Oi! I am up to my eyeteeth with dithering about what to write. Until this year, I have been usually, no, almost always certain of what the next project was going to be. But in summer, I changed my mind about Camp NaNo, and now, after changing my mind once already, I’ve done it again. I blame it all on baseball, bacon, and The Beatles.
So yesterday… I was minding my own writerly business, just getting some potato soup into the crock pot. It wasn’t any more than that, playoff baseball soft in the background as a playlist for a possible idea wafted from my PC. But sounds trigger emotions, plots, memories; Bob Costas was calling the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals as John, Paul, George, and Ringo provided the soundtrack. Onions made me teary, but Costas soothed my soul. I’ve had to suffer through Ron Darling on TBS while watching my San Francisco Giants battle after being down two games. While Darling was a fine pitcher for the Mets, he’s a rather pompous broadcaster. Costas, on the other hand, working for the MLB Network, is like listening to your beloved grandfather spin tales, wishing to be back in those carefree days where the biggest heartache was one’s favourite team losing an important game.
That happened yesterday to the Nationals. They are on the brink of elimination, at home, as St. Louis creamed them 8-0. I watched most of that game, or rather listened to it while peeling potatoes, tearing apart bacon, mixing soup. Mixing a novel, as Otis Redding added his soulful voice, plopping a story’s beginning right in my head.
How in the world was I supposed to battle that while chopping strong onions, wiping copious tears on my shoulders. I already have a novel, I wanted to say, or wanted Bob Costas to remind me. I already have a NaNo idea for 2012!
I don’t like being wishy-washy. I like having a plan, sticking to it. For a while I’ve been blogging about what I was going to write, working out the playlist, the plot. But outlining that novel has been slow-going, just like what happened over summer for Camp NaNo. In mid-July I threw that idea out, sat down with one that made me itch to write. I was watching baseball then too; some characters in Splitting the Sky are named for athletes, the Giants facing the Dodgers one evening. And now this new idea bounces against what I was going to write, still in a Vietnam War thread. I think it’s going to be a trilogy, but not a Star Wars sort of series. More like The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (which is a reference to The Three Colours trilogy); movies related by theme, not plot. My trilogy, nameless at this point, focuses on the repercussions of Vietnam. And basset hounds. And 1960s music, and other things too. Not sure what they are yet, but Kelly Tremane, while the last conjured, will be the first written.
Okay, well, having said ALL THAT, I suppose there’s the notion of plotting a novel that isn’t any more than a few names (Kelly Tremane is one) and music. And a blog. And one heck of a first chapter, born out of crock-pot and baseball madness. Four games took place yesterday, four more are slated for today. Two will decide those teams’ fates, two others will either lock up series championship slots, or extend the insanity into tomorrow. But for me, and the rest of Bay Area baseball fans, by this day’s end our teams will be in or out. And I’m going to watch as much of the action as I can, as soon as this entry is posted. My beloved Giants are up first, at ten a.m. Pacific time, the Oakland A’s hours away, a local 6.30 p.m. start. As I inhale the joy that is October baseball, I’ll also absorb the appropriate noveling music, a 1960s-laden soundtrack that will sow the seeds of yet another unanticipated series. While it won’t be like Alvin’s Farm, again it focuses on love and loss.
And redemption. Hopefully my Giants and those A’s will capture that feeling too, both teams having lost their first two divisional series games. Then by the end of the night, much rejoicing will occur in this part of the nation, as well as in my noveling, NaNo-fed soul.