Sunday, February 28, 2016

Irritation vs Mischief

If there were a tad more storage space, perhaps expanding the one closet by about twenty-five percent, your happiness with your studio would be complete. As things are, there is a generous area in the middle of things for the library table-as-desk on which your computer rests and is for all intents and purposes, your main work area.

There are times when you find yourself in the kitchen, seated at the dining table, jotting notes or editing, when time becomes more an abstraction, a metric of how long you've been engrossed in your favored method of composition, pen and paper. In either room, the main or kitchen, you are most of the time supremely happy.

Other times, after a few missteps resulting in a tap dance on the delete key, or the sound of a sheet being ripped from a note pad, and the kinetic sense of crumpling it before tossing it at some receptacle, you understand the need to act on one of your quirks, which is to scoop up your Macbook Pro and any necessary motes, whereupon you move to The Daily Grind on De La Vina St, or venture to either Peet's uptown or, a mile or so past that, Java Junction, any of which is likely to be filled, making it your good fortune to find a place to plunk down, order a coffee, and attempt to work.

The fact of either of the venues being noisy is the precise reason for your hegira from 409 E. Sola Street, and out into the world. At such times, you rely on the need to concentrate over the ambient noise in order to get into or approximate being into the anticipated work at hand.

You are in effect drowning out the ambient voices among the crowds at The Daily Grind, Peet's, or Java Junction. This stratagem often works to the point where, after finishing a large latte, you're able to return to 409, and work in the considerably less noisy place from which you set out.

You've gone from hearing no voices whatsoever to hearing a cacophony of them, which somehow results in your subsequent hearing of your own voices, speaking over the distracting voices. If you're fortunate, when you're on such a venture, you'll find one person, male or female, with a particular antiphonal sound to their voice, hitting the right pitch and cadence to having you scan the room to identify the offender, slip in a glower or two, then get on with the job at hand,which is damping the sounds of the room you're in so that you can hear the yowling of the voices strewn about your body and head.

Being irritated helps to the extent of you being lifted into a hyper concentration, where you are certain of hearing your own voices and better able to proceed. The irony rarely fails to amuse you, which is a good thing because of the early days you spent writing to burn off irritation. You are still subject to irritation, which is a good energy source of energy, and is not to be discounted, but the fact remains, being amused is also an able provider of energy. 

Being amused carries with it the implication that you will improvise or carry your intentions from a sense of mischief, which imparts a different tone to the narrative voice, a tone much more tolerant than the irritated voice, and, thus, making some form of satire easier to introduce without betraying the fact of the satire being present.

Because of your long association with irritation, you're quite able to judge its effect, which tends to be a form of exaggeration that heats up everything on the page, characters, their motives, their dialogue, their goals, and their level of pomposity. You have to watch carefully because you are more prone to judgment when irritation is shouting over the more dramatic voices in your head.

To be fair, you've been aware of being amused and mischievous nearly as long as you've been aware of irritation. Amused and mischievous are easier to control, leaving an effect upon you and potential readers of a different outcome. Your exaggerations of character, their responses, and the results of their responses seem more plausible even as you realize they are in fact less plausible than the outcome of irritation-based stories.

To be even fairer to the mischievous voices you hear with some regularity, mischievous is easier to work with, less difficult to control than irritation. When your characters reflect too intense an attitude toward plot, you're well advised to stop for a time, then consider shifting the narrative focus from fiery responses to a more thoughtful approach to resolution, a mischievous one, in which the antagonist is seen to have gotten away with a plausible amount and the protagonist has become a tad more amused, perhaps twenty-five percent more, just the amount of more closet space you'd enjoy in a more perfect apartment if not world. 

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