Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday morning contemplations

I have today off, which is rare enough it seems these days, and had big plans to do a lot of writing this weekend, which I have done, but despite one short posted and pretty satisfying, I am still plodding through my charity fic, not from lack of interest, but from lack of pictures in my head.

It's a trend that has persisted a lot longer than I'm comfortable with, and one I'm not quite sure how to correct or even if there are exercises I could try to kind of corral my brain camera into something that looks more like a film and pan and less like the Blair Witch project.

It's a weakness and a strength as a writer, I suppose, that I can, with some degree of success translate the images in my head into a pretty vivid textual representation, but it's a weakness in that when the images are fragments and unconnected, I don't get a story, I get a collage of unrelated artifacts and not even a decent shadow box to frame them in.

I've got epics, epics in my head, but they are all playing like the movie trailers on the On Demand station, enough to pique interests but really not lending themselves to an overall summation of plot or purpose. And that's what it feels like -- like there are dozens of movies I'm dying to see, that I would cough up more than matinee or vidoe rental prices to see played out on the big screen but none of them are playing near me, nor available in my area and I'm afraid by the time they come to pay per view, I'll no longer care about seeing them.

Messing with timestamps helped some but I probably should have limited it because I had initial images for everything, but the further away I get from that initial jolt the harder it is to go back and find the frame and reference I had when I first read them.

Plus much of what is playing in my head really comes without reference, or without a context -- body tattoos and burning fields, and a soundtrack of sounds that is both dialogue and musical but it's not music I've ever heard before and the dialog is all in some foreign language. Like this:

The small pool is utterly still in its raised basin, barely shimmering with ripples when he presses his hand, fingers spread wide, onto the surface of the shimmer and then lifts it. Droplets form and fall from his fingertips, from his palm, each one strike the water and chiming like a tiny bell, soft as a whisper and followed by a murmur, of voices rising in answer.

But it’s not the sound that makes Dayen gasp or jerk his head up, but the sudden flicker and shimmer that's reflected by the disturbed water, catching the light of candles and torches and casting new movement on the dark walls. Shadows dance and coalesce, move along the alabaster stone like a child painting ducks in the dark.

They flickered and danced, swelled to fullness and Dayen could see his home that was, and the tree that was no charred and bitter. Saw the ploughs raised like weapons and weapons raised for slaughter. He couldn't hear the screams and the flames that had danced across fields and orchards flickered black and washed over everything.

He wanted to throw up or run, strike out at the one who had summoned these images form his own past, his own history. He relived them enough in his nightmares, and they told him nothing he didn't already know.

He turned away from the shadows, wondering if this was why no weapons were allowed past the temple gates, for fear these callous seers would incite such retribution for their cruelty.

Save no hands formed these shadows, and no movement from Samuel caused them to appear -- only the light on the water, and the blank walls playing canvas to a future Dean can't see but is meant for him anyway.

Then the last drop falls from Safael's fingers, striking a deep chord and the waters go still and the shadows on the wall fade. Samuel watched him carefully -- he'd never taken his eyes off Dean, never glanced at the shadow play on the walls. But he waits for Dean to speak.

"I'm no seer." The accusation is there, but Safael ignores it.

"And yet you see."

"I came to you for your visions."

"No," Safael chides him and pulls his hand back, wiping the lingering wetness of his palm on his tunic, leaving the cloth stained a darker red, like wet blood. "You came to me for answers. I can show you what was, what is, and what shall be, but none of it will tell you what you want to know.

I know what it is but I don't know how it fits or how to get that and that is incredibly weird for me.

(Note: for those of you on the bigbang journal, you'll see a different variation of this bit of navel gazing. Apologies. This is less about specific stories than the process itself. )


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