“Oblivion” by Patrick Wolf

Being a fan as I am of both idiomatic expressions and fine music, I decided to kill two birds with one youtube video and present my song obsession of the week and talk about the new novel in my life. First, I’ll let the awesome Patrick Wolf take the stage:

Followed the hunt far as I could
Through desert weathers, petrified wood
And I took one shot in the dark
Backfired the bullet silver to heart

First of all, one of my very favorite movies is the French Le Pacte des Loups or, The Brotherhood of the Wolf staring my girly crush, Monica Bellucci*. (Also, The Chairman from Iron Chef colon America is in it, but in his most bad-ass way as Mani. Interestingly enough, Mani is the name of the Norse god of the moon and this movie has somewhat to do with the werewolf mythos.) This song reminds me of that movie. And really has nothing else to do with this post because, unlike some writers, I don’t get paid by the word.

There’s a sense of urgency in the song as he struggles with problems with the eternal struggle — “war” — against his father, quite possibly as a prodigal son and strays between needing to be alone, to forge his own path, and the recklessness of charging head first into that “darkness deep down” inside of everyone.

Every story ever written is about one of two things at its core: saving a prostitute or rebelling against a father figure. Either way, it’s about one’s path through life, through the “hunt,” in becoming a complete person and figuring out a place in life. Some people do this by trying to save those who have fallen and others do it by destroying the thing that created them in the first place.

The narrator in this song is lost in the “desert” of his mind, surrounded by “petrified wood,” symbolic of that moment of petrification when the path is lost and the darkness in each of us begins to rise. Which is, really, what this whole song is about: the self-destructive want to become part of oblivion instead of facing the hardness of life. He sings, “I do not fear oblivion” (with a flourish with one “oblivion” that makes me think of a bullfighter, but that’s another story), but is this true courage or a rejection of life?

The non-vampire novel (or the ne-v-en, as I call it), is all kinds of about this. Well, really there’s a place in it called The Void, which is kind of a synonym for Oblivion, right?

Achnyway, Serafina, the Main Character, and Kade, the Love Interest, are both what I am calling Roamers.** They’re kids who develop the ability to take stuff apart with their minds around the age of ten. In healthy Roamers like Kade, this ability eventually allows them to open portals into the land tentatively called Hypnos, or the liminal space between Life and Death, otherwise known as Sleep. In girls, this power makes them Pariahs, or Roamers who are unable to control their breaky-apart powers and open portals into the Void, the thing between the three levels of Life, Sleep, and Death.

Evil Villain, tentatively called Thanatos, is using Serafina and her universe-tearing stare to weaken the boundaries so that she can come through Death and reign over Earth, or somesuch. I’m really not there yet.

Regardless, this Void routinely sucks people into it either through their dreams or because they’re a character I’ve introduced just so they can die*** or because it’s a metaphor for growing up, which is kind of what Patrick Wolf is talking about here. Serafina is, on some scale, a bit like me — as is every main character written by every author ever — and sort of a cathartic way for me to deal with my own issues of growing up, becoming an adult, asploding evil NKVD agents, and the tendency for all of us to want to destroy or hurt ourselves.

Oh, and if Serafina and Kade touch, the universe might implode. So it also deals with my issues about relationships just a wee bit.

*I don’t know why, but I keep on linking to The Matrix which isn’t bad, but I refuse to believe the last two movies exist, save for this scene, which is still pretty ridiculous.

**I’ve been giving co-workers the play-by-play of what I’ve been writing throughout November and every time I get into it, I start sounding like Bill Paxton from Aliens. Mostly.

***Me: “It’s been twenty pages. Have I killed anyone yet? No? Well, let’s go on over to babynames.com, pick out a random letter and kill someone off!” *rubs hands like a mustache-twirling villain tying someone to a train track*

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Oh, November, November, the Month of Novel Writing (and explosions, if you’re into that)

*camera zooms into the back of Emkay’s head; she turns around gracefully like she’s in a 60s sitcom opening*

Oh, hey. What’s that? Oh, nothing. I just have this:
All for a measly month of my otherwise thrilling life

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. (Personally, I like to say na-no-ree-mo instead of na-no-rye-mo, but then again, I do pronounce it as ree-ting instead of rye-ting.* I’m from Colorado and just learned that I have a Colorado accent.) That is, you write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. (Other than the fifth, that is, which is devoted to vivacious violence and Agent Smith Hugo Weaving. And the 18th, which is devoted to MY BIRTHDAY.) You don’t really get anything, other than sweet badges Boy Scout-style, but it really forces you to sit down and write a lot every day (or, in my case, in sporadic bursts of 6000+ words every Tuesday) and doesn’t allow you to overthink or edit as you go. Which is, really, what I needed.

See, my dear readers, I suffer as a SOB. Whoopsie. I mean, SOP: self-oriented perfectionist. It used to be really bad, but now, I’m actually kind of lazy. But this means that everything must be perfect from the moment it flows from my fingertips and is indelibly inked into the very fabric of my computer. Which is MK code for 30 words every 30 minutes. Or, a sentence that takes an hour, if not longer. It’s exhausting and I get a paragraph done and then feel as if I’ve climbed Everest.

So, NaNoWriMo was an exercise in two things for me:
1.) Writing every single fracking day. Or, at least, every few days. Which is more than I’ve been doing lately.
2.) Writing something new. Which is crazy, because I’ve been writing Gwennie’s story for 10 plus years now.

That’s right. A new novel. About vampires something other than vampires.** It’s science fiction, has the tentative title of “Roam” and stars a crazy Russian girl — dubbed the Main Character — and a cute American boy — dubbed the Love Interest — and their adventures*** thereof. “Adventures” being MK code for messed-up Joss Whedon-like doomed romance, a subplot involving Death herself, communism, a man with a mustache, and people in fedoras. Oh, how I love fedoras.

So, I wasn’t boycotting the Internet again. I wasn’t watching Casper Van “I-Have-Something-In-My-Teeth-Oh-It’s-Just-My-Chin” Dien. I was writing. Legitimately. Film at 9.

*Sarcasm is hard on the Interwebz.+

**Dammit.

***Mathematical! This week, for the make-your-facebook-profile-a-cartoon-character-from-your-childhood-week-for-the-fighting-of-the-child-abuse, I chose Lumpy Space Princess. I contend that I still watch cartoons and therefore am still a child, even though I turned 24 also in November.

+Which is maybe, probably sarcastic in its own right.