The Fall of Huetta, The Rise of Nostalgia

An interesting thing happened earlier this week. I was writing “Huetta’s Grace” and realized that I didn’t want to finish “Huetta’s Grace”. It hit me that I wanted to write a story more than I had something to say, and that’s a horrible place to be. It’s a reason why I don’t write blogs as often as I used to. I didn’t have much to say so they’d end up being me saying “I don’t have much to say” in so many sentences.

So what exactly went wrong? All of the long-form stories I’ve written had something going on underneath the surface. They were metaphorical pieces. My short-form stories can be “fluff” with no problem on my part. I’m not spending a lot of time writing them, so why not let them mean a little less? That’s not to say that “Huetta’s Grace” was light. There was some heavy stuff going on in there, but it all could’ve been taken at face value. So it began to unravel for me. I felt bad for a while because I had to throw out what I’ve written. But it’s best to realize that thing about myself now than when there’s some serious money on the line. I knew that I still wanted to write something, then I read an article.

I’m not the most nostalgic person in the world. There are bits and pieces of things I grew up with that I hold on to, but I’m never “OH FUCK, PLEASE BRING THIS BACK!!” about stuff. It was cool for a little while, the resurgence of the past, the nods and nudges (apart from “Scream” and its ilk), but I expected it to go away. Now, I’m living in the age of remakes and rehashes. This does not bode well for the future of art. For the longest time, I wanted to comment on it in some way but I couldn’t figure out how. I did know that I had to do it soon because SOMEONE has to, and why not be a leader? Alas, the spark didn’t ignite. Some may say that “The World’s End” is a great critique on nostalgia (and a great film), and it is but it’s not what I wanted to say (thankfully). Within the past few days, however, I managed to find some mental flint.

The idea of making an eight-episode miniseries about two people trapped in nostalgia came to me. It started off as something that I could bring to a friend and we could write it together. I’ve been wanting to try writing a story together with someone for a while so that I know what that’s like. It’s not something I’d do often, but I might be more or less open to it if I tried it early. A funny thread that’s been weaving through my creative life is that the more I do alone, the more I do. I saw that thread shortly after I had the idea. The notion of getting an agent and signing up for the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America) presented itself to me because the idea wasn’t something I could do without money. I hate the idea of not being able to work because a group of people tell me “no”, and the idea of having to rely on someone to protect me, so those two notions quickly were shot down. Then I thought about making it into a novel.

Me writing a novel that’s essentially a TV show with eight, hour-long episodes intrigued me greatly. And it’s so different than “Lie”. I spent last night expanding upon the idea and came up with some nifty stuff. What I wasn’t expecting was a chance to take some things from “Love! in Bedlam” that I REALLY wanna use and use them. It seems like all I’ll have of that novel is its name and concept… but that’s alright (more room to play whenever I get around to writing it). I’m setting it in the real world… two towns over. Similarly to how I created the world of “Lie” except that I’m making up a town and placing it among real towns. The ones around me. Something I was looking forward to doing in “Love! in Bedlam” was exploring the area with the characters. Give the readers a sorta roadside attraction map. They won’t be able to visit the main town, but everyplace else will be fair game. And the novel will be an attack on nostalgia, like how “Lie” was an attack on generic female characters.

It’ll be called “Nostalgia Season” and it’ll make a few people angry when I’m done. But it’ll make a lot of people think, which works.

Enough about this novel that doesn’t exist yet, how about one that does? My first novel, “Lie”, is about four women who go on vacation to help one of their own through a life-changing decision. Its first four chapters are available here, courtesy of Goodreads. If you like what you read, you can pick it up for only $1.99 wherever eBooks are sold.

Thanks for reading.

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