Yes, early. I spend a lot of time converting the things I experience and things I think into stories. I like that mad rush of the early stages of the story, where I seem to write more densely, and shovel on the composted notions to help my characters grow.
As ends approach things simplify – stripping away layer after layer of the apparent to be left with the actual, or what is called a conclusion. I like that a conclusion doesn’t necessarily mean closure.
Yesterday, my wife was watching something based on myths, and we got to talking about Joseph Campbell and Western Tradition, and how this compares to the Eastern Tradition of story-telling. It is always interesting to spar with an intellectual equal, and my wife is steeped in weird and interesting trivia about different tropes, and odd bits of cultural knowledge that she has picked up along the way. I sometimes would love to just record these conversations, if they weren’t such intimate intellectual ventures that for me are integral to my creative process.
I watched something on Gore Vidal and William Buckley Jr, and found it fascinating to see these two intellectuals from opposite sides of the fence arriving in themselves in some sense through sparring with each other. It was interesting to watch the psychic damage done to Buckley when he felt he had overstepped a personal boundary in what he said to Vidal, and to later see how broken the man seemed. But the atmosphere they had, where real debate was possible, with people whose views could hardly have been more diametrically opposed, was enviable.
Where is the debate of this caliber today? Where all the real intellects on television?
Sunday night I always read the newsletter put out by Warren Ellis – it is something of a ritual, and I am going to finish up writing this and read Spirits Of Place. Thinking is a joy, and expression of those thoughts is equally great – finding those who stimulate these urges in your life is a great thing. These people make me think.