Aa, utagoe …

Damn. I haven’t posted to this thing in [does quick math from last entry] six months.
There’s nothing much, really, to report.
I’ve gotten nowhere with the fiction because I’ve been busy re-settling down with the current job and re-settling down with my old apartment which became my new apartment once again. Yeah. That sentence doesn’t make much sense.
So I haven’t done much creatively.
I do, however, have my keyboards set up once again — had to break them down for my move — and I’ve been teaching myself a bunch of J-rock songs. For the sake of padding this entry, here’s my current “set list”, as it were:

  • Shiina Ringo, “Tadashii Machi”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Kabuki-choo no Jyoou”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Marunouchi Sadistic”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Koofukuron (Etsurakuhen)”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Koko de Kiss Shite”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Gips”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Yokushitsu”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Honnoo”
  • Shiina Ringo, “Tsuki ni Makeinu”
  • Hajime Chitose, “Kono Machi”
  • Hajime Chitose, “Rinto Suru”
  • Hajime Chitose, “Kotonoha”
  • Hajime Chitose, “Itsu ka Kaze ni Naru Hi”

For some reason, I’m singing women’s songs. I bet I’m not even changing the gender perspective when I sing these songs.
I remember back when I was starting to learn piano, it was an effort to get me to practice the minimum half-hour. Now that I’m teaching myself these songs, it’s easy for me to go full tilt for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
And it feels good.
I must, however, report that I’ve scheduled my first singing lesson for Thursday, July 1 at 7 p.m. Of course, that conflicts with a happy hour I attend every month. Eh, it’s only a half-hour lesson anyway.
So yes, I’m making good on my New Year’s Resolution.

When I do think about fiction, I think about Crash and Cleary. I’m plotting how their relationship plays out. At this point, I’m getting the sense Cleary has the patience of thousand Buddhas as he waits for Crash to get over himself. Crash, of course, resists his obvious attraction to Cleary.
And yet they sleep with each other.
I’m foreseeing a happy ending, despite Crash’s best efforts.
Gary Huang and Mitch Warren, though, are a different story. There are so many ways their relationship gets messed up, not the least of it a lack of social support for a Chinese-black interracial couple. Gary has his own issues with parenting, which of course surface when Mitch broaches the subject of adopting. And I’m wondering whether to include infidelity on both their parts.
But that begs the question — what makes them stick together in the end? I think it’s the realization that they’re each strongest when they’re together, and it’s that basic teamwork — not even intrinsically romantic — that makes them start a family.
Of course, it would be nice if I could hang all these ideas around some semblance of a plot.

I’m still wondering about Adam Fulton. I’m wondering what it is that attracts Crash to the point where he gets involved with solving his murder. More importantly, what the hell does Adam look like? I haven’t figured that one out yet.
(Hmm. Maybe Mike Doyle? Maybe …)

Man. I haven’t thought about Crux in forever.
But I have this feeling I’m going to start the first novel from scratch. AndyA says I have to get rid of all the backstory, and I’m starting to come around to that idea.

Notes to self

I keep having to remind myself to jot these ideas down, just so time doesn’t pass and I forget.

  • I am changing the ethnicity of Crux’s future love interest. He started out as white (big surprise), but some random browsing on Friendster led me to someone I had thought about in years. And he seemed like the kind of guy Crux would go for. Plus, making Crux’s love interest the same race as his (Asian), I think it would open up some very different dynamics. This “casting change” reminds of how I made Garrett Wang as the physical model for Gary. Till then, Gary kind of looked like, well, me.
    Oh, yeah — and his name is Jason. For a long time, he was just “J”. (And that will still be his nickname.) But the J now stands for Jason. For some reason, I know a lot of very handsome Jasons.

  • I’m going to stand by my blatant rip-off of Dr.StrangeLove’s “Dolly”. I’m throwing in some Shiina Ringo-like chords, alongside the BBMAK chorus, so the song seems to have its own identity now.

Be it resolved …

At lunch with AndyA today, we talked about New Year’s Resolutions.

Unlike most generic resolutions — lose weight, cut back on this, do more of that — the ones I prefer to make don’t feel like an effort.

Exercising, spending less — do those not sound like such chores?

Now, buying a bass guitar and learning how to play (2001) or writing at least one complete song by the end of the year (1999) — those are resolutions I can get behind.

These past two years, however, have pretty much forced me to make more practical resolutions. Finding a job (2002) or finding a better-paying job (2003) turned out to be the de facto resolutions, even though I “unofficially” resolved to finish a novel (2003) or start dating again (2002).

Right now the employment situation is somewhat stable, but it’s by no means solid. Add to this uncertainty news of Gay Friend-Drinking Buddy’s move to Redmond, Washington (yes, that Redmond, Washington), and I wonder if perhaps yet a third year of employment resolutions are in order.

They are. But I’m sick of having my job situation dictate my New Year’s resolutions.

Thing is, I’ve got a number of creative ones I could pursue — hence the entry here in the creative journal instead of in the regular journal — which I would like to narrow down.

During lunch, I settled on resuming guitar lessons as my New Year’s resolution.

But I’m having second thoughts.

Oh, I am going to continue guitar lessons, hopefully after I’ve become a permanent employee (somewhere). But a New Year’s resolution seems like something new should happen.

Like buying and playing a bass guitar — I never had before, and while I haven’t really picked up the bass very often since, it did spur me to practice more with guitar.

I think I should do something different, if not entirely new. It’s going to be expensive — especially since I’m taking a fourth semester of Japanese as well — but I’ll figure the money thing out later.

Here goes …

Be it resolved that one (1) Gregory E. Bueno, hereafter refered to as the Resolvee, take at least one month’s worth of singing lessons before the end of the calendar year 2004.

Be it also resolved that the Resolvee may pursue any of the following creative endeavors in addition to or in lieu of singing lessons:

  • Completion of one (1) novel containing at least 50,000 words, with an aim for 70,000 words, by the end of Aug 31. 2004. The novel may include work previously started but unfinished.
  • Resumption of guitar lessons for a duration of at least one month before the end of the calendar year 2004.
  • Initiation of piano lessons for a duration at least one month before the end of the calendar year 2004.

Oh, yeah. That’s new all right.

Out of sight, out of mind/Inventory II: Songs

I’ve been listening to my various MP3s for the past week or so. Seeing them linked from the main page of this domain is becoming something of a burr in my behind.
Previous designs of Gregbueno.com were little more than splash pages with links to my other projects, so it was easy to overlook the fact a ghost in my shadow and Eponymous 4 still employed all my design ethics from three years ago, let alone lacked any new content.
So now when I fire up my browser, the first thing I see at the top of the page are my MP3s — nothing of which reflect anything I’ve been “writing” since 1999.

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I quit

… and after only one chapter.
By now, I should have written 16,660 words in my NaNoWriMo novel. I’ve only accomplised barely one-tenth of that total.
I wrote a chapter. Read it over a few times. And decided I didn’t want to rush this story. The characters sounded wrong to me. I want there to be more tension between Det. Cleary and Tommy Durst. I don’t know what I want Det. Ellison to be, but it sure isn’t what he sounds like now. And I want to know Adam Fulton — the victim — a lot more.
I have a strong sense of the dynamic between Cleary and Crash, but it’s Crash’s relationship with Adam that drives him to get involved with the investigation.
I’m not going to this story justice in 30 days.
It was easy to write The Courtship of Gary Huang in 30 days because I was making Gary deal with something I didn’t want to — mustering up the courage to love and, potentially, to be hurt again.
I’m not sure I know Crash, let alone Adam, enough to figure out why he’d work to find Adam’s killer. I think, though, part of him wants to be around Cleary, but he can only do it under the pretense of “work”.
Yeah, yeah. It sounds like I can churn out this story. But I can’t. I don’t even have details of the crime down yet. And I haven’t even begun to think about Adam’s bosses, the guys who supply him with the Ecstacy he sells.
So I quit.
I’m not writing the novel I said I would for NaNoWriMo. I didn’t register anyway, so I’m not out of any cash donations.
More to the point, I just don’t feel like writing right now. I’m worried about my car. I’m worried about my money. If anything, slowly getting back into the job market — first with the store, now with the new job — occupied my time and energy. The great comfort of being laid off in a sucky economy was the futility of job searching. Why bang my head against the wall when I could write a novel instead?
Can’t quite do that right now. Not while I’m trying to rebuild my nest egg.

NaNo … NaNo …

Back in the first week of September, I took a trip with AndyA to Galveston. Our intention was to lock ourselves in a hotel room and write. We didn’t get much on paper, but we did talk at length about the kinds of ideas we wanted to pursue.
After talking her ear off about the Crash novel no. 1 — codename, September Boyfriend (to keep with the Number Girl song title theme, albeit altered slightly) — she told me I had enough to start writing.
In terms of general direction, I guess I did. In terms of detail, I wasn’t so sure.

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I think I would like the Crash novels to be named after Number Girl songs. I mean, how cool would it be to read a book titled Destruction Baby or Brutal Man or Urban Guitar Sayonara or Sentimental Girl’s Violent Joke?
Hmmm. They’d turn out to be very violent books, wouldn’t they?


I have an overactive imagination.
For as long as I can remember — or perhaps for as long as I’ve been aware of sex — I got into the habit of plotting stories in my head in the time right before falling asleep and the time right after waking up. (Neil Gaiman’s work has often been described as possessing that quality.)
It’s really the only time of day I have to focus exclusively on fiction. It’s this habit which has allowed me to store up a lot of ideas.

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