"Men without ties don’t dress for dinner
Do the Friday night frozen pizza thing"
- Paul Westerberg
Brady has R-U-N-N-O-F-T to Madison, where he'll be spending a week hanging out with our old friends, wrangling free drinks, and playing a reunion/cd release/farewell show with The Super 8s, who sing songs about states. In short, having an A-1 time while I lament the high cost of airfare and curse myself for not going into a field that had summer vacation as a perk.
But I'm not one to mope, so I asked myself, 'What would Paul Westerberg do?' And I decided that the only possible thing I could do was to declare it a "Men Without Ties" week, stock up on frozen foods, and get some writing done.
In the Maureen McHugh process of writing a novel chart*, I'm somewhere around stage 3, which means it's going to get worse. But also that it will eventually get better.
This is not to say that I am writing a novel. I'm not quite ready to admit to that yet. What I will admit to is taking the 100+ pages of notes, sketches, and scenes that I've compiled in fits and starts over the past five years, and putting them into some kind of semi-coherent plot outline.
Most people probably don't need plot outlines, but I do. I can make a bunch of characters talk for pages, and I can write back story till the cows come home, and I can tell you everything that is going on in a character's head at any given moment, but ask me to make someone walk across a room, and I require an outline. But I figure:
1. Once I know where I'm going, maybe I can actually go there.
2. Having a bunch of stupid characters stuck in your head for five years is no way to go through life.
* link via Shaken & Stirred, always a great source for the how-to stuff