House and Living Organics at the Dryden

I headed over to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to catch the films screened there. Starting out was a short film called Living Organics which was a series of animated, abstract vignettes depicting how modern culture works to remove humanity from the living world it is part of. It was fitting introductory piece to Hausu (House).

There really is no way to explain what happens in the movie. It's rooted in a nightmare horror scenario where members of a party disappear one at a time. Its execution … well, that's another story. My friend Albert commented afterward that it was very dreamlike — so perfectly so, in some ways, that we were having a hard time remembering the events that transpired. It's supremely bizarre narrative. I guess it makes a little more sense from a Japanese perspective, as there are some cultural references — but even then, it's dominated so much by this dreamy nightmare motif that it's really hard to explain.

Writing a novel this month

Last year I signed up for National Novel Writing Month but I never even started writing anything. This year I told myself I'd commit to it. The gist is to try and write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Obviously, it's not about writing the best novel, just a novel. My profile includes the stats for how far I've come so far. Yesterday I wrote 1455 words which is short of the 1667 needed to hit 50K in 30 days, but it's a start.

I titled it "Memoirs of an Idealist". I'm trying to embrace the philosophy of starting from a kernel and letting it grow on its own. I also have no illusions that this will be any less "semi-autobiographical" than any other author's first novel. And in so, I'm drawing from my inner demons — the ones that wake me up at 3 in the morning and present me with an impossible situation to challenge my ideals. They follow the same theme of trying to crush my individuality, whether it's an authority trying to make a uniform world, or some jerk trying to impose their ideals.

Writing the first chapter was painful to think back on. I just forged ahead with almost no editing. It was horrifying. I didn't go back to fix any missing parts or to try and fill in details I thought I'd needed. But by the end of it, things are starting to flesh out. I've got inklings of several characters and I have no idea what they will do or be like yet.