So what projects am I working on?
1. An annotated gastronomy of reheated pizza.
2. A collection of critical essays on Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries.
3. Reminiscences of my pre-cat furniture.
Seriously, I am working on:
• Another short story for the Mammoth books (a YA story about urban fey).
• Proposals that would look much better on paper instead of being pure imagination.
• Piles of research for said proposals (I never do anything the easy way).
• Stuff for my day job that spills over from work day into evening.
• The fitness plan that has me up far too early in the morning.
• The Evil Kitchen Reno (which is looking spiff but not universally so).
The problem is, of course, that projects can be teenagers. You know what I mean—there is the promise of things to come, but we’re in the awkward phase when things look out of proportion and a little hard to love. Witness the 5 a.m. wake up to go to the gym. Good theory, ugly reality, nuff said.
Fine, but what about the books? Oddly all this activity contributes to my work in progress, because it’s colouring my state of mind—and right now, all those colours are vital information.
What does that mean? Imagine you want to see a certain type of movie, but can’t describe what that might be, or you want to read a certain type of book, but you’ll only know it when you see it. What is that certain something? When I roll the essence of a daily vignette across my tongue, what is it I’m detecting?
I call that the flavour or scent of a work. It brings up an atmosphere or mood, and once you have a taste for that feeling, you crave it. You’ll haunt a bookstore looking for it. Only a certain café can evoke it. Only your best pair of boots feels it. Maybe a particular alleyway looks like it. Maybe it’s just the way the light shimmers on the side of a building or the taste of the morning on the air.
I have to have that flavour figured out before the first words hit the page. Once it’s nailed down, I can catapult myself into the story by concentrating on that feeling. It’s like the magic passkey to my story kingdom.
Is any of this making sense? How would you describe what I’m talking about?