Wednesday, July 14, 2010

life imitating art (or at least a first effort novel)

i'll start off by saying i've done absolutely no work on my novel.
i know i should, and i'm sure i will, but right now i have quite a full plate.

of course, there is always time for a-ha!

for the moment i am decidedly anti-twitter, but that doesn't stop me from checking up on my favorite norwegian men. it was quite a pleasant surprise to see them uploading pictures from the set of their video shoot. i was, like many other fans, incredibly pleased to learn their last single would indeed have a video to accompany it.
but then they uploaded the end of day/video shoot wrap picture. 

and i was totally blindsided.

i can only guess what these three men were feeling as they embraced each other. 
the image alone was enough to bring tears to my eyes. 
and imagining the waves of emotions they must have been feeling as they shared a last hug on their final video shoot kept the tears flowing.

so what does this have to do with my first novel? 
nothing, i thought. until my friend pointed out i was pretty much acting the same way as a character in the manuscript:

Remember your best friend that lived and breathed for a certain musician or band? Rio does, but the friend is her mother and the band is from the 80's. LAST TIME LA LUNA is the story of Rio Luna's attempt to live her life in the present and escape her mother's unrelenting obsession with the past. Rio (named after the hit song by Duran Duran) is convinced Momma's fanatical behavior has permanently branded "MISFIT" upon her forehead. Having grown up without knowing her father, or experiencing life as a "normal" teenager, she spends her days wishing Momma would get with the times.   
When realizing Momma enjoys living in the past more than she enjoys existing in the present, Rio at last begins to take responsibility for her own happiness, but just as she starts to blossom, Momma spirals into a deep depression after waking up from her 80's induced haze to find the world has passed her by. Frightened by the empty shell of a woman before her, Rio does everything she can to get her Duran Duran obsessed mother back, stumbling across her long lost father in the process. His sudden appearance bewilders Rio and causes Momma to instantly regress to 1984 and her teenage romance. As Rio's and Momma's individual needs clash head on, both mother and daughter are forced to face past and present together. Rio's shame and resentment towards Momma melt into empathy and support and she finds her life filled with more than she ever wished for.

now it wasn't exactly flattering to hear i was mirroring the same obsessive behaviour of one of my characters. in fact, as i wrote the novel it was my intent to show Momma as selfish and immature. imagine the great fun i had realizing i'd pretty much prophesied my own emotional state.

the truth is, i've always wished i were a teenager in the 80s. and i wrote the Momma character through my own personality filter. so her reaction to her favorite band losing two original members, and my reaction to a-ha disbanding are almost identical. when i wrote the novel i had no idea i would actually live some of it. yes, it was cathartic when i wrote it, but i had no clue how close to home it would actually hit.

i guess i can be pleased i managed to write something so realistic. and if i really do have the ability to predict the future, i can breathe easy since Momma's story does indeed have a happy ending.


4emkaa said...

this was like flashback ... for you ... for me it is totally new feeling, and to see this picture was so shocking to me ... discovering that this is THE END. I thought that I can make it, that I can get over it, but no ... it is still keeping me inside of sadness cage... No way out??? No, life is still very tempting with its new SONGS, BANDS and books ... but I will miss them so so much !!!

Christine Fletcher said...

What a neat revelation! It's fascinating when we discover how our lives dovetail with our novels, even when we never expected them to. I bet this gives you great insight into Momma's character.

This is the first time I've seen what your novel is about. Sounds fabulous...very intriguing! (Now get back to work!) (just kidding) ;)

mi said...

4emkaa - i will miss them too. and it really affects me when i see things that show how final it is.

christine - this was actually from my first novel. i'm currently writing my fourth, and it is VERY different.
but it was fascinating (albeit a little embarrassing) when my friend pointed this out to me!

SkippyMom said...

Where can I get a copy of your first novel? I would love to read it [and the second and the third and the fourth when it comes out :)]

That's neat that you prophesised but didn't realize it until your friend pointed it out.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

The description sounds interesting. I especially like the name choice of Rio, and I like the idea of the father showing up. Sometimes my characters end up resembling me a little too; I can't help it. They live in my mind, so I think they end up getting influenced by what I think.

Dawn said...

No need to be embarrassed, Mi. Your close friends may see the resemblance, but your legions of fans (now and into the future) will not have such inside info. And there's nothing wrong with passion - which you obviously have. Fourth book? Ahem...I'd be interesting in seeing the first three...

Random Thinker said...

Good fiction is supposed to ring true isn't it? How else could you write so convincingly about a passion like that without having some inkling of what it feels like. I think I felt the same way when Star Trek Next Generation was cancelled.

mi said...

skippy mom - i would be happy to email you the manuscript, but i have to warn you i've improved quite a bit since then so it's not the best representation of my writing.

neurotic workaholic - thanks! yes, it's true that we tend to write what we know, even if we are writing fiction!

dawn - you are the kindest! well, i don't want to put anything on your plate until you've finished your 100 for the year!

random thinker - i have a friend who was a HUGE TNG fan. and practically giggled like a girl when he found out his wife was working on the same web series as will wheaton.

Carrie said...

You have once again reminded me of our Duran Duran days...days that are forever in my heart. ;)

yogurt said...

i feel the same way.... i don't understand why is it so difficult to write... gibberish i can do. but a perfect article? hrmmm