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November 03


A few nights ago, I was getting ready to go to bed, Spotify on in the background.  As I flossed and brushed, Rachael Yamagata's "Duet" with Ray Lamontagne came on, a song I'd listened to many times without really paying too much attention to the lyrics.  For some reason, as I stood in front of my mirror and plucked at my teeth, I listened more alertly than normal.  After I was done washing up, I played it again.  Then I turned off the lights and my computer and went to bed.

Except I didn't sleep.

The song kept playing in my head, the words and the melody evoking an image I couldn't rid myself of.  I got up and wrote in my moleskin, a note for the next day.  I wanted to get rest.  But still, I couldn't stop thinking.

Finally, I gave in.  I turned on the light, turned my laptop back on and started playing the song on repeat.  In an hour, I'd written a few pages, mostly babble, ideas, but meant to channel a mood and idea more than anything clear and well-written.

This was my new project. 

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Two days ago, as Eugenia Leigh and I waited to hear Joan Didion read at Barnes and Noble, Eugenia mentioned that she was doing 30/30 for the month of November.  This meant a poem a day for thirty days.  Then she turned to me and told me I should attempt NaNoWriMo.  I opened my mouth to tell her I wasn't working on a novel, so what was the point?  But before I could, she added that I should work on the project I had told her about.


The one I'd dubbed a secret.

Not so secret now that I've posted about it online.

But secret in that it really is just a project.  It isn't a book, a novel, a short story, a collection of short stories, a novella, a ANYTHING.

It's just a document.  With words.

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For the next thirty days I will add to this document as much as I can.  I will do this without giving any clear thought to plot, character development, voice, structure, or any other element of craft.  The only missive is to write.  To play the song, and then to write, and see where it takes me.  To produce words every single day, be it 500 or 5000 a day.

I dub this The Curio Project.  Because that's what it feels like to me.  A random collection of kitsch, with no apparent connection besides a song.

I will not let any of the normal pressures paralyze me.  I will not allow myself to think of snipping and forming anything carefully crafted and beautiful.  I will not let myself think ahead or try to push my words into any direction.

This is an act of discovery.

And to make sure I'm accountable, I have started a Tumblr site where I will post a line a day from the day's writings. 

The only goal of this is to have material to sort through and make sense of by the end.

That's all.

That's the ONLY goal.

Happy November, beautiful people.




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