In case you’ve been living in a cave with a hairy jungle man and haven’t noticed, I’m taking a slight and unannounced hiatus from writing at this old thing. In the shadows I have been sketching out a site redesign, which, while currently lackluster in appearance, is amounting to a reconceptualization of what this site is.
Because let’s face it: I graduated from college 6,720 hours ago and I’ve spent more than 6,552 hours living in Oregon, and things change. I’ve changed. I learned to kiteboard. I drove a Chevy Step van. I climbed mountains. I played in a samba band. I read a book or three. I built websites for entire cities, and built entire cities for websites. And now, instead of hammering my psyche to fit in the existing brainside mold, I desire that the mold take on a whole new shape to take on tons and tons of liquid hot Rearden metal to build train tracks and skyscrapers to the moon.
I don’t know. It’s just that the whole memoir thing isn’t resonating for me, anymore. I do things. I do boring things. I do cool things. I write about them both, and the content has the lasting appeal of sun-dried mayonaisse. I’ve tried the ranty politico-weblogger thing, and that holds no appeal. I’ve tried the photoblog thing, but I found the silent introspection held as much excitement as a martini glass of thistles.
More and more I’m feeling that fiction, rather than memoir, may be a more effective means for expressing myself. I feel tied down by memoir because it aims to be an accurate representation of the author’s thoughts, and more and more this winter, I’ve found that the ideas I have, the observations I have made, the stuff I really want to write, would be better ascribed to characters other than myself. I find the continuing monologue of the single author too tiresome to read and too constricting to write. I want to write things like, “Fuck those god damn mountains!” and “Let’s get drunk and go driving!” and “I stabbed that motherfucker in the throat with half of his own beer bottle!”
Okay. So. The examples are strangely skewed in favor of the violent non-intellectual, and in a memoir piece the author is wont to give pause before ascribing such tendancies to him or herself. And as an author this is what I want to distance myself from, to escape the daily public psychology test that is memoir-blogging.
Yet at the same time, I take immense pleasure in writing in the first person, because it lets you duck inside a person’s mind and spin their world on every possible axis. I’m fascinated by the subjective interpretation of objective events, such that when I hear someone tell a good story I don’t listen so much to what they’re saying but to how they’re saying it. What’s their spin? I wonder. Why are they telling me these details? What details might they be leaving out? Storytelling is a uniquely human trait, which is what I find so delicious about it, but after you’ve been writing in a forum from your own point-of-view for so long, it’s difficult to switch voice without raising alarm, both from your readers and within yourself.
I want to delve into fiction because I find myself in the unique position where I will learn more about reality by making it up myself, rather than cramming it all through my tiny little brainstem and trying to process it inside. Having learned the myth of ghosts from the cold, the Fitzgeralds of the world can tell us more about ourselves than the most honest man of letters.
In other less-broody news…
I GOT A NEW CAR!