Character Dives

Perhaps I should put everyone somewhere and see how they react. That place doesn’t necessarily have to be in the story directly. Let’s give them a resting point on a journey. Somewhere where everyone needs to be for a bit. Like a cafe – I spent enough time working in them to know my way around there. No – I’ve used that before. Where else? A school. Places I’ve worked since I started working. These are the Jobs in order – at least in order of my memory:

Closing envelopes at a lawyers office. Intern at a public radio station’s archives. Cashier at Save-On Drugs in the Marina. Phone room selling the Los Angeles Times. Cafeteria worker at the food court in college. Dishwasher at the food court in college. Pizza delivery guy in college. Banana Republic salesperson. Starbucks coffee guy. Regular Cafe coffee guy. Putting the clothes back in the stock room of a woman’s clothing store. Chimney Sweep salesperson. Juice Bar operator.  Waiter at a number or restaurants (This sounds interesting as it gives me a bunch of people who are in a place they are trying to get out of).

Let me stop there and try that – I think after my job waiting tables, I started in my 10 years of advertising and office scenarios that are all pretty much the same play. Maybe something at  restaurant and I could move out from there. It would have to be a fictitious place and I’m not sure where to set it, not yet anyhow. Los Angeles would seem to make sense as that’s where I waited tables most my life – though not sure I would want to do another story in Los Angeles. Brooklyn is more like it as I have yet to set anything here and have tons of notes on something happening in Brooklyn. Yes, that could be a nice setting. You would have a number of regulars that came to the restaurant, as well as people who were working there – and, even better, it allows for the random stranger to be walking in. I could even put my main character in there – The scientist who refuses to be part of the corporate world of science and biotech and instead works on things on her own time. It could be her secret. Well, let’s keep it on the ground for a bit before we decide to go racing off to the clouds. That is extremely important.

I could set it right here in Forte Greene, Brooklyn. Yes. In an old carriage house. Yes. The place could be called the carriage house. Maybe it’s haunted or something like that. Like from the ghosts of the prisoners who were on the ships just off the bay here. Ghosts. That would be interesting. What I would really like to get into is the concept of someone spending their whole life either trying to change the past – change something that was done in the past – or spend their entire life trying to save someone or something from happening. There has to be something there. Let’s try to gather a bunch of people in that restaurant and see what happens.

I have already my female lead. She’s in her 20s, early 20s. Didn’t go to college or graduated very early. She works there to make money but has a secret. Yes, that would be interesting. After work, everyone else hangs out or something, but she always runs home and gets into something.

The owner of the restaurant – We could make her an ex wall street person from Manhattan who gave it up for something and wanted to no longer work behind a desk and make money for the sake of making money. She may have divorced someone and is living out here life in Brooklyn away from Manhattan and then come over to Brooklyn to set up a shop. There, she hires people that she likes and has them all come in. Yes. This is working. I have less of that crazy anxiety in my heart where I am in the dark. Keep going. She is in her mid 30s. She should have a kid who she is raising by herself. Maybe we can make her a bit older so I can have the kid go to the High School down the street. Yes, that would be cool

Daughter of the owner of the restaurant – She is in high school and is a bit of a bad ass and severely independent. We could make her a weed head with some of the other kids in school and follow her in some adventures around there. It might be fun and interesting to do that. She could be a cool character. 16 years old and a smart, indi girl in Brooklyn who’s mom owns a carriage house restaurant. Yes. She could come in and work doing all the computer stuff and marketing. She is responsible for the place’s success, but she is not doing well for herself. Could be a very interesting character. Yes. We’ll give her a boyfriend.

Boyfriend of the daughter of the owner of the restaurant– He lives in Chinatown in Manhattan and might be the one who is showing her that there is life outside of school. He’s a bad kid – does minor crimes and might even sell drugs – not hard stuff at first, but we can follow him as he gets deeper into the game a bit. We’ll see him change that way. They have known each other since they were little and promised themselves to each other, but time and natural things that happen in life are moving them apart. It will be a struggle for them to both survive and stay together.

Waiter and love interest of the owner – This could be the stranger passing through town or student at Pratt who the owner had a crush on and hires him. He could be much younger than she is – he is closer to the age of her daughter and we might be able to play with some tension there. He is some kind of artists – photographer, painter, multi-media, graffiti- something like – and he and the older woman of the restaurant would have some kind of romantic relationship.

Customer who is in love with the owner –  This would be someone who is in love with the owner but she doesn’t want anything to do with him – we find out because he wants love and commitment – he is lost and looking for something- and the owner isn’t quite ready to give that. It would be cool if this were a ghost or something like that, but I am not sure I want to go and mix mediums here. We’ll see. I tried it a few times in Last Block and it came off a little ambiguous – which is something I want to avoid here. Make a choice and stick with it. Still, it would be cool if this character were one of those people that have worked and lived in so many places. Yes, that would be interesting.

Cat – Yes, need a little guy or so. He was a runaway or stray. I would love to be able to give him or her a point of view in the story. I might if I’m daring enough. He would be a stray cat who never got “fixed” so he goes around giving other cats kids and contributes to the booming cat population in Brooklyn. Might be fun to play with that a bit. I had a spat during the summer where I had it that all of Brooklyn had been taken over by cats, though I don’t think that would play that well for an entire story. One character her will be enough. I spend a few weeks writing the cat take-over story, so that will serve me well here.

****

Okay, this is developing well. As usual, I went backwards a bit over the past few months and started with story and plot and tried to fit some characters in there, but, as usual, now that they have arrived, I’m letting them and allowing them to take control of things. It’s usually best to do so at this point, otherwise, the author will get in the way and all you’ll get is someone telling you what they think and most people don’t want that. Most readers don’t – and I think, most authors don’t. So I have to continue to strip away and move myself out of the way so these folks can take over. I really do like the idea of a restaurant being in a carriage house in Forte Greene, Brooklyn. Seems like a fun spot for it all to be located in. Good movement and allows for trips to Manhattan.  Also allow for things to go on around the neighborhood. We’ll see how it all plays out. For now, I’m going to think about their interactions and movements and space out from there.

I saw The Petrified Forest the other night and was amazed at how everyone at the Gas Station set in that movie moved around each other. Should be interesting to play with. As usual, it’s all just a sketch and trying to make sense of something on paper and not in the mind. I think it would be interesting to make the general theme of all of these people ending up in one place having to deal with each other, and seeing if they ended up where they wanted in life, if they will stay, where they will go, and how those choices are going to affect their character. I’d like to focus very much on those choices this time and see what happens.

 

 

 

 

Voices

Early morning in Brooklyn – It’s always early morning somewhere. Little girls struggling to keep up with her mother – both need to be somewhere. Inside each gut, there are different worries. One wants to know if the little boy she went to the playground with is still going to want to share his string cheese with her. The other might want to know about that raise she has coming but is afraid to ask for because it might just cost her the job she already has.

Been hot this hole winter. People love talking about the weather. That and sports, so it’s good that it’s finally March. Everyone enjoys a a bit of the madness. Watching those young men fight for a championship. Everyone likes a champion. Perhaps it’s because, for the rest of us, it’s so difficult to actually win. Not just win, but mark that victory with acknowledgement. That might what I’m after with these new characters – the need to be acknowledged – What fuels that? What is behind that need.

After all, it can’t be natural. When we’re young, in that sandbox, we just play or try to kiss the girl or say what we think, but there are those external forces that try to shut us down. I need to take a look at those force if I’m going to get at these new characters. So far, the stories are all settings – all places and circumstances – and that’s not going to work. Might as well take it out here on this blog – out in this open space, until I figure it out. The past two books have gone up and out here first, then taken away to the lab. Must decide on one direction.

A perfect gray morning now, which is fantastic. That’s the part about daylight savings time in the spring that works best. If I can manage to be up at 5, there will be 3 hours of pure time – that quiet time that nobody else in the world can yell through. People are still pushing “The Cold Out there eyes.” Thanks Biggie for that line.

Everybody else must wash away at the point and the characters are going to be the only ones allowed to exist in my head. Reality be damned – I’ll do my best to manage them.

Here name is going to be Eliah – at least the main one. I see her but not what she looks like. I try never to describe the physical attributes of the people I write about – I’d rather let their personality rule, but this time might have to be a bit different. Again, as with Pharmacology, I have two different stories going – this time it’s not going to work to put them together. Must choose. Writing two at the same time is not helpful, especially with the time constraints.

Sorry, stepping in the way a bit. The writer always gets in the way of the story. Have you notices that?

 

Inside the Egg

I am inside the egg. Unborn. Listening to the few around me who share my egg state. Only these thin walls separate us from the world. We are nested. On the ground below, I used to be the person walking with a basket looking for eggs to gather for breakfast. Now, everything I need is inside of this shell.

Below there is so much going on. Even on the branches all around there is so much going on. Under the small pieces of bark there are armies trying to march and unite. I know nothing about unity at this point. I’m interested only in the now. Only in my pre-hatched state. Only in the thin walls that separate me from reality. There is no need for the real now.

Outside the squirrels are out doing their thing. I can hear them moving – Imagine that they do not flow smooth. So nervous. Perhaps that’s what actions outside the egg world are like. I’m not so much in a hurry to get into that world. Perhaps those amassed ant armies have something to do with his condition. It might not be a his or hers. Probably and it. Everything is an it.

Me? I used to be a little girl in my parents house back then in 1939 but that changed when they left and put me up here in the tree. Now I don’t try to escape. Is there a world up here? I seem to be able to shift to wherever I like. For that moment I was in the egg inside the nest. Now I can’t seem to find where I should be. Can’t concentrate on it for too long. That might be a problem. There are no clocks up here.

Back when I lived in the house below and not this tree above, my father would wind the clock each night. I’d eat dinner so fast in hopes that he would match my speed and movements so that we’d get up together and both put both hands on the key and wind the clock together. It was a big time for me to do that. Big time. That’s when time really meant something to me. We’d wind the clock and all would be right until the next night.

Those things I miss most about being outside of the egg. The rest I kind of enjoy about being in the shell. It’s about to crack though..

 

Damn it. I keep writing this character into places where she is alone and there’s nobody else around. I have to create a world that exists inside of this tree to see if it’s going to work. Must create that first and see if it will work. I can take her through the different parts, but perhaps it’s best that I explore it first for her. Draw a map. Let me see what I can find before I decide to put her inside.  Yes. Time for some planning I think. That’s the way it goes with these things. Hopefully it’s there.

Stretching in Brooklyn

Discovered a new place to listen to music with other folks who have been turned into icons and little animals. Talking about TurnTable FM of course. Trying to find something in these headphones. Have my new character and wondering if she is going to make it through this story.

Characters are kind of like little fish you win at those ping pong tossing contests at the fair. You bring it home and keep it in water and hope that it becomes part of the family. Though, of course, there is always time for the epic flush. Stretching here and hoping that it might turn into something more.

Switched again with the story, and looking to find a place for it to all stick. Usually does, but that this point no. Right now I am in a battle inside the tree where the girl is wondering how the squirrel is going to store everything up for the winter. It’s during the season change. Going to have to have her talking to the little animals inside the tree and prepare for a war that is about to take place. The more I talk about it, the stranger it seems, and that’s not supposed to happen.

It’s all supposed to make sense and then unfold. That happens later. I’ve learned that much. Tried something new with this one: Wrote the ending a little while ago and might start working backwards on it. Could help. You really don’t know. So peaceful in these hours before the sun comes up. So much happening. So much is possible. Will have to work that in somehow. Those hours before the sun comes up, since I exist so often here.

Have the sounds of a piano going in the background. Love having the Bose headphones on at this time. The lights from other windows are starting to go on and folks are waking up for their days. Nice about New York is that you are always joined by others in the hours you think you’re alone. I’d love to have this girl be able to talk to everything inside that tree. Of course, it’s not really a tree, but I won’t reveal that until the end. Or it is a tree.

Working on it. Let me get back to setting it in the early hours. This feels very nice: Coffee, music and writing in the morning.

Moves through stories

Been awhile. Been grinding out the new book. Trying before the second one drops. Don’t think it will be the Los Angeles story. Just not there. However, something magical happens as it always does in the shaping of a novel. Those of you who were with me on this blog through the writing of Pharmacology know what kind of turns everything takes.

I was talking with someone about a month ago and they told me this story of their grandmother. I can’t get too into it here because it would reveal the end of the story, which is the crux of the book. Something happened deep inside my chest at that point. It’s a rare moment when you know it’s right. When you know that’s the very seed of the book that’s been waiting to be activated.

Perhaps there are all these novel cells inside a writer’s body that are laying dormant and all they need is a stimulant to jump start them. Been rolling through me since I heard that quick little story and now it’s just activated everything inside of me. Am working on it all off-line as this one takes place in secret places.

I’ll be exploring characters on here in the coming times just to get to know them better. Best to bring them to light out here. Give them some air. Book # 3. Damn. I can’t believe it. Sarah Striker hits the streets on December 6th and I’m doing everything I can to make her debut to the world magnificent. My second child. I feel like that about the book. But, now, it’s time to hand that over to the marketing and publicity folks and trust them in their wisdom for it.

Kind of like taking your kid to kindergarden for the first day at school and then watching through the window and they start playing with other children.

“Sir, you’re going to have to leave now. She’ll be fine. We’ve got her.”

Now, back to the lab. Back to the tree where I have the new character trying to figure it all out. I feel like, at least here, I can communicate with my readers – like we’re all sitting and talking together in our fantasy worlds that we share together. Each for different reasons. Different needs.

September

Not sure where it’s all going. Between novels is a tough place to be. Driving my publisher crazy with questions. Should just be writing away but there are many sides to the brain. Wish the characters would take over as they normally do, but that’s not happening either. Really been looking at things that happened during the Revolutionary War around here.

Battle of Brooklyn. George Washing getting chased all around New York. Prison ships in the harbor. People rowing out from the island to sell them food. That’s people making money off of prisoners if you are not sure what that last sentence said. There has to be a ghost story in there somewhere. Somehow. No, the question is does it tie in to the Los Angeles book? Some things can just be read and thrown in there – like perhaps a foundation. The Battle of Brooklyn as kind of a backdrop for what happened in Los Angeles. That’s possible.

The story there is that there is a huge battle brewing while most people in the city don’t realize it’s happening. I found that most interesting when talking with the park ranger up at Fort Green Park. Now she is there most days and has all of the knowledge about what happens up there in on the Hill – up where they have the rest of the ashes of the prisoners from the Revolutionary War buried under the monument. She told me how Washington was chased throughout the colonies and all over New York by the British. Told me that, if it weren’t for the mercenary German soldiers, there’d be no escape for Washington. Guess they didn’t like to work in the fog, so Old George was allowed to escape.

See, yes, the city itself was bustling with business while a good number of people were in chains. There was no such thing as America then. I’m talking all about the loyalists. Loyal to the crown or at least to the lifestyle they were living. Perhaps that’s something to explore. Being loyal to a lifestyle instead of a country. That’s America right there. That might be what’s wrapped up in the flag.

Now, If I am going to get at that damn story in Los Angeles, it looks as if I am going to have to make some rounds around Brooklyn for the revolution. Hope everyone doesn’t mind going that way about it. Sometimes you can’t go right at the story, you need to hook on to something else. At least there are still hints at wind and thoughts of fall about to happen.

Directions

Still can’t get Sarah Striker out of my head. I wrote her up and now she’s about to go out into the world, but me, I’m left behind trying to figure out new characters. How to make them real. Round. Full. Digestible. Indigestible. How to get a character to appear out of thin air and obey the rules. To say inside of the lines on the page.

Writing for a woman was wonderful. Sarah Striker was young. 20. In San Francisco in the early 90s. She’s still with me though, and I need to let her go in oder to allow the next to come in. I don’t even have a name of the next yet. I know it’s going to be in Los Angeles, in Hollywood, but away from the movie industry. Perhaps taking away the “I” might help and do it 3rd person for this pass until them come bursting through and try to can control of the story. I’ll let them watch me write it and keep it from them.

Yes. Could be the way to go. Just walk around with these characters all around me watching me write them.

But finding what they want here is something. Let’s try and set a scene.

It’s the heat in Los Angeles that might really drive people crazy. Vida Pension sweat more than most people and that was a problem when he went on interviews. He’d arrive 30 minutes early and spend his time in the bathroom cooling himself down with cold water and damp towels.

See there, I don’t want to make it hot all the time. How about something else. It’s a novel, so I can play with the weather.

Nobody knew what to make of the cold weather. Rain in Hollywood for the past week during September. Temperature under 40 degrees. Newscasters were loosing their minds. The newspapers, where there were still newspapers, couldn’t understand of explain. Meteorologists tried to find answers. Traffic was too much.

One of the only pieces of pure enjoyment came from that Office building on Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga. That’s where Vida Pension sat watching the water. Vida had lived in Los Angeles his entire life. Grew up eating In and Out Hamburgers and feasting on Tito’s Tacos when he could make it back to Venice and relax. For Vida, that time came often because he had, after years of sitting in the chair for others trying to find a place for himself in someone else’s work, discovered that he was happiest working for himself. Well, you never really work for yourself, but you work for others who pay you.

The direct method of payment was the enjoyable part to him. Vida had managed to break away from the corporate world. The world of half-year reviews and management. It does something to you – to be in that environment for too long. You can see it on the faces of people coming home from those jobs. Now on the way to work, there is always that hope – that flicker that this days is going to be different, but you can also tell from the look on the faces of others when they come home that it just wasn’t. The day is the same because the system is the same.

There was a huge business in Los Angeles for cheaters, especially among the younger folks. The college kids. Yes. Vida had realized that most of them just wanted to party until their time was up and find a good desk with a comfortable chair to sit in and collect paychecks twice a month. To do that, you needed to go through the proper progressions. What Vida did was to write the papers of the kids in colleges there. He wrote so many that he seemed to have gone to school and earned all the degrees that everyone else was paying for.

He enjoyed writing, but didn’t much like fiction or movies or any of the other ways that writing took you off the ground. He was into experience and knowledge. Enjoyed textbooks (which he got for free from the people that were paying him to do their work for him). His hours were his, and went it was time for school vacations, he too took off. He remained a student for his entire life, but did so in somewhat solitude. He had a speech impediment that caused some kind of social awkwardness. No, it wasn’t a speech impediment – it was something though. Well, perhaps he didn’t have the money to go to school.

Perhaps he was a college student that, while at school working two jobs, he started to find that people needed not only help doing their work, but actually having the work done for them. He realized that the structure of the school – the reviews, the grades, everything about it was holding him back. We’re going to have to show that a little bit, but I think it can be done. For now, it seems like he is someone who cannot exist in the system of working for others. He has the vision to create his own off of others faults.

Writing papers seems to be the way. Okay. Whew. Minor breakthrough after banging head again wall for a week or two. Still, if you keep banging, the bricks are going to move. Either that or your head is going to explode. Either way is a result.

 

 

4:32 A.M. – When it hits

Hoping that somehow this is it. That this movement inside that woke me is the character I was looking for. Sometimes it comes like this in the odd hours of the night – or the morning. He or she wakes you – trying to push out from inside. There is no accounting for birth.  The name though – there still is no name. Those streets of Los Angeles, I wonder now if there is a story there. I wonder if someone wandering is much of a story.

In a way, we’re all wandering. Searching. Thinking that that night – whatever night it may be, is going to give us some peace. Some understanding of ourselves. Maybe that is that is what he is after – some kind of understanding of himself – some type of definition that allows him to go unchecked into the night. To walk clearly.

In the past, my characters have looked for cleanliness and they have looked to just be – this one I think is going to have to look for something more. Perhaps I shouldn’t hold him back at all and let him go for it 100. Fame. Power. All of it. The want and need for it is pound to drive people crazy, but the last thing I need is some crazy character running around the streets of Los Angeles looking for fame.

The other night I was walking with my wife around Fort Greene Park and came upon the monument there. The one for the POW during the revolutionary war. Seems as if there was a British Prison ship somewhere in the bay over there and the American Prisoners were suffering some kind of horrible walking death while aboard the ships.

Thought it would be interesting to do some kind of ghost story there with the ashes of the soldiers that are buried under the monument there. Somehow the ashes form together into some ghosts or spirits or something and start terrorizing people in the neighborhood. Maybe just British people. Maybe there is something in there I could ride off of. That those people there are the ones coming back to haunt. Everyone loves a good ghost story. Not me though. I’m not a huge horror fan myself, but a mystery of some sort would be interesting.

Now, there is a cemetery in Hollywood that shows old movies on its walls and I always thought it would be interesting to tie that into the story, I just don’t know how it all comes together. Perhaps some of the spirits under the monument for the civil war folks are going to be able to tell me what to do. Where to go with this. Perhaps it is them who woke me up during the night and rolled me over. I can’t believe how it is trying to find a story out there.

Looking out the window still there is only silence. The elements are all there:

1. Old Baseball games 2. Quantum physics and some form of the occult. 3. The city of Hollywood itself. 4. Politics.

Been staying away from the movie aspect because – well, perhaps because there are just too many people standing by the window to let them all in. To many voices to push through down the path, but that’s what these journeys usually as full of. Different levels of exhaustion and looking until we get it right.

You’ll see with Sarah Striker that’s for sure. It gets harder I think as you start to put more books out there because you’ve used characters and settings. Now you must get more. Either dig deeper into your memory or create new realities with your present that you hope will turn into your future. That’s always the nice balance. Spent too much time on this one in Los Angeles now I’m wondering if I should even be heading down this road. Down those long streets of the city where nothing is seen.

Los Angeles has those lonely blocks. Even on a date they are lonely blocks. Now I wasn’t dating much back then because when you’ve got no loot in your pocket, dating is not the easiest thing in the world. Especially in Los Angeles without a car. Ever waited to get picked up by a girl on a date? I’m talking if you’re a guy. This isn’t New York where you can jump on a subways or meet them somewhere.

In Los Angeles, there are certain expectations on form. Having a bike and taking the bus is only going to get you so far. Riding in the passengers seat and trying to act like the man is tough to do. Takes the right kind of woman to look past that. Or does it take the right kind of man to not be in that position? Questions. So many at this stage. Best to focus on events and let the questions happen afterwards. I’m up now not matter what, so best just to go.

Those were the early days of internet dating. Some might have seen the artificial intelligence growing right there. Some might have. There was tons of information to be gathered there. There was something else happening that didn’t quite make sense to us either. There was the lack of interest of the American people on who was running the show. It had always been like that  -no, I don’t think it was always like that at all. There might have been a time when they wanted someone to come out and lead them. There might have been a time when people talked politics on the street instead of about what was on television last night. That might be an interesting angel for the character.

A return to the time before media. Can I do that? Perhaps the main character is someone who is attempting to shield himself from media all together. He takes up residence in that Hollywood Building, the office building we’ve been talking about before, and tried to get away from the news and the rest of the media world. Everything is he gets and knows comes from people.

Imagine that: The People in Los Angeles are the ones that shape his reality.

This could allow for some interesting conversations and side characters as well. Bring back all the people in the super hero costumes and have it at. Yes.

Okay, so now, it’s the why? Why would this person want to vanish from the media? Perhaps he was a campaign runner or something like that. He helped to get people elected and made huge cash doing so, but then somehow saw what that was doing. He would really have to be affected by it though. Hit close to home for him so that he’d want to turn away from it.

Now, is he turning away from it or is he going to be some sort of revolutionary? I think the revolutionary aspect is interesting. After all, we can’t just have a recluse sitting in an office building in Hollywood for years at time. Going to have to make him mobile. Ha. That would truly be interesting if he tried to assemble his revolution on the streets of Hollywood with unpaid actors and writers all looking to be in a movie. Perhaps he recruits them that way. All of them in his his plan. He has the money to pay them all and writes them roles to play. He does not write. He can hire out writers. That would be his media division.

He hired armies – he can scout at the gyms for actors and those types who are in amazing shape and they could be his security force. He recruits women who look amazing to and men who look equally amazing to be the face of recruiting campaigns. All of them out of work actors and actresses who want to be a part of something.

Now, what we can do is play with the budget cuts that are taking place all over the country. Perhaps the budget is rolled back in Los Angeles. Teachers are being let go. He brings them in and privatizes his own education. He in effect creates a school system there using the disenfranchised teachers. In fact, everyone he eventually recruits is part of a disenfranchised group.

Oh, the light looks nice coming over the buildings in Brooklyn as well.

His mission though in doing do: To provide somewhere to go and people to speak with. The society he exists in as a whole doesn’t provide that so he needs to create it. The thing about this is he needs to have tons of money. Big wealth like Chris Rock talks about. How is that going to happen? He needs to have accumulated a big sum of money.

Perhaps not so much accumulated but have some money making capabilities to do all of this. Or, even the plastic surgery. That he has altered is face so that he can charm people into following his vision. That’s where the surgery actually comes in. It would be interesting if there was someone in back of him, a scientist interested in it. Perhaps a disenfranchised plastic surgeon as well. Maybe that’s who helps to fund it. It could be a revolution funded by the disenfranchised. That is a very interesting word. Away from the franchising of America.

Away from the endless stream of sameness that has polluted rest stops and taken away the originality of the country. Yes. That is his goal to break away from the franchising of America. In Hollywood is where he feels he can do that. From inside the office building on Hollywood Boulevard is where he feels he can do that. Oh man. Nice. 6:12 A.M. now and the city across the river is waking up. Will need to inject into that soon, but for now, my sweet early A.M. is all mine and I can figure out this story.

Shaken and woken up by the ghosts of Fort Greene Park under that monument. Thanks for not letting me sleep. Two novels out, but this one has been inside me for the longest time and now that I’ve thrown my notes away I’m free to take on whatever may be new. Ah – feels good. Love these moments. Those of hope.

So now I have his plan and his location. I have his motivation. Still looking for his name. That will come. Perhaps I’ll need to walk around like him for a few days in search of his name because he is going to have to redefine himself anyway. We’ll give him a regular name that he wants to change. Perhaps that is why he is listening to recordings of old baseball games and going through old baseball cards – to get the name that rings out. For some reason, baseball players and, for that matter, athletes in general always have names that ring out. That stick with you. That is going to be a big playing part. Ah, love it. Yes.

They why now. In searching for name, I’m going to have to come up with some kind of Why. Some reason for this man to want to start his own. Perhaps his stomach lining is eroded from eating too much crap. That doesn’t make sense because he is going to need money. We’ll go back and forth with if he is going to be funded or not. Will need capital. Good times. I can play. Finally. Thank you ghosts of Fort Greeene – I’ll be sure to put you in the acknowledgements section.

11:53 A.M. Character Dives

Looking at women for the story. Who is it going to be this time. Need a deep history behind her. Does she still live with her parents? How Old is she? What would she be doing now? Probably looking over a book she never read in High School but, late at night, in the heat of the summer, she finds it somewhere in her room. It’s a history book. Yes. She is fascinated by the men that are throughout the history books. The Biographies. Their list of accomplishments. She holds all men up by what they accomplish, not what they show her.

She’s interested only in what they’ve done. Because of this, the list of men she’s dates is filled with the likes of criminals, drug dealers, Business Men – All men with power. Well, not because of this, but at least we’ll be able to show what kind of men she’s interested in by how she reads the history books.

“I was looking through some old high school history books that I never returned when the year was over. Reading what those men did there out on the battlefield – or on the Railroad – or anywhere, did something inside of me. All of these little boys out there calling me and showing up with their new clothes and washed cars was something I could live without. Where were the people inside of these pages? It caused me to to go to libraries and pic out other. Soon, I learned of men who lead revolutions. Who changed reality. That’s what I was looking for, and you can bet I looked for it. Every man I ever dated I sough out. The way I thought about it, the kind of man I was looking for was too busy making what he believed in to be chasing me.

‘It wasn’t that I was after rich men. Money didn’t matter when it came to what turned me on. It wasn’t even the power. It was the way a person walks when they have total control of their destiny. Not many people have that these days, and that’s what I’m looking for. Control of destiny,. Something like that. It’s corny I know…”

Something like that. She’s at least think something like that. I’ll need to walk around with Eliah in my head for a few days and ask her some questions about what she sees. How she reacts to people around me. When I go to get some coffee tomorrow, I’ll go as her but disguised as myself. Going to be that getting to know it period with the characters which is going to be fun. Well, not fun, but rewarding. Tons of breakthroughs in this stage. Frustrations come with writing and waiting to see how it’s all going to come together. This one has always been a beast, but I’m going to clear the deck with it and leave Los Angeles behind me forever. Forever indeed.

Perhaps I’m going to have to give her a race. That’s annoying because I never do that – I don’t have to drop in it there directly, but it would help. Thing with that is that readers always throw their own assumptions on their with race. Can’t worry about readers at this stage. Tough because I’m still doing book clubs and need to promote, but also need to insulate to get these babies going.

Anyhow, the main woman character is going to be into people with power. Probably going to be just men, but I’ll be open with that. Dealt with both in this last one, so best to switch it up. Accomplishment. There are going to be pics on the wall of the revolutionaries. Wait. Maybe she’s a poser. Ha! He would be in love with her and then she would just be a fraud! He did everything for her and she turned out to just be playing a role.

Everyone is going to be like that in this story. Going to be perfect. Everyone playing a role in Hollywood but none of them involved with the movie industry. On it’s ear. Yes. So she has all of these posters: Malcom X, Che’ – All the usual suspects, but she is faking. She just wants people to believe she’s certain way. Nice. Layers. Good. Let the reader know before the main character knows. Always fun to have the reader a few steps ahead anyway – easier to pull the ground from out their feet.

 

Social Distortion and Chris Rock

Not sure why the times when you’re low that you realize the power of being entertained. Last night, it was Chris Rock keeping my mind off of reality. This afternoon, it was Social Distortion Live at the Roxy while running through Brooklyn. Real life is too much right now – the inability to control things beyond fiction. I kept going on the Los Angeles Noir book because it was my only escape.

Found out why as well – Why we need these moments of escape. By “We” I mean the consumers. World is very much a place where we can’t control what happens to those close to us. Only in fiction can we. In art can we. That’s why it’s turned to so much – why it is important to produce it so that there is an escape route. We need that to keep the mind from going.

So I keep working on the new characters. I have them on Hollywood boulevard – in one giant building across the street from World book and News where they still sell Ice Berg Slim novels. The kind with the gold covers.

The star of the show is going to be the office building on Cahuenga and Hollywood – where people are so busy looking at the stars on the sidewalk they have no idea what’s taking place in the buildings above them. That’s going to be a theme as well – everything that takes place above goes unnoticed because people are just too busy either looking to see the name they’re walking over or checking their reflection in the mirror.

It’s really only because of Chris Rock and Social Distortion that I can think like this today. Otherwise I’d be inside of reality. So I escape, again, into fiction, in the Noir of Los Angeles and try to come out with something fresh. As of now, I’m trying to find places for Sandy Koufax’s perfect game and now a bit of Social Distortion at the Roxy. And of course, that office building up there where everybody is working on something. That could very well be it as well. How Los Angeles is a big disguise for something great about to happen – while everyone else just concentrates on the film industry, there are other movements. Other movements at independence.

It’s really the perfect place for a revolution – but the trick with this one is not to make it so outrageous. Who knows – the trick might be to make it extremely outrageous. Just have to move away from everything that is typical and was ever written about Los Angeles and bring in exactly what I know and what was unique to me. That’s the only way to write. Only way to make it believable. Allows me to travel through time. Google Maps is pretty insane as well – it will allow me to remember things like how much the gum on a piece of overly exposed concrete is supposed to be.