Carmine, back from the dead, so to speak.
From beyond the shallow grave she came,
A life beyond life,
To whisk my soul away into eternal night.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best not announce something until you’re serious about it.
Like announcing you’ve started exercising and you’ve been exercising every day. Then someone asks you, since when? And you say, yesterday. And then three days later, you stop.
So, I tend to wait before coming to conclusions about my current activities.
For those of you who know me, you may remember that way back when, I started writing a book about a woman called Carmine. I got about 130 pages done, but then as with most of my projects, it petered away.
Well, it’s not too surprising since the main driving force behind the book, my old board games and fantasy roleplaying ala Dungeons and Dragons, Vampire, Shadow Run etc. all faded away.
I’d been nurturing the idea of restarting the book at some point for the past couple of years, but typically never got round to starting it again. The first step was to cut myself off from the internet while on the train every evening. After my Zaurus broke down, and I failed to convince Tomoko to lend me her laptop for the train journeys, I decided not to renew my DoCoMo data contract and use my mobile phone.
But using a mobile to access the web is crap if it’s not an iPhone, so I rapidly stopped going online.
The next step was signing up for eMusic’s Audiobook program and getting a new fix of literary goodness once a month.
The third step took place about three weeks ago. I dug out my trusty old JVC Interlink (an ancient A5 sized Windows CE laptop with a great keyboard) out and got to work. The memory card in the slot still had a copy of Carmine in it. Out of instinct, I double clicked it, started reading and suddenly knew I had to start writing it again.
I’ve been writing every day since then. I’ve changed a lot since I started the book in 1994. The world has changed a lot. We’ve all changed.
So it’s going to be interesting to see just how the book goes. I’ve decided to split the section I’m writing off from that which I finished in 2000. That part is fairly clean and self contained, so I might put that out as one chapter in the life of Carmine.
The new part is currently about her childhood, but I’m still trying to think of some devious ways to mingle it in with the “ultrapresent” a concept you’ll just have to read the book to work out.
I know, I know, I have so much to do that I shouldn’t be wasting my time on yet another fruitless project.
But this one is helping me focus. I’ve been too passive recently. Google, for all its good intentions has robbed me of my sharpened analytical skill, some of my logical thinking and most of my creativity at coming up with solutions myself. I’ve become bone-idle online as well as off.
So, I’ve decided to pump up the output and get my creative juices flowing.
I do enough reading already.
I read online IT news, I read manuals to help me program. I read the newspaper at work, I read books to help me use the software tools I have to use. And, of course, there’s Google.
I have become a repository of generally useless information.
Thus, actually creating something for a change, actually having to use my brain for something other than problem solving a task-set is really giving me a lot of energy. I’ve been able to focus more these last two weeks and be more proactive with ideas at work and more energetic at home.
So, let’s see how far I get before it peters out.
I’m giving it until about the 15th of June.
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