Posted by: jeanne | September 25, 2009

maybe i’ll write this november

the reason i’m up this time?  i had a bout of diarrhea following some really intense bodywork this afternoon, and am up until my guts will let me go back to bed.

and well, i’ve been thinking of writing again and amn’t sure where to put these musings, so you lot are going to get it.  i’m mainly writing it here because my friend renee reads this blog and i don’t want her to miss my deliberations.  i’m not sure i have the energy to write consistently.  but i can always start something i’ll never finish.  it is, by the way, a common trait of adult children of alcoholics, never to finish a project.  they start projects, no problem, never run out of projects to start.  but there’s a lack of will, a lack of follow-thru, the interest just peters out in the middle.  my dad mostly built a model train room, and half built several planes, and on vacation would start the same painting of clouds over and over with each new day.  never finishing.  that’s why i made my choice of art forms the way i did – i chose to paint watercolors because they’re supposedly quicker than, say, painting in oils.

allison’s toybox, painted way back in 1992.

anyway, that was a diversion, let’s get back to the topic.  i’m thinking of starting another novel.

there’s this organization called nanowrimo, which stands for national novel writing month, and the whole idea is to sit down and finally put pen to paper about that whatever it is that you’ve been meaning to write.  take the whole month of november, and do whatever it takes to crank out 50,000 words or more of whatever it is that’s on your mind.  and for those of us with the luxury of being able to devote every day to sitting there and writing, instead of, say, slaving at some horrible paying job, working for the man, being trapped by debt into work that has nothing to do with our private agendas and keeps us from accomplishing our own private goals while we work for somebody else’s bottom line.  that’s another diversion, and don’t get me started.

i have done nanowrimo for the past two years.  last year i got all the way to the climax of the story by the end of november, without actually finishing the story, and the year before i forget.  let me find it now, just a moment.

well, i’m really embarrassed to say this, but i have no idea what i wrote for nanowrimo 2007.  i know i did it, but i just can’t think, and can’t find it on my hard drive, and can’t find it at nanowrimo.  strange.  so what makes me think i can write another novel when i can’t even keep the old ones in mind?  i mean, there’s splat, but i wrote that in 2006, and there’s construction news the novel but i started that in 2006 as well.  i know i’m blocking it out.

anyway.  since not finishing construction news and not finishing cathy eats her words i have come up with the ideas for two new novels to not finish.  one is a sort of happy hooker crime fiction farce, that’s my latest idea.  it would need a whole lot of research into undercover police work and strip clubs, so i may wait for another year or two on that.   but before that i was thinking of writing something about my family.  well, not exactly my family.  my family in a nightmare.  my family in a joke.  of course, my family wouldn’t exactly take it as a joke, but that’s another matter.  i suspect i’ll be explaining this one for years.

i don’t hesitate to use the word fiction when writing about my family.  it’s not, after all, my family, but rather my family on acid, my family on steroids.  it’s what my demented mind can come up with using my family as a starting point.  it’s rather more therapeutic for me than not, and great fun to dream up scenarios, great fun to include all sorts of other people i’ve been studying all these years into my portraits of the evil sides of my siblings and parents, and even my daughter.  evil laugh here.

so okay here’s the title – Train Wreck, The Wrath of Mom.

how’s that sound?  i was sort of riffing on star trek the wrath of khan.  but i think the title is evocative, and is in keeping with what i want to write about.  the working title is Kill Mom, however, which will probably be the title of the blog i’m going to be writing it on.  in.  whatever.

now, when i say kill mom, i don’t think i’m trying to draw an analogy to kill bill, because i’ve never seen those movies.  i’m starting with an agatha christie novel and trying to work toward fawlty towers.  it’s throw momma from the train meets kind hearts and coronets.  it’s like this:

mom is getting old.  her grown up children all find her irritating, and individually decide she’d be better off dead, or rather, they’d be better off with her dead.  each child decides to kill mom and takes steps to accomplish it.  the methods chosen are illustrative of each child’s character, no, each child’s fucked-upness.  they’re so messed up that nobody does it right.  everyone’s plans go astray, they end up fighting with each other, and trying to sabotage each other, and each one ends up dead of their own attempted foul deed.  mom ends up very much alive, and the writer, me, ends up in jail awaiting execution for a family-style murder.  a murder i didn’t commit.  i’m the only innocent one in the family, and as the oldest child, i get blamed for everything.  it’s just not fair.

i’ve been jotting down bits and pieces of what i want to say, and who the characters are, and where the plot twists and thickens for over a year now.  jim’s been helping me with it, for without his evil mind i could never think up some of these things.  however, it’s all very shady at this point.  i don’t exactly know how it starts, or how it proceeds, or where it’s going to go, or what tone to take.

i’m using my family as models only because they’re the only family i know, and there’s plenty of history there to draw from.  it won’t be my family at all, of course, because i’m using several other people as models for each character, and only calling them by my family’s names and relationships.  like my oldest younger sister, she’s got three or four friends of mine all wrapped up into the character, bits from this one and that one.  it’s not really my sister at all.  but i’m sure she’ll think it is.  and my poor mom.  nobody’s plotting to kill her, and they don’t think she needs killing, but she’s not going to believe that.  my only hope is that none of my family reads my blog, which i think it’s safe to say they don’t.

when it’s going to cause so much familial strife, drag open so many old scarred wounds, why can’t i do the codependent thing and keep family secrets?  why would i write such a thing?

because i can.

because an artist’s mission is to piss people off.

because all families are like mine and everyone will find themselves in it.

because it’s a farce.

because human stupidity is funny.

because i’d enjoy writing it.

and that’s the bottom line.  when i was telling jim i think i’ll write another unpublished, unfinished novel this november, and wondering which story to tell, whether to finish cathy eats her words, or whether to choose one or the other of some ideas i’d been kicking about, his response was that i should never mind which one i should choose, but pick the one that will give me the most enjoyment.  and while becoming a house mom at a strip club to research the undercover stripper story is very appealing to me, and i think it would be a lot of fun for a few nights, i think the most fun would be to flesh out the characters, situations and fuckups that result in a parody of murder mysteries.  and since it’ll never sell anyway, none of them will ever sell because that’s not my path, i might as well do the thing that will be the most enjoyable.

so maybe i’ll sit down in november and write another unpublished novel.  and maybe you’ll want to read it as the work goes up on a blog.  follow it at


  1. I am so excited and can’t start reading it. Something new.

    I laughed at the idea of you all thinking about killing mom. har har

    I will be your star reader.

    Love to you dear friend. You are my friend you know.

    Love Renee xoxo

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