12 days into December, and I’ve yet had a proper come-down from the literary Iron Man that was National Novel Writing Month. Because of the food holiday break and an unfortunate event involving my truck, I’ve ignored acknowledging my experience, which is important to do if one intends to continue writing. So I’ll use this slice of space-time to vent out the lingering emotions. Come along with me if you’re brave enough…
This NaNo was two years in the making. My very first NaNoWriMo entry was a novel titled The Black Parade. This was a very ‘thinky’ work, exploring the applicability/feasibility of Ayn Rand’s political philosophy, objectivism, to the modern American Conservative. During contemplation, the Republican National Convention was in town, sexy ass Paul Ryan was extolling Atlas Shrugged as his most influential work, and I was still smarting from a less-than-glamorous exit from Texas politics. It was a very angry work, resulting in sending the United States of America into a socio-political, economic collapse.
2014, I follow The Black Parade with The American Manifesto. I’m still running with applied objectivism in this work, but not in the ‘let’s prove Ayn Rand’s attributes wrong’ style; instead, I prove how we exercise objectivism in our daily living. All I did was, take the existing caveats of Rand’s theory, layer over them our Digital Age (technological determinism), our economic condition (class disparity), and our war attitude (Americanism mixed with Totalitarianism), and from them, tease out the ‘refreshed’ caveats applicable to modern times. Here’s the breakdown:
In which OT stands for Simeonic Objectivism in Theory and OA stands for Simeonic Objectivism in Application. Yes, I do have the right to name socio-political theorems after me, see my About page for the credentials, and yes, you’re welcome to utilize this theory in your own scientific work, I have all the background data at the ready if you’re genuinely interested.
I know you understand as a creative being, how even the most rigid, structured plans for a project can be annihilated by the spirit of the work. In The American Manifesto, I intended to create a civil war, conceptualizing the need for dominion, control, and establishing order paramount to healing, community-building, and sharing. Instead, the work became very introspective, and the characters who carried over from Book One started behaving very opposite of what they exercised before. When we last met Andrea, she was a cold, indifferent, hatchet-wielding slayer of injustice, but in this work, she becomes very nurturing, self-admonishing, and open to suggestion. This comes from my current metaphysical state, where I’ve reconciled my previous existence for what it was, and now, very open to guidance and suggestion from elders/crones.
Under the recommendation of an equally empathic friend, I read Dancing In The Flames by Woodman and Dickson, an excellent primer on the exploration of the divine feminine in her many forms. Followers of this blog have experienced my various Jungian references to archetypes, so why not incorporate them into novel form? What followed then, was the appearance of new characters representing the most common social archetypes who, in my opinion, impede our ability to be the best Americans we can be toward each other. Essentially, I anthropomorphized OA.
Of those anthropomorphized caveats emerged a theme: Wisdom over all. Wisdom over weapons, wisdom over dominion, wisdom over divisiveness. This excited me so much, I admit I spent more time sharing how each character came to actualize wisdom than I did moving the story along to its intended end, which was the meeting of all emergent leaders in the center of America to decide how to move forward. Which means, of course, this is now becoming a trilogy!
What taxed me emotionally was the case for the Republic of Lakotah. About 2009/2010, I read a National Geographic article exposing the apocryphal conditions of an Oglala Lakota reservation. I remember becoming severely emotionally invested in reaction! My soul ached. I felt a deep set fury, a mother-like protectiveness, a sensation of, ‘how dare they hurt my children!’ which was confusing because I’ve never birthed children, so I didn’t know of this intrinsic power. Later I studied then realized it wasn’t me in the ego sense reacting, but the Divine Mother voicing through me.
I knew there had to be a method in which I could constructively communicate my disgust with the United States government – which openly and unapologetically exacts colonialism upon a free-willed people – and the liberty presented itself during this NaNoWriMo. The Divine Mother took many forms – Angry Mother, Crazy Mother, Nurturing Mother – as the discussion of healing carried on in The American Manifesto. Andrea Killsen is of Lakota origin, and in this NaNo entry, I delved into her history. Her family is predominantly in Arkansas, some split between Oklahoma and North and South Dakota. I followed Andrea’s history for explanation purposes, but then folded it out to represent conflict, an identity crisis, if you will. What Andrea experiences is representative of America’s identity crisis: we collectively ignore/refuse to acknowledge our shared pain in exchange for the glamour of global superpower status. How super can we be when we abuse and torture and starve and demoralize our own?
At the time of composition, the Keystone XL debate moved to the Senate, where during discussion, one brave Lakota stood and chanted above the politicos, a reminder that the debate as to the benefit of the pipeline has to consider first and foremost, who has the right to the land that the pipeline will run through? The Republic of Lakotah formalized its sovereignty in 2007, but that sovereignty has yet to be recognized. Given fairness, given an embracing of our fellow Americans, permission needs to be asked of these people. We Americans should not be shocked that the Lakota and other nations will respond with a ‘fuck you and hell no!’ but we as Americans should delight in what they can build from a positive collaboration with ethical public servants. My outstanding thesis for The American Manifesto became thus: until we collectively right that wrong, until we recognize these nationalists and promote their right to exercise their sovereignty, and until we invite them to the head of the decision making table, we as a nation, will collapse.
America, we are young and naive and self-congratulating and ignorant and close minded and annoying, an obnoxious teenager sitting in the back of the Global Unity classroom acting up for attention, while the rest of the democratic world rolls its eyes and wishes we would choke on the next spitball we make. Wisdom. We are starved of it. And nothing amplified that more during composition than the deplorable decisions and outrageous reactions in Ferguson. This work was fueled by erratic despair, and I will need some time to personally heal before I can read through it.
I dare not pretend I have all the answers, but I feel I at least started a plausible conceptual framework for the recalibration of Americanism through The American Manifesto. I believe very much so in these straight-off-my-proud-to-be-American-calendar statements:
But I also believe it’s going to take an extremely traumatic ass-kicking before we get our shit together.
This was a heavy work, but I am proud of it. It was birthed from an authentic place, incorporating historical facts and real-world examples with the best of my cognitive ability. I exercised scientific methodology but I encased it in storytelling, so that the bitter pill could at least taste sweet and feel fun as it goes down into your spirit stomach.
If you made it to this paragraph, thank you for helping me recalibrate. I have much more writing to do…
Visit http://www.republicoflakotah.com/ to learn more about the Republic of Lakotah and the beauty of North America’s original peoples.
Shouts to starrschaos, our wonderful Municipal Liaison for St. Petersburg, Florida! Thank you for my laptop badge! :D
Why we write…
50,710 WORD COUNT…IT’S OVER, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! THE BOUGHT HAS ENDED! YOUR NANOWRIMO 2013 CHAMPION ISSSS…
And now for the Sexy Dance Party…
Apparently, the mobile application for WordPress allows you to make a quick video, then upload it into a video post lickity split. Nah. Didn’t happen. That was my attempt at a unique NaBloPoMo moment, but alas, no.
I will tell you this: I got the arc done. Yessir! The arc. Is DONE. Which means, I can get back in shoot ‘em up, fight club, bang bang mode, and sail this awesome manuscript on.
Three full days. I am treating myself to a movie! Here’s an audio representation of a pat on my back:
16,459 as of half an hour ago! Whatever the spirit creatures in my creative space are injecting me with, it’s working. I’m above average on word count every day. I’ve routinized my morning where I don’t turn on my phone or any music player until I bang out the next NaNo scenario. What do they say? 28 days and it’ll become a habit? Better than nicotine, I tell ya!
Today I’m kicking off Da Blitzkrieg. Tackling this second half of the manuscript and not leaving The Treehouse until it’s plated. I told everyone last night this was my last outing until next Wednesday, at the soonest. Once I’m on a trajectory, it’ll take a phone call from the White House to call me off. I’m excited about this. Kinda reminds me of grad school. Why did collecting and describing data excite me so? Ah yes, mere preparation for this portion of my artistic journey.
Very excited to make new bloggy friends from all over the world, as well as reconnect with loved ones all over the world via this portal. Best way to get a hold of me this month, peeps. The phone stays off while I write. I only log into Skype when a Skype date has been pre-arranged, or I need to bother Spring about something.
Xbox time is slim to none, although I did take a break yesterday to catch up on The Daily Show, Colbert Report and SNL. Kerry Washington, ya’ll! Who dat who dat who dat BITCH…haha! She killed it.
Here’s an inspirational song to get you NaNoWriMos thinking about the awesomeness of your new title: AUTHOR…
The challenge is to write 2k a day for NaNo, and post at least 15-30 mins worth of material to this blog. If you received my digest in your in box this morning, you will have noticed a series of posts that lasted the span of the previous night, starting at 8pm EST, ending 7am EST. So let me simultaneously pat myself on the back for staying on task, and apologize to you, dear follower, and hope you don’t abandon my craziness.
Although it’s in the title, ‘Madwoman.’ You knew what you were getting into.
Fell asleep by 7:30AM. Bobby woke me at 11:30. I walked him, tried to lay back down, but realized I was hungry. And out of food. So I trudged out the door and forced myself to get basics for the week, so that I can continue my self-torture/challenge of writing, blogging, and revising every day at least up to November 11th. That’s my goal: get everything pinched out in two weeks.
Because I’m INSANE.
I didn’t get to do any work on Momma’s Boy today, but I at least thought about it. :) Although the support team at NaNoWriMo does say, if you need to take a day, take a day, just stay focused on that halo. Hope this one is sized to accommodate my bull horns this year.
Still worried about the revelation of the fishtail in I Blew Up Juarez. What’s a fishtail, Von? A fishtail is when your story goes in two (or more) directions to the end, opposite of what’s happening in the beginning and middle. Think of holding a live fish, and watching its body convulse and flip about. Nothing’s working in the same direction. The fish can’t get anywhere. Thus, the story doesn’t get anywhere. If you caught I Come From The Water, you’ll know I usually hit the pool to remedy my problems. But, cold fronts have moved into Florida over the weekend, leaving me to go run it out in the morning on the treadmill.
These are all good problems to have, though. I have the best NaNo team, my current writing partner Marie and my first writing partner, Spring. (If you can count multiple-page notes passed during class a writing partnership) So as long as my girls are at it, I’ll be at it too. Juarez, I know it’ll get figured out. I already have the treadmill playlist in my head. Open with Dropkick Murphys, then Marilyn Manson, segue to The Knife, go back to Flogging Molly, then, for grins Megadeth, come back with the Presets. Something will come out of that, I know it.
Three more minutes!
My sister informed me I will be contacted by the daughter of one of her friends regarding a recommendation to join a collegiate organization. It got me thinking to the days when I used to mentor and counsel women younger and older than me. I think about this book I’m writing, the book I’m publishing, this blog I’m managing, and I think about the women I received my empowerment from to get to this stage in life. Now, I don’t hand out recommendations all willy-nilly, I like to explore the character of a person, how they contribute to society now, and how her current commitments will affect her future endeavors. I’ll always encourage a person, especially college kids, they’re my preferred population, to dream big but be realistic. Have a vision, but have a sustainable, flexible plan. Shit, here I am typing to you what I need to be telling her! Silly me.
Ding! 30 minutes.
I’m gettin’ good at this shit.
Let me leave you with this little sliver of magic: