Ugh, The Seance

I am really stoked about the Inanna part. There’s stripping and fucking and history and magic and my Grandma (people, yes, for a story about Nashville, it’s filling up with dead people who married Phillipses) and omni-gendered priests and Inanna dressed like the twilight sky. And the importance of trying to live with the truth about history and not the lies that make it easier.

And can we just acknowledge that, out of all of the Baxters I could find pictures of on the internet, poor Jere was not as fortunate in the looks department as Ed or their cousin Baxter Smith? I almost regret siccing The Thing on Baxter Smith. On second thought, could it just be that Jere looks like my Uncle M and so I’m immune to his relative charms? I’m just saying, if you want to make Jere Baxter your history boyfriend, I’ll only judge you a little.

But the seance. Ugh. I don’t know. Luckily, this is still the first draft, so other things will happen and that will firm up whether what needs to happen in the seance does. But we established that Metcalf is back, though something is very wrong with him, that the other Sue Perkins is freshly dead, and that the living Nancy Perkins is marrying Bobby Overton, thus paving the way for the return of Lee Overton, my bad guy, and his methed out homicidal son, who he has unleashed on the past, because he is a giant baby. Lee, not his son.

And you’ll be unsurprised to learn that Bobby Overton’s name is Robert Lee Overton. Because nothing says “We’ve accepted defeat” like naming your kid after General Lee. Makes you wonder what the fuck Robert Frost’s parents were thinking.

But the seance scene. Ugh. Writing it was just like pulling teeth. It felt too mechanical–this happened, and then this happened. But, like I said, no diagnosing it until the whole thing is done.

I’m also debating whether to leave the butt sex scenes in. I’d decided to cut them, but upon rereading them, I felt like they told you a lot about the characters and why they didn’t quite fit in polite society, so now I’m tempted to leave them. I mean, there’s already temple prostitutes and grown men kissing teenage war widows on the cooter. Why not just go whole hog?

See? So, next draft, I rewrite the seance as an orgy. Then it will be fine.

Our relationship with our own history makes us kin to Salome, as she’s using the soft, solid curve of her shifting hip to draw attention to the contrast between the loud, driving rhythm of the palace drums and the silent, gentle motion each of her seven veils makes as it floats toward the mosaic floor. Our blatant seductions–”We will say that our men were heroes,” “We will say that our grandfathers’ motivations were noble,” “We will love them without complications,” or more importantly, “We will let you love them without complications”–promise what we will give in exchange for the death of truth.

Davy Jones Gone, I Suppose, to Davy Jones’s Locker

The amount of time I spent watching The Monkees as a kid… man, how many sick days were spent with me curled up either on the couch or in a Laz-y-boy watching The Monkees. Davy was my favorite, at first, though I later shifted to Peter.

They’re so young, now. You don’t see it when you’re a kid, but now that I’m older, they look like babies.

My cousin M. taught me to French kiss in my parents’ trailer when she showed me on a pillow she was pretending was Davy Jones. I didn’t really get what the fuss was, but I thought, if that’s the kind of thing The Monkees like, then I’ll learn, damn it.

I know they weren’t a “real” band, but I still liked them. Rest in peace, Davy.

This is my favorite song:

To Dine or Not to Dine

The Butcher is having dinner with a high school buddy, which means I am going to get a huge chunk of time this evening to write. I want to get two things done. One is that I have this idea that how we relate to history is like we’re dancing the dance of the seven veils, which is, itself, a religious rite turned strip-tease. We dance it thinking that we can seduce Herod and change reality to suit our whims. But we forget that it’s a ritual, designed to invoke Inanna’s holy strip tease into the underworld. Which items we’re willing to remove, how many gates we’re willing to go through–that all ties in with how square in the face we’re ready to look at our history. And the ancient lesson we’re all trying to pretend like we don’t know is that there is no escape from Ereshkigal’s land. We, too, join the heroes and the regular people in a kind of depressing place–which is, obviously, the past.

I don’t have it quite worked out. Plus, even though I know it like it’s a fact–that the Dance of the Seven Veils is an allusion to Inanna’s journey–I think I just made it up. I see no mention of it on the internet at all. It’s possible Barbara Walker made it up and it’s stuck with me? I don’t know. But I like it.

Anyway, so there’s that–history as the eternal dance partner of the stripper.

And there’s the infamous Walpurgis Night seance at the Allens, which I’m totally making up. But doesn’t it seems like there should be an infamous Walpurgis Night seance at the Allens? I need to write that.

I’m just not sure if I have to include the dinner before the seance or not. I’m not sure what could happen at the dinner that would be necessary for the book, but it seems weird to jump right into the whole “Let’s talk to dead people” thing.

I may leave it out but with a note to myself that it may need to go in in the next draft.

But I’m hoping to get a draft of the meditation on strippers and the seance done tonight! I am nerdily excited about this.

Don’t Make Eye-Contact! We Don’t Want to Startle It!

Ha, just when I was all “Eh, nostalgia, what crap!” Jamie Hollin wrote a post on some happenings in the blogosphere yesterday.

I write a post on a subject I feel compelled to tell. JR Lind with the SouthComm family posts a link thereto on Post Politics. The hits driven by JR’s post make my site counter spiral upward. I don’t know, but perhaps Betsy found it there and offers up her own response. Then Trace over at Newscoma served up her aforementioned response to the Q & A provided by Betsy with another link back to my post. Then again, JR posts both Betsy’s and Trace’s posts. I know I’ve been getting traffic from all sources all day today. More of the traffic came from SouthComm’s Post Politics instead of SouthComm’s Pith in the Wind.

(Note: Hollin is in my feed reader. So, I probably found his post the same place JR did–on his site. But I know that Post Politics is indeed how most Tennesseans who want to find online political content do so.)

Remember when it was like this all the time? Back in the Nashville is Talking days? When people did have long multi-blog conversations? Yeah, that was nice. It was like this.

I wonder if this is an anomaly or if it’s possible to get back to those kinds of discussions? It takes a lot of faith in the good-will of all participants in order for these kinds of discussions to happen and, I’ll admit, that kind of good-will can often be hard to come by. These days, when things spread from blog to blog, it’s usually in anger, not in interest and curiosity.

But it’s nice to see that it can sometimes work in the good way.