I have a dual alarm clock.
Which is to say I first wake up in the morning somewhere between four and four thirty in the morning. Then a little while later, I wake up for good at five thirty. In between, I fluctuate between the real world and world of dreams.
Bear with me on this as there is a point to be had.
During that fluctuation, I often have moments of true clarity about the various people, situations and things that make up my day-to-day existence on this blue marble. Doesn't matter what the issue may be, because more often than not, I can come up with anywhere from a partial to a complete solution to the issue at hand.
As of late, the fluctuations have been about writing, specifically, my blog and the unfinished novel that I started last summer. I managed to solve the blog issue by rearranging my posting schedule (see here as to why), and as for the unfinished novel, I decided to put that on the shelf, simply because what I have to write next for it (a wake, a eulogy, a suicide and tying up all the loose ends), involves the type of emotional investment that I simply don't have the stomach for at the moment.
Enter my personal fluctuation zone.
While I was thinking about what to write for my other blog one early Saturday morning, I had a story idea pop into my head. The idea was about a woman who needed to raise money to pay off a debt. It wasn't much to go on, so I spent the rest of that Saturday turning the idea over in my head trying to come up with a way to make it plausible.
Come Sunday morning, specifically, Super Bowl Sunday, I had a moment of true clarity. How clear was it? When I finally woke up that morning, not only did I have a way to make it plausible, but I had an entire outline mentally written from beginning to end.
After I got done doing the blog thing, I got busy writing the story. The first thing that I came up with was the title of the story, which is the title of this post. The way I came up with the title was pretty simple. That particular weekend, I was doing my taxes, and on the 1040, line 21 is where you would put other earned income that doesn't fit anywhere else on the front.
Once I got the title, the rest of the story started pouring out in big chunks (at least 1K per day). As we speak, I am currently sitting at 31K for a word count, with another 19K at the very least to go. I did mention on my Facebook page what the story was about, which generated a few interesting comments from Ms. WW, and now I feel comfortable enough to clue everyone else in on what it is that's got me excited about writing for the first time in four and half years.
1) The basic idea was that a woman needed to earn money because she was in debt. The plot: Jeannie Mitchell is behind on her payments to her loan shark, and her uncle had graciously agreed to give her a six day extension to come up with the $2,000 so as to make herself current. She meets a man in the park who works for a movie production company. By the end of the day, Ms. Mitchell has decided to get a job in the adult movie industry.
2) Sub plot 1: Jeannie has a symbiont named Aissa (pronounced "Eye-sha") who is her sister/confidant/guardian in this little shindig, who helps her confront her hesitancy and self doubt. She talks to her either in her mind or face-to-face via a reflection in a mirror.
3) Sub plot 2: Jeannie hooked up with the proverbial boy-next-door, who hasn't a clue on what Jeannie has decided to work at/for.
4) Sub plot 3: Since Jeannie is able to talk to Aissa either in her mind or face-to-face, and Aissa vice versa, I decided to through a swerve into the mix by having Aissa change places with Jeannie, so that she might experience a littl of what Jeannie is experiencing.
5) Now, most of you may think that it is virtually impossible to write a story about a woman becoming an adult movie actress and showing exactly what it is that she's doing, without becoming sexually explicit with the details (see here for a bad example). Guess what gang, I did just that. I managed to write three movie scenes that goes into normal detail about what's involved, without being sexually explicit about it. I approached each scene as a basic movie shoot and wrote it from that viewpoint.
6) Language: because I chose not to become sexually explicit/graphic with the content (but if/when I can land a agent/publisher who may want that, everything can be easily fixed with a good re-write), I had to tidy up the language to a certain degree. For instance, instead of using the typical noun to describe a woman's butt, I used the word "butt". I also toned down the overall language in the story, so that not every three sentences is being planted with the proverbial F-bomb.
Right now as of the day of this post, I am in the home stretch. I managed to peak out at Wednesday, so now I'm working on the second day of the movie shoot (Thursday), with the climax (no pun intended) set for Friday evening, when Jeannie has to meet up with uncle and pay him off. Plus, I have to resolve not only the issue with her potential new boyfriend, Geoff, but also with her symbiont Aissa.
So my friends, this is my current writing project, and for a change of pace, it acknowledges both the economic realities of the day, and the personal mores of the individual who has to make that difficult choice in living with the economic realities of the day.
And just for ha-ha's, here is a question for you: When do you have your moments of true clarity? Do they come in the wee hours of the morning, or do they come during your personal down time?