Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Process

My process, such as it is, tends to be rather private.

Or, at any rate, I'm not really social while I'm writing. When I'm really into it, sleepwalking the dreamscape of my inner mullings, transposing them onto the page, I don't want to be bothered. I don't want to talk. I don't want to be interrupted.

Sometimes I listen to the same song, over and over. For the mood I'm in, or the emotions it evokes, or the memories it dredges up from that subconscious I try to mine while I'm awake. For The Last Song, there have been a few songs: "One", covered by Warren Haynes at Bonnaroo. "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", covered by Nirvana. A lot of Nirvana in general. "Everlong", by the Foo Fighters, both the acoustic version and the regular album one.

I remember the first time I heard the acoustic version of Everlong. It was on the radio, probably Rat Rock, and I was driving home uncommonly late one night. Had I gone to see a movie? That seems likely. I was in my Honda, a 1992 five speed hand me down from my dad, with its Grateful Dead Space your Face sticker in the rear passenger window, and the Shrinky Dink fish, fishing lined to the rearview mirror. It was summer, so all of my windows were down (I eschew air conditioning, for one, and it had also broken in said Honda a year or two previous on the return drive from Cape Hatteras, NC), and it was the dewy, overcast pink skied Jersey Shore summer that happens sometimes, where it isn't raining and probably won't, and the next day will be a completely clear, perfect, humidity free beach day where the edges of everything seem just a little bit sharper, and you probably forget to apply, or reapply, your sunscreen. There was nobody else on the road, and I slowed down. The limit on the back road I drove was thirty, but I didn't want to get home before the song was over, and I dipped to twenty five, twenty, dropped it to second gear. I'd kicked off my flip flops and drove barefoot, toes curled over the top of the gas pedal, right hand on the gearshift. When the song was over, I turned the radio off. I didn't want to hear any other songs, any commercials, any other voices. I didn't want the spell to be broken.

So, when I listen to songs on repeat, or listen to a certain sequence of songs on repeat, I don't want the spell to be broken. I want to sustain it for as long as possible, make it as complete as possible. I don't want anybody in the room to remark upon my musical choices. I don't want anybody to ask me what I'm doing. I don't want a phone, or social media. I'd prefer Elka not have to go out. I don't want neighbors. Just the words on the page (text on the screen). Just the characters of my making, living their lives, thinking their thoughts, feeling their feels.


  1. Every now and then, my husband comes into the room where I'm writing, and it BOTHERS me. Cue the "I'm not doing anything, I'm just sitting here for a while! I'm not interrupting you!" half-argument, where I can't really make my case without sounding like a crazy person. I'm with you - if I am writing, leave me ALONE.

    1. "I can't really make my case without sounding like a crazy person."

      I know, right? It's like "Leave me alone! I know you're not doing anything but it's still too much!"