Saturday, September 16, 2017
we all float down here
Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of the afternooon typing up one large segment of UNUSUAL CREATURES--the Rose letters. They will be the ekphrastic element of the box project, most likely enveloped and tied with a ribbon. As I was retyping, I was revising, and feeling that ever-present tension between narrative--relaying sufficient information to convey the story (in this case the story of a woman who runs away from home to pursue a dream and a marriage and a child in the 1920's, but ends up in madness and depression and prostitution) and being artful with language--poetic and innovative. Sometimes, I don't care about narrative at all, but it seems important here. When I initially was writing, I was composing longhand in a spiral notebook and away from the computer, so when I sit down to type, it feels rougher--in need of tweaking--moreso even than usual.
Thursday night, I got a chance to see the IT remake, and was thinking yesterday how King tells stories, and the world he creates and recreates that overlaps sometimes and feels like it's a part of the same universe, either intentionally or unintentionally or just by circumstance. I liked it better than the mini-series, though the actual novel is not my favorite Stephen King piece (which would be Carrie, or maybe The Langoliers). Whenever I think about his work, there is always the tension of the horror fiction genre and more serious types of writing, and I feel King treads that line quite nicely. While I was in college and studying LITERATURE (tm) I would have written King off as a purely guilty pleasure, but after reading his On Writing book, I had a new appreciation for what he does, and though his less horror-driven books aren't my bag (w/the exception of 11-22-63) I have mad respect for someone who can do popular lit well and still have the least writerly integrity (in this Twilight / 50 Shades of Grey world).
I also like how his books become part of the cultural fabric--how his characters and storylines are recognizable tropes. Everyone equates highschool with Carrie. Even walking back from the theatre and crossing the deserted north branch of the Chicago River, I mentioned how perfect it was a place for Pennywise, that dank & dark water, and half expected to see that single, ominous red balloon floating over the bridge above our heads.
Tomorrow, another trip to Rockford, where my mother seems to be improving and has been moved to a nursing home for some rehabilitation work before she can be sent home. Though she is still out of it and having a problem distinguishing between reality and dreams and some possible hallucinatons, ( two little girls seated at the table in her room, more butterflies on the wall) her motor skills are improving, as is her appetite. She's kind of freaky in a horror movie way, and I joked with my father on the phone that maybe her infection made her able to see ghosts. I am less troubled by her ghost-sightings than her crying, which seems to be less prompted by pain and more by frustration or sadness. (ie..if she is talking crazy, that's fine, but I don't want her to be in distress). As the infection / pain clears, most likely so will her mind , so we are hoping for the upturn soon.