After much deliberation — actually, it was a generous succession of free drink tickets and a flight of domestic bourbons at The Whiskey Priest which decided it for me — I’ve finally figured out what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo. Not an insane 1600-odd words a day though, but a more manageable stop-when-it-looks-kinda-right daily routine thing. (First time I tried it, with a piece based on Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” I stopped at around 600-odd words.)
Again, my rules: one piece a day (don’t hold me to this), based on a random song title.
Ruled out as too boring or unworkable: The Beatles (too generic), Led Zeppelin (no fucking way I’d write a piece called “Whole Lotta Love,” but damn, I have great memories of that song which I can’t tell any of you).
Candidates, really strong ones: The Smiths, Black Sabbath, Steely Dan, Guided By Voices. “As We Go Up, We Go Down” / “William, It Was Really Nothing” / “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” = Raymond Carver-worthy titles already, no?
The winner, about which I’ll try not to change my mind before November: Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain — 26 songs and two albums I know just about every note of and which I’ve loved and raved about since 1990-whenever it was they came out.
The song list, and therefore my flash fiction title list:
Summer Babe (Winter Version)
Trigger Cut / Wounded-Kite at :17
No Life Singed Her
In the Mouth a Desert
Conduit for Sale!
Zürich Is Stained
Chesley’s Little Wrists
Jackals, False Grails: The Lonesome Era
Elevate Me Later
Cut Your Hair
Heaven Is a Truck
Hit the Plane Down
Jesus, these titles are going to be trouble. (Maybe Wowee Zowee will be easier? Like, I think I already know how to write “Best Friend’s Arm.”)
Runner-up, in case I have a failure of nerve: the second, third and fourth proper Talking Heads albums (More Songs about Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, Remain in Light = 30 fantastic songs, though I think I would have ended up spinning my wheels already on “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel”).