Sunday, February 22, 2009

Warm yourself by the fire, son, and the morning will come soon

I typed the above line into my Gtalk status message one day about a week and a half ago. It's from one of Joe's favorite songs, "Prayer of the Refugee," by his favorite band, Rise Against. It's a catchy enough tune that I have it on my mp3 player, and it happened to come on just when I happened to be casting about for something for my status message. And then the line got stuck in my head--not the song message as a whole, just that one line. And then later, another line got stuck in my head--again, not with the in-context meaning attached, just the line itself: "We've been pulling out the nails that hold up everything you've known." And then later, a line from the Foos' "Everlong" attached itself: "Come down and waste away with me, down with me." Add in a couple of creepy images of animals with human eyes, and you've got the seeds of the flash fic I've been growing for the last several days. I open it up every day, read through what I have, and wait to see what else wants to be added that day. So far I haven't forced anything, I've just waited for it to tell me what to write. It's kind of a creepy story, and maybe some of the eerie nature arises from the fact that I don't feel so much like I'm writing as like I'm just transcribing it.

Side note: The image of animals with human eyes came to me as I was putting away a CD that has a buffalo picture on it. After I made a note of the image, my mind meandered over and remembered how the new cow-people in the latest World of Warcraft expansion creeped me out, because the male faces look like flat buffalo masks instead of faces. I find it entirely possible that my subconscious saw the buffalo, made the connection without me knowing about it, and leaped to the image of animals with human eyes, and my conscious self didn't catch on until later. I also have a dim recollection of reading a very haunting short story several years ago in which buffalo figured prominently. I don't recall the plot of the story, but the image of creepy buffalo made me think of that, too.

I should probably go back and count how many times I used some variation of "creepy" in the last two paragraphs and use synonyms for some variety. But I'm lazy today, so I won't.

In other news, I waded through a really sloppy section of Crowmaker this week. Not a lot of tangible progress (I actually took away from the word count instead of adding to it), but the section actually makes sense now and leads where it should instead of wandering aimlessly here and there. It still needs some as-yet-unwritten scenes to fill in the gaps, but it's not bad.

The boys have been taking a Python programming class for the last month or so. Michael needed help figuring out how to do something, and I was clueless on how to help him. So I've been sitting down with the chapters they've studied and started learning it myself. Actually, not a bad idea anyhow. New knowledge is never a bad thing. And maybe I won't break out in hives whenever my computer genius buddies start spouting shop talk if I start to have a vague idea what they're talking about. (As if being haunted by creepy buffalo is somehow less scary than computer tech talk?)

I spotted Joe counting his allowance money on Friday. When I asked what he was saving for this time, I expected him to answer more Heroscape stuff or some new video game. His answer? "I've been thinking I'd like to learn to play guitar, too." (He's been busily teaching himself the drums and thinks he has a lead at school on where he can take lessons.) Michael Moneybags had also expressed an interest in guitar (I had it on a short list of ideas for a birthday gift), and I've thought it might be cool to try and learn, myself. (I play piano, too. Practice it every day. Yep. Uh huh.) So we agreed to go thirds on an acoustic guitar and some teaching software.

I shared the gorilla story from an earlier blog entry with the boys, and we had an impromptu discussion about where ideas come from. Joey's been writing out backstory and plot for his future video game ideas for years now, and apparently he's started stockpiling ideas for books, too. We are becoming quite the creative household these days.

Proud? You better believe it. It is cool beyond words to share living space with people who are actually interested in the same pursuits I am.

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