Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Here's a secret: I registered with Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) and am writing a novel this month. 2400 words and counting. It's a modern-day Sleeping Beauty story. The "Queen" is a heroin addict model whose infant daughter is raised by her younger sister in 1980's Atlantic City after she overdoes on a New York subway. I'm structuring the novel like a villanelle. (I'm teaching traditional poetic forms to my students right now and my brain is full of it.)

Here's the first paragraph:

There must be word for the moment in which fall acquiesces to winter. It can’t possibly be as subtle a surrender as it appears. I like to think that it’s a kind of quickdeath, a gunshot to the head. No long suffering illness. It is not a cancer but a precise stab. Of course, you argue that autumn (fall, fall) tumbles headlong and sure into the certainty of winter, but even the suicide, who knows exactly what’s coming, has a moment in which his life ceases and his death begins. It’s that moment I’d like a name for. That single second in which autumn dies, it’s soul rising into the cloudless sky. I might call it Tara. She’d like that.

This is fun. It's so liberating to worry only about quantity and not quality for a change.

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