turn and face the strain... ch-ch-changes...

change is something that you really can't fight or avoid, so why bother? everything that i have written in the last five years, with probably the exception of this is hardcore, has changed on me. sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a horribly wrong sort of way.

when i wrote if only, i had in mind a book that would successfully critique and condemn misogynistic male behaviour in the 1990's. It was supposed to be feminist and different, and much more stark and clear in its mission. then something happened. i found myself stuck on the subject matter, unable to move past the misogyny. and, i am ashamed to admit, perhaps i enjoyed it. what happened was that i started to repeat myself, with the first hundred pages being nothing but men out drinking, clubbing, fucking, treating everyone - men and women both - like shit. and when the scene did change up, it was probably worse, with me writing in some of the most horrible things i've ever written about one of my female characters. i found that by the end of the book, i was glorifying their behaviour and it sickened me. to top it all off, there was some odd story about finding paradise that sort of started out of nowhere, which led the main characters out on a roadtrip to nowhere. and you know what? even in the middle of nowhere, these guys were cads and assholes. i really felt bad for writing it, and i felt worse when the only people that liked it were guys. that wasn't supposed to happen. in the end, i wasn't sure if it failed because i was a bad writer, or if i really was a misogynistic person. i guess it was a bit of both in me, both things that i've been working on for a long time now to fix.

then i wrote desert sessions: an anti-corporate love story. it originally started out as platform, a book that was supposed to be a major indictment on the current political environment. but then something happened. i sort of ran away to montreal for a while, quitting my job, selling my car, and basically living like a bum in my friend Rod's apartment. i did nothing for a month and a half except be a burden to my friend. that's when platform started changing to desert sessions, but before i could write much on it, i ran away again, this time to europe for a while, going on this sort of odd quest to experience things. i ended up traveling on the road with complete strangers, sharing intimate details with them, things that i would never have told anyone back home. we shared everything to the point of being completely comfortable being naked with each other. it was an odd time for me because i could be who i wanted to be. no one knew me over there. i did what i wanted, and behaved how i liked, and most of that was spent in a drugged-up, alcoholic stupper. i was essentially free, until the money ran out. then i had an epiphany one sober day on a train from mont pellier to paris, france, and things changed for me then. i came back home and finished desert sessions in four months. instead of being a huge political opus, it ended up being primarily about my experiences wandering through europe and parts of canada.

then comes this is hardcore. this idea came fully formed to me, and it was the only real idea i had at the time, so i wrote it and i was finished in about 8 months. nothing much changed from the original concept except maybe the last section of the book. for the most part though, it followed the concept all the way through. i guess it's why i don't have much invested in it. it won't ever be a desert sessions, and i realize that. i don't think anything i write again will be like that book. and because of that, it will probably be my favorite book no matter what. this is hardcore really was based on the feelings i was feeling for one girl, who i now realize that i really don't have much of a connection with and never really did. i think this is why i feel disconnected from the book. why, despite it being my best writing, i don't love the book like i should.

finally, here comes revolutionaries wanted. already in the first month of writing, the name changed to cooler than the millions. again, i was set to write a political opus, an indictment on the current political times of fear and torture and justified wars. but something is happening. it's becoming personal again, and the politics is being pushed onto the back burner. this is frustrating, because i am coming to the belief now that i may never write that political opus. and i'm swallowing ideas from another book. i'm finding that concepts and themes that i reserved for my other project, live acoustic (open fire) are being swallowed up, or stolen by cooler than the millions. i realize that's silly, because i'm writing both, but i have a feeling that the two books will become one sooner or later. it's funny how this all works: i had set characters and set situations, and now i'm finding that i'm losing characters and loving the ones i have left. particularly the female character named sean (i had this wierd thing for sean young during the whole bladerunner thing), who i had as pretty much a throwaway character, just some sort of sexpot to sort of sit around and be pretty, but now, she's turned into the emotional center of the book.

all in all, i do welcome change, but i'm always afraid that i might get a situation like if only again. i guess i have to risk it. not everything i write can be successful. and in the end, i really do like a bit of risk. it keeps things interesting.