Day 58 of #100daysofwriting and these stories become the willow pattern trilogy. From a B&B to the stars, the image of the willow pattern rears it head, this time in tea ceremony that goes wrong, in the eyes of the women on the opposite side of the river bank refusing to throw stones at the mother and daughter because their faith has decided that they are on the journey of the dead. Which is a metaphor for ritual killing. I note, as my mother taught me, that it is often what goes unsaid that it important. When I wanted to be an actor, my teacher Scott Whitehead, sat me down with the work of Brecht – he showed me how someone eats who is starving, Brecht was very clear on this, it reveals who that person is. Be wary of the person who does not bite. Be afraid of the person who eats slowly on the brink of starvation. These images appealed to me as a writer, they set me on the path to being a writer rather than an actor. Now, images link the stories I am writing and the tea house become the watch tower, and the crumbs on the plate the stars that they are not allowed to talk about.
Day 59 of #100daysofwriting and in the journey from the living room to my writing room I am two glasses of red wine up, as I pass my child’s bedroom he yells, ‘What you doing?’ My reply is, ‘Being civilized!’ Just proving that I am lightweight and shouldn’t write tipsy, what starts out easy soon becomes lethargic, I wonder how Hemmingway or even Thompson did it. I’m not Hemmingway drunk. I doubt I‘m even Sponge Bob Squarepants pissed. It’s been a long day and shows the constant problem that writers have, to write, to earn money to cover the bills, they’re both exhausting and not always mutually exclusive. The last 59 days have been a blast, a real waking up of my writing side, I can only think of myself as I was catching writing time between dead end jobs. Maybe that has been the problem, not seeing writing as a job, only seeing it as something to escape the daily grind of jobs. Maybe this is how Mausu feels fleeing into space, it has taken her from the home she loves and what she really needs. For the record, I am the man with the pipe and the beer to the left of the Hogarth print, being ‘civilized’.
Day 60 of #100daysofwriting and I am tired, it has been a long exhausting day and a tired mind makes for tired prose. I am rehashing whaling metaphors, and it is time to step back from the great white whale.
Day 61 of #100daysofwriting and suddenly the key to the story is revealed. All religions use fear but also they use individuals to be able to function outside their faith. For example, in my story, stars have spread so far from our night skies that they have become a symbol of hope/freedom, so they are naturally seen at evil by religion. In other words, don’t look up. Yet, we are in a society that has space travel and commerce, so they need things and those travelers are going to see stars, no matter how strong their faith. So we have two factions in society, watchers on the home world to look for stars that may reappear and beaders who travel the waste (space) and will more than likely see stars. So, what does religion do with them? They section them off from the rest of society and when the time comes they make the ultimate sacrifice, watchers walk into the jungle and beaders are cast adrift in space. They see these acts as martyrdom, becoming saints but in reality they are forgotten and replaced quickly. Some of them though see it as it is, murder but how can you stop ritual murder in a society that condones it?
Day 62 of #100daysofwriting and I am rejigging sections of text, it feels like the most horrible morris dance, like a sketch from the Fast Show where the batons crash and someone shouts, ‘Arse’.