Friday, November 21, 2008

What Is Going On In Your Head ?

Seriously, tell me what's going on in your head right now, or anytime that you're quiet, or alone, or distracted.

I'm quite aware that sometimes I'm a little bit distant, that on occasion I am not fully engaged in whatever conversation is going on around me, and especially when a person begins to talk to me I often have to ask them to repeat what they just said because I don't catch the first few words they said.

I think this is because inside my head, I live in my own little world. Actually, that isn't the half of it, inside my head I live in multitude of worlds, my mind constructs stories and visions all the time.

When we were out to dinner tonight, Meg and myself were talking about my inability to finish stories, in particular my novel 'Hoop' which constantly undergoes revisions and plot changes and character substitutions and wholesale chapter cuts.

I am doing NaNoWriMo at the moment (31,400 words towards my 50,000 total by the way), a project to force you to write a steady rate every day for a month to create a novella, don't mind the quality, feel the word count sort of thing.

Anyway, while we are talking about this I catch sight of the glass screen behind us which is engraved with a reed pattern, and then the lights on the ceiling which are black and held in groups on a rail, and look a bit like some futuristic mini submarine. Then I'm away, the mini subs are being dropped into the deepest trench in the ocean to investigate a kind of giant plant life which science as we understand it says should not exist.

Sorry, where was I ? When we were driving through Ontario this afternoon Meg saw a lot of trees, and snow, and some scattered farms. I saw a frightened man fleeing south during the zombie apocalypse, never knowing if the next homestead might hold vital food supplies, or ravenous shambling undead, or dangerous farmers willing to defend their land with dogs and guns.

There came a point in the evening's conversation when I asked 'Isn't everyone else's head like this ? It can't be just me ?'

And Meg said, 'I think you need professional help, you're a nutjob.'

Anything at all triggers my imagination, when I listen to music I'm creating videos in my head to match the lyrics, books to me are like films - I can see the characters, not words on a page, living, moving pictures and smells and sounds, films to me are often, well slightly disappointing to be honest, tv and film seem to provide some sort of sensory overload wherein my imagination is buried under the visual and aural images. This is why I prefer books to television, I know what an alien spacecraft looks like because Iain Banks wrote it down for me, and George Lucas' cast of thousands didn't improve on the vision.

So tell me what's happening in your head, see that tree over there, is it just a tree ? Because I'm sure I saw a wood nymph flitting through its branches, and you know she loves you but she'll make you love her and then give up everything you care about.

And those weavings in the carpet, they're just lines created by the carpet making machine right ? Of course they are, of course there is no such thing as whole civilisations of microscopic people that seem to live in endless narrow towns never knowing about the other linear tribes to either side of them until the terrible day when you catch a thread on the carpet and it pulls loose to create a gap and contact between two tribes.

I need to stop now, because I'm staring into my wine glass, into the inky purple depths, and I can't begin to tell you what's looking back at me.........

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