Friday, July 15, 2011

New York Extended Vacation

I've been in New York (Brooklyn) now for two weeks. The picture to the left is of B and my very close friend (and old college roommate) Mark at the pier in Greenpoint. The East River Ferry just opened about 3 or 4 weeks ago. B and I have been meaning to take it somewhere but we haven't had the chance just yet. Our nights have been filled mostly with cooking at home and eating out on the balcony, watching pedestrians walk beneath us. I've also begun editing for the third draft of my novel, WOLF/catherine. The first part WOLF is being edited now. The second part catherine is only in an initial draft form. B read a few pages of it and recommended a lot of good ideas. But for now WOLF has my attention. I've reworked and rewritten the first 7 chapters of WOLF. Thankfully, I think I'm doing a good job. The first 4 chapters of the book were written back in August 2010. As I got further into the book/story, the writing and style changed slightly and my control over the narrator strengthened. So to go back to the beginning chapters was sometimes horrifying. I couldn't stand to read what I had done and looked forward to rewriting them. This is why I say 'thankfully' - because had I rewritten the first 4 chapters, reread them and still felt a deep sense of failure, I think I would be in trouble. My teacher/mentor at CCA, Dodie Bellamy, repeatedly told me that the beginning and ending of a book are extremely important. I think that the end of WOLF is great and when I read it I feel happy with it (though of course I know I will likely change it in some way; it can always be made better). However, the beginning, I felt, was just horrible. Now, I read the beginning and I feel good about what I've done. I have a confidence that wasn't there before and I won't be so nervous sending it out to editors/agents/publishers, etc.

After B, Mark, and I finished our walk through Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Mark and I took the train and a gypsy cab to Mark's high school friend Mohan's house, also in Brooklyn. The picture to the left is Mark and Mohan preparing to play Super Smash Brothers on Wii. Sophomore year of college I moved in with Mark and two other friends (File and Ari). Mark got us all hooked on playing 4-player Smash Brothers. My favorite character at first was Bowser. His moves were simple and powerful, but he was also slow and lumbering. After I became a better player I switched to Zelda and her alter-ego Sheik. I prefer Sheik's speed and agility. She has no defense though so it's difficult to play people like Mark and Mohan who are by this point in their lives expert Smash Brother players.

The picture to the left is B eating watermelon at Lake Wildwood in Northern California. Her grandmother owns a house there. Her family was all gathered in the area to attend B's cousin's wedding. I include this picture now (which was taken in later June) only to point out that in the spring I was working on some prose/poem pieces which envisioned this sort of scene. Two friends from CCA and I have been planning to put out a book of summery type poems/fictions. I wanted to write about a feeling of summer and when I thought of this feeling I envisioned this picture of B. It was an ideal time.


Sam said...

If you're still there by Sept 1st, let me know.

Jason R Jimenez said...

I will Sam-wise.