, and how these short stories could be short films and the short films can all be loosely connected with each into a cohesive group resembling a feature.

Yet, here we are, the end of October. Admittedly, I have lost the hateful feelings I have had in years past. But I have found a new feeling this year that did not overtly exist before. This year October, and I don't know if it's because I've been watching for it, has produced a strong feeling of melancholy. I have been reflecting on many things. I've reflected on my prolific times as a writer, almost all of them have been in the fall. I've thought about all of the people in my life who have died in the autumn, and I've thought about those who died in other months. I reflected on former lovers and friends who have some sort of tie to October, whether it be a birthday or breakup or union. All of that leads to my reflection on where I was in Octobers past. It astounds me that it's already 2016, and I have no idea where the years have gone.

All I know is where I've been and what I've done. I know what I have written, and that makes me feel that I really did do what I said I was going to do all those years ago. And that's not bad.

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