Mojo drought

I hate it when stories take on lives of their own.

Well – no. I don’t. But it comes with this sense of obligation, that I can’t do whatever I want anymore, because this story now suddenly has needs that I’m responsible for meeting. Or that’s how it feels anyway.

Well what about my needs? You can’t just turn up uninvited and insist that I just drop everything to accommodate you. I wasn’t even trying to write you; I was trying to write an entirely different story, so really I don’t owe you anything.

It doesn’t feel that way, though. It feels like a guilt-trip.

I wonder if this is what being a parent is like.

So basically my frivolously and shamelessly derivative YA project has taken on its own identity out of nowhere and … well, that’s not true, either. When I insisted on putting pre-existing characters in it, that’s when it started going downhill. In all honesty I should have just started it off as a fanfic. It would have felt more honest, in a way. Although of what? I kind of wanted to use it to have a place for my fanfic plot to go that might actually be published one day, but that’s just more importing of pre-existing ideas.

Then again, the whole point of this project was to have fun appropriating pre-existing ideas anyway. Just not my pre-existing ideas.

The other issue, though, was watching a critique of City of Bones as a film by the Nostalgia Chick, whom I adore and tend to agree with on everything, especially the snarky, sardonic manner in which her opinions are delivered. This, though, really killed my mojo; she was going on about how, compared to the book, the adaptation was really joyless, treated its audience like idiots, didn’t carry over the sense of humour or fun from the book, and also mentioned something about an ‘oversaturation of the market’ in terms of YA paranormal romance and why the film flopped. Which was just, like, a massive downer.

I mean I know it’s a terrible movie; I knew it was a terrible movie the first time I saw it, but that’s part of why I enjoyed watching it so much, and part of why it rekindled that unselfconscious joy I used to take in borrowing other people’s ideas for my own stories, because those stories had things in them that I really liked and I was not second-guessing myself about liking them – I don’t know why this affected me the way it did, took the wind out of my sails. I think it was that ‘oversaturation’ talk. Nobody will want to buy my super-iterative YA action/comedy/horror/romance/sci-fi/thriller novel. What is the point in anything.

Etc.

Anyway, at the present moment I’ve decided to not bother writing these chapters in order, and to just go really predictable, and so far it’s working okay. It still doesn’t feel quite as shamelessly indulgent as I’d like, but it’s been a long time since I let myself do that. And in a sense I prefer it that way. I feel more mature or whatever for not just doing whatever I feel like.

But it also sucks, because that only really matters when it affects other people. This doesn’t affect other people; this is me writing something for my own pleasure. Or it was, anyway, until I superego-ed out over it. Any kind of indulgent activity is inherently contaminating to my hard-earned adult mental integrity or whatever.

What a load. But my brain seems to buy it.

So I guess I’m going to have to fight myself on this one. The other reason for not writing chapters in order is because, honestly, I have a premise and I have some ideas for a coherent plot, but they’re all fragmented at the moment, so I may as well write the story to suit that layout, right? This will be the first time I’ve ever written something in a non-linear form. And I may even end up keeping those first chapters that I wrote, who knows. I’ve got a couple of scenes in mind right now, so I’ll get those down …

As for Tallulah – that took on a life of its own, which was something I finally started accepting the other day, and I actually like that it’s done that. And I’m sure I’ll like it when this story does it as well. I just want to get out of my own way first and do this thing the way I wanted to: self-indulgently. I want to get used to feeling comfortable with doing that again, and not blowing it up into some big moralistic thing where it means I’m some kind of failed person for not thinking about artistic and literary integrity, because those things are just code-words for ‘elitism’ anyway. Artistic integrity is doing art for the sake of the art itself, and that’s exactly what this project started out as.

Anyway … Tallulah … life of – yes, that’s right; I like that it’s taken on its own identity, and it’s part of why I couldn’t quite get into the revision – I was changing too much of what it was, and I realised that, actually, it’s fine to just let it be what it is and work with that, instead of trying to impose my pre-determined notions of what it should be onto it. Having said that, there’s a lot of areas in which some of those ideas may help to strengthen the story as it currently is, or the direction it’s heading in anyway. But I’m happy enough to let it go now, to run ahead of me, so to speak, while I watch its back.

As for this new one – since I don’t have a story yet, I’m not going to try and write one. I’ll just write what I’ve got, and see what happens.

Also I’m not quite used to the idea that I don’t have to go in to uni for the next two weeks. But I did go for a 65-minute walk today, of which I was very proud. I’ll try and do it again tomorrow.

And I bought five paranormal YA novels online, including City of Bones, Vampire Academy and Wake. That ought to get me my mojo back.

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When everything I do is wrong

It’s never wrong to quote The King.

I thought about what I wrote last night, and realised two things. The first was why I liked the ‘girly-girl’ protagonist: because, as Buffy has shown us, the best heroes are the most unlikely. Specifically with the stereotypical Valley Girl who ends up becoming a badass superhuman savior of the world action-hero, the appeal for me is the challenge to and subversion of that very negative, narrow portrayal of female characters and what they’re capable of, the idea that your image defines who you are as a person, or that horrible stereotypes should continue to be used as the sole basis of any character in fiction, unless there’s a really good reason for it. Then again, it’s a really predictable kind of ‘counter’ to the stereotype – and also Buffy already did it. Which brings me to the second realisation: the second character wasn’t actually who I thought she was at all, and I actually now prefer her as a lead protagonist.

Like I said the other day, I like aspects of both – for me it’s the ‘tone’ of the first and the personality of the second. Most of all I want this to be fun. I need a recharge; City of Bones was an awesome kick, but it’s worn off, and I know that seeing it again just won’t have the same effect. So now I’m going to order the book, and also the first Vampire Academy book, and also Wake, and also grab a couple of books that some writer/bloggers I follow have recently published if I possibly can (and I can) just to give myself a bit of YA overload. Hell, maybe I’ll even read some fanfiction. I’m after the fun nowadays, and even though the mere act of writing this story has made it change from how it was in my head, that’s part of the fun, too.

Which got me to thinking about Tallulah, and how much fun I’m having with this new story, and how my revision of Tallulah is really heavy right now, a deep revision, and how it just felt really … well, yeah, heavy. The rewriting was in pursuit of chasing a particular vision, trying to pull it back into line, and it felt so forced, which is part of why I fell off the wagon with it. This combined with having to turn in an assignment today which took about an hour just to print out because of internal departmental changes regarding assignments that have been implemented since I graduated, and having another one due by midnight tonight (which shouldn’t take more than an hour to get done), led me once again to re-deciding something, which is this: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing wrong.

This is something that I got from a tutorial today actually; it was our last comics tutorial for the first half of the semester, and we were asked to draw a comic. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a tutorial in a long time, and convinces me even more that I would have fun doing comics. For those who were nervous about it – most of the people there – our tutor said those words of wisdom, and it all just kinda clicked for me. So remember fellow students: it’s always worth going to tutorials, because one out of over a hundred that I’ve been to in my student career gave me a contextually uplifting life-affirming message.

It’s good, though. I feel more comfortable now with just doing a light revision with Tallulah and seeing just how fast I can pump out this new novel’s first draft. I’m gonna be really optimistic and say that I can actually write it during this two-week break. 80k words. 100k at most. Gonna set up those arbitrary restrictions yo. Let’s say that’s 80k over seven days, that’s … maybe like 6.5k words a day? And if I just blitz through it and don’t worry about what I’m actually writing …

Yeah. I can totally do that.

No big deal if it doesn’t get done in two weeks, because that’s insane, but just for kicks I want to see how far I get with that goal in mind. And who knows? Maybe I actually will get there.

Also wanna get back to revising Tallulah, the Light Revision. So I guess after … however long ago it was that I was trying to decide whether to do a heavy rewrite or just a structure-focused revision with strictly minimal re-writing, I’ve finally come to a decision. And, as with the new project, I’m learning to enjoy what Tallulah has become and not get so hung-up about what it could have been; all the re-learning happening here today. And writing. Writing and revision. Just gonna be drowning in writing.

I like the sound of this.

Back to the wagon

Over the past week-ish I’ve gone a little off the rails, proclaiming my love for stealing other people’s ideas, trying to make it sound like I hadn’t abandoned the novel I’d set out to get to the third (and hopefully final) draft of by the end of the year, and generally taking on far too many things to get any of them done. And I won’t lie: I’ve loved every second of it, and don’t regret it at all. It’s been an amazing week, a week for my soul more than anything else. Performing to a live audience while mostly-naked, which I’ve never done before, will do things to you. Though as I’m an actor, those things have pretty much already been done to me; taking my clothes of was just the latest expression of my thespianic psyche finding a way to manifest itself.

Also: first on-stage kiss. I won’t pretend that I did a good job, but given the character I was playing, I wasn’t really supposed to anyway, so I guess it all works out.

But seriously, enough is enough for now.  I have one hell of a climb to get back on the wagon, starting with waking up at 8am at the latest, watching most of a 2-hr movie that I was supposed to have watched today, thinking of a question about it to raise in class for participation marks, then going to a tutorial about comics that I haven’t read and readings that I also haven’t read, then taking 2 hours to print off and electronically submit my comic review (which I spent most of today writing), then go to one final tutorial where I have actually seen the film we’re meant to be talking about, and thenTHEN I can finally stop. I won’t have caught up, but I will have finished.

And then, to do my penance, get up again at 8am the following day and go to a 2-hour lecture. Though to be honest that’s going to be very optional. At least I’ll have time to write my novels.

Speaking of which: a funny thing happened yesterday while I was writing that first chapter of the YA novel. I put in a different main character to the first iteration of that chapter. The first main character was, basically, a walking cliche: a 16-year-old girl who was obsessed with clothes and herself, her only semblance of depth being awkward teenage dynamic stuff with her mother involving an item of clothing that her mother used to own and then gave to her for her 13th birthday. The second character, one I’ve had lurking around for ages without a good story to shack up in, had the same story, but just gave it a lot more self-reflexivity, a bit more ‘maturity’.

And do you know what happened?

I realised that I preferred the first character.

I prefer her because she helps the narrative along better. In any story where a secondary world, even if it isn’t literally a whole world, is one of the main elements that the narrative rests on, the more of a ‘culture-shock’ it is for the main character to step into that world, the better. The first character is your stereotypical ‘girly-girl’ in a lot of ways, if not all, and as such a rude introduction into a world of twisted science and dark paranormal doings seems like the ultimate contrast. The second character is a lot more ostensibly mature, and also a bit ‘alternative’, meaning that the disruption of her reality doesn’t have quite the same impact.

But quite aside from all that – I like both characters. But the first one just felt a bit more fun.

My dilemma, then, is getting trapped in the cycle of the Neverending First Chapter, the one that keeps getting re-written over and over and over again until it’s perfect, which, of course, it never is. The lightness of the first character, compared to the second’s years of emotional baggage and sentimental value to me personally, is such a good strength for the more upbeat tone I wanted to return to, something from the early days of my writing career. It was, in all honesty, probably too light, and I think the tone with the second character is too heavy. A nice middle-ground would be … nice.

Yes.

So it’s a matter of tone. And maybe I just can’t handle writing female main characters. Maybe that’s a thing. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time I’d felt that way. Or maybe I have to remember that this is just the first draft and the only thing that matters is that it gets done, and I can learn as I go. I would like to find a way to mix the parts of these two characters that I like together in order to forge my ideal main character for this piece, and I think part of it is actually going to have to be letting go of the idea of this character I’ve been trying to find a story for. It brings too much pressure to get it perfect, and that never helps with a new project, forcing it to try and be something specific, rather than finding out what it is on its own terms. It’s happened with new stories I’ve tried to uses as homes for my lost and homeless characters, and it’s never worked out well. Not yet, anyway.

And I want this one to work. And I want Tallulah to work. I’m thinking very hard about Tallulah as I get further and further into this new project, particularly as regards structure – the more narrative-driven feel of this new one compared to what is essentially a character-study at the heart of Tallulah, and how, since Tallulah has taken on a lot of narrative qualities, maybe I’ve got enough of an outlet with this new project to actually let them be reduced in Tallulah – or maybe that’s a bad thing. Maybe Tallulah needs those narrative elements really badly.

I dunno. I’m still holding out hope for that bubble-popping theory of mine to prove itself true.

In any event, I have had a fantastic time for the last couple of weeks, and now it’s time to get back to the serious stuff. Which, I have to say, was also really fun while I was in the zone. I miss it. I think this two-week break will be a good opportunity to gently easy myself back into things.

For now, though, I need to sleep. I doubt I actually will. But it never hurts to try.

Just another Chapter One

First chapter of YA action/comedy/horror/romance/sci-fi/thriller project is written. It’s probably a horrible way to open the story because it’s nothing but character interaction, but that’s what turns me on, so I did it. I love first chapters. I’ve written a lot of them. I wrote about twenty different variants for Realm of the Myth, so I must love them.

I jest, but I really do enjoy the opening to a new story, particularly with stories that feature a ‘secret world’ that need some sort of Big Reveal, because I love me some drama, and it’s such a good opportunity to play with – and into – reader expectations, to trust them to know the genre and its rules well enough to have expectations, and then use that to your advantage.

With this particular genre, there’s a couple of ways to do it that I’ve seen. There’s the version where the start of the story generally just sets up the characters and doesn’t get to the ‘good stuff’ until later on; the Narnia books are an example of this, particularly The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (of the four I’ve read), and it works fine. And there are the stories where the Secret World is hinted at right from the start if you know what to look for (or even if you don’t), like with the City of Bones film (I assume the book as well, even though I’ve never read them – going to try and change that though), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and The Magicians. Honestly I’m down with both, so long as it fits.

But personally, I like this chapter being a bit isolated and not hinting at what’s to come in terms of the supernatural stuff; I’m a character-driven storyteller, and while I’ve rediscovered by love of borrowing and re-appropriating ideas, I can’t just borrow everything – nor do I want to. It doesn’t always translate, for one thing, because this is a different story to the ones I’m borrowing from. And the other thing is that the stories I’m borrowing from don’t actually do all of the things that I want to do as a writer; no one story does everything I want to do myself, otherwise I’d just have written that book or made that film (as a book). Mixing and matching is all very well until you put it all together and are confronted with those pesky things like continuity and tonal consistency, and that is a reality to deal with.

And, of course, your own authorial voice. I like mine. It’s character-driven, and that’s part of what I like about it. I just can’t find anything interesting to say that isn’t character-related when it comes to stories, and I think that’s a good thing – it’s like a signal to my brain telling me to get back on-track, to tie the stuff happening in the story back to the characters, because they’re the interesting part, the part of the story that is there to draw the reader in.Obviously not everybody cares about characters to the same degree or for the same reasons, and I daresay there are people who really wouldn’t mind if LOTR was just a bunch of scenery description and historical trivia. But I’m not one of them. I will try reading the Silmarillion one day, but until then I’ll hang out in the mainstream with people who read stories for the characters, because I’m one of them. I am totes of that ilk.

However, then there’s also the audience, and knowing how to hold their attention. Being both a writer and a member of many audiences, I have a pretty good grasp on what keeps my attention and why. I am only one person, of course, but with something like City of Bones or, what is now probably the ultimate example, Harry Potter, given the massive fanbase, it’s probably safe to infer that what works for me probably worked for a couple of other people as well.

Now, to be fair, when I re-read The Philosopher’s Stone last year, past the first three chapters I found it somewhat hard to care, but that was partly because those first three chapters were amazing. The pacing was perfect, the setup and payoff was so satisfying and dynamic, the way each key moment moved into the next and played off the one preceding – just go and read those first three chapters, especially if you haven’t for a while. They’re brilliant. They introduce the Secret World, but not in its entirety, just through hinting at it, even when McGonagall and Dumbledore are introduced, because we have no idea where they’re from. They stand out; they don’t make sense, and that draws us in – the desire to find out why they’re there, to get to the point where they do make sense and all of these pieces of the puzzle finally converge, which is when Harry finally gets Sorted at Hogwarts. But just in terms of how they play out, those first three chapters – long before he gets to Hogwarts – are by far the most satisfying to read, just for the ride they take you on. That’s what worked for me; not just what happened, but how it happened, how it was told. Or shown. Or both. Whatever, you get what I mean. It was well-done.

The Magicians worked for me because it was such a cynical, self-referential, commentating approach; the entire story is a deconstruction to begin with, and the tone of the first chapter (and the rest of the book) stays in that mode, constantly referring back not only to itself, but the metanarrative of genre fiction that it as a text occupies, and the time in which it exists. It makes a point of marking out the structure of the typical world-within-a-world setup, but without turning it into a parody, which is why it can still be taken seriously as a story.

City of Bones worked for me better the first time I saw the film, and that first time I actually missed the first five minutes; I came in during the poetry-reading scene, and that served the same purpose for me as the introduction of McGonagall and Dumbledore – I had no clue what was going on and just wanted to get to the point where it all finally came together, and it did. I prefer that film having missed the first five minutes. I don’t know what that says about the film, if anything at all, and I do want to check out the books when I get some free time (or, as is more likely, long before I get any free time whatsoever), but that mystery drew me in, and it was the way that mystery was presented that worked – the mystery of the incomplete picture.

Then on the other hand there’s Narnia. Narnia’s ‘first’ book, actually the second, but because everybody’s familiar with it it’s often mistaken for the first one, starts in the ordinary world, and doesn’t get to Narnia for a wee bit. However, while it actually gets us to Narnia faster than Harry Potter gets us to Hogwarts, or even Diagon Alley, it maintains the illusion of normalcy for far longer – because Harry Potter pretty much starts ‘abnormal’. The strangeness of Vernon’s day is right there from the get-go, whereas Narnia isn’t ever hinted at; it’s just Lucy finding the wardrobe and then boom, we’re in. It’s a jarring transition, and while the book isn’t trying to trick us about it or anything – after all, it spoils it on the back cover – it certainly takes its time, and there’s no lead-in, really. What we get is a tone to set things up for us, and it is a tone that works very much in the context of the reader’s reality, because for all intents and purposes it is the reader’s reality.

Right now, my YA project starts off in the reader’s reality and does nothing to hint at anything else, and as a writer I don’t mind. As an audience member – I could probably do with a bit more of a hook. But that’s not the point. The point is to write it. And I know the ‘good stuff’ is coming up soon, in fact pretty much immediately. There is always later. I can afford to start taking that for granted, I think, by now. There is always later. I’ll change it then.

But when will then be now?

Soon.

Tribute

I’m still not really over City of Bones. The second time around I just couldn’t help picking at the holes in it, but that first impression has stayed with me. It woke something in me, a memory of how much I used to love these kinds of stories – but more than that, how much I used to want to tell these kinds of stories.

The kinds of stories that other people were already telling.

That sounds really, well, lazy, doesn’t it? But it’s exciting. It’s exciting to have all of these tools at your disposal and this formula to work with, and there’s a sort giddiness that comes with each ‘and then that bit goes there’ moment. Know how it’s supposed to look, and being able to make it look that way yourself.

And then there’s the really fun part, where you take it and just make it better.

I remember – or I think I remember – being about 12 years old and just being really honestly aware of how mature I was. It happened again when I was around 18; it only lasted for about a day, but it still happened. It’s the sense that you know who you are, what your limits of understanding are and what those of the people around you are. It’s not a sense of superiority or anything, just of honest awareness – yep, I’m more advanced than this person, while that person has some things over me, but then I’m particularly good at these things and don’t know much about this other stuff, so on and so forth. It’s that kind of feeling that comes from taking a recognisable story structure and laying it out the way you know it’s meant to go, and then taking each key moment of storytelling, each structural narrative node, and using those walls to bounce off of like a rubber ball on crack.

It’s taking those to-the-letter letters and making them spell things more articulately, more excitingly, more originally – just more betterly than they’ve ever been before you came along.

Okay, so it’s a bit of a sense of superiority. But it’s the kind of superiority that can only come from being a true fan of something.

I guess the other half of this equation is not being afraid to rip things off, and use them for your own purposes.

Which is good. Very good. That’s necessary to tell a story anyway. Well, no, it’s probably not, but I can’t imagine the kind of story that would come about through a totally isolated process – and perhaps that’s why I borrow so much from other stories. I just now remember how much fun it is.

It’s the whole fan fiction thing, only the aim of this process is not to literally take somebody else’s story and tell it better; it’s to take the way in which that story was told, and others, and put them together, and then make that better. A mixture of one-upmanship and paying tribute, finding a way to outdo the things that inspire you, because they inspire you. Not to show them up, just to improve on the formula.

And you can’t do it this way, there’s nothing to enjoy about this process, without there having been somebody telling a story before you did. A story that meant something to you, that stayed with you, and that you told to yourself over and over again even if you never physically came back to it. A story you’re glad to have had in your life, and that makes you want to find more stories that make you feel the same way. That’s the real beauty of it, the thing that makes it feel so exciting, because it feels interactive. You’re not just consuming the stories that come to you from the minds of others; you’re taking those stories and using them to tell new ones, ones that come from you. It’s the kind of process that leads to terms like ‘prosumer’, a combination of ‘producer’ and ‘consumer’, that we tend to associate with New Media technologies. But it’s been around for … well, I imagine as long as there have been things to copy, really.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here.

I think it’s something like: I’m really enjoying writing this new YA romance/action/comedy/thriller/horror/sci-fi novel, and I’m so happy that I saw City of Bones and had this specific kind of enjoyment reawakened in me. One that loves to take existing story structures and, through copying them, finding a way to apply them that feels better than what they were when I first found them.

It is kind of prideful. But as Gary Oldman said of acting: ‘You’ve got to have a bit of an ego to do this in the first place’. You’ve got to think you’re good, which doesn’t necessarily mean ‘talented’ or ‘hard-working’ or ‘committed’ – it just means you’ve got to think that you’re going to not just do a good job, but a better one than what you’ve seen done before you. To focus in on those moments that you know have to happen and simultaneously expand on them, make them really come to life in ways you only saw in the form of raw potential, a potential that you have to act on.

So. How do you tell if you think you’re good?

Well, if you’re telling stories because you enjoy it, then somewhere deep down – or even not so deep down – you think you’re good, because otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it at all.

And as such, you should keep right on thinking that.

The deep end

So, I’ve started writing this YA paranormal action/comedy/romance/horror/sci-fi thing, and the only way I could think of to open it was having our heroine and her best friend sitting in her room, trying on clothes before they go out to a concert.

In first-person.

What could possibly go wrong?

Also using ‘Mom’ instead of ‘Mum’ feels so frigging unnatural, but the story seems to call for it.

And even writing this trying-on-clothes scene, the girliest way to open a story I could possibly think of, is really damn fun, because I’ve seen it before, and now I’m doing it myself, and it’s just … I don’t really know how to put it. There is something so enjoyable about mimicry, especially when you feel like you’re getting it right. I guess that’s why people like impressions, both doing them and seeing other people do them: it’s a testament of skill, and it’s also just kind of fascinating, watching something familiar appear seemingly out of nowhere. I guess that’s part of why I like acting so much, too.

I shall therefore conclude that it is going well, and I should continue to do it.

Getting to know all about you

So, I drafted up a lengthy plan for my new YA project last night and felt all smart and stuff, and then woke up today with the unshakable feeling that I’d made a huge mistake.

This story idea came together from a number of different things, and one of them was that fan fiction idea. It doesn’t work; it makes things really heavy and puts the focus on foreshadowing rather than development right at the start, and I hate Origin Story-style First Episodes/Novels/Movies, the ones that don’t feel like they’re complete or able to stand on their own.

But mostly it’s because I tried to impose existing ideas onto this new one, and what I’ve learnt is that this new one is, in fact, a new one. I may think it’s derivative and trope-heavy – and it is – but that doesn’t mean it’s literally other existing stories smushed together. Because, for one thing, that’s plagiarism, but for another thing it doesn’t require any creative thought. This mix-up is the first time this mix-up has existed, and it is thus a new thing, and it deserves to be treated as such.

And it’s so ‘normal’ to my mind that it basically writes itself. It’s genre ficiton; I don’t need a plan, because I know the plan, and if I trip up while drafting, well, I always do that anyway, it’s not a big deal. Some details, like setting, are probably quite important, but beyond that? I don’t need to know.

The biggest problem with my plan, though, was actually even simpler than all of that: it was just not a particularly happy story.

And I’ve realised today that, for a change, I want to write something light, something fun, something, yes, happy, critical appraisal be damned.

That’s another thing – stories that are ‘literary’ or ‘sophistocated’ don’t generally tend to be happy. Or, rather, they don’t tend to be light. I used to write comedies for crying out loud. All of my early stuff was very much comedy-driven, and you know what, some of it was pretty good, at least I thought it was. I miss that, and I stopped letting myself do it. I became one of those people who, subconsciously as it may have been, thought that in order for something to be meaningful it also had to be morose and morbid and, even if it had a happy or optimistic ending, overlaid with a tone of despair.

I think it’s time to let loose the hounds of comedy once again.

And … I just want to see where this goes. It’s so different for me, even though it feels so familiar because I’ve seen things like this done so many times before. I think this project could really take me for a ride.

I think I need it. I need a new perspective. Or perhaps it’s just an old one I haven’t had for a long time.

Either way, I’m going to start writing, and just see what happens.