Monday, February 02, 2009

The Subconscious Strikes Again

Well, it turned out that I needed the chocolate for Friday Night Lights. For Battlestar Galactica I probably needed valium. I think that was the most intense hour of TV I've watched in ages, and supposedly the next episode will be even more intense. I love Friday Night Lights, but the problem is that it's almost too realistic. They manage that slice of life feeling, and shooting on location makes it even more real, so it's almost like we're snooping on real people, and then the things they go through are not just things I can imagine. Since I'm from a small Texas town, some of those things are what I have gone through or seen people go through. Except, in my town, it was often the band boosters who had the power (though they never would have dared confront the band director), and there were years when the football team mostly existed to provide a performance venue for the marching band.

I mostly got through Friday night, both the depression and the intensity, by flipping over to the show tunes channel during commercial breaks. A little Spamalot during the mutiny helped a great deal.

In other TV notes, just as a reminder to those who are interested (Mom), Chuck is back tonight. Supposedly, it's a 3D episode. At one point I had a pair of 3D glasses from a really cheapo touring production of Starlight Express, where the way they handled the race scenes was to lower a screen over the stage and show a 3D film of the race instead of actually doing the races (though I imagine building the tracks out into the auditorium would be nearly impossible in a touring production). I'm just not sure if I still have the glasses or where I might have put them. Even if you're an "everything in its place" person, it's not like there's an easily remembered, obvious place to put away a pair of 3D glasses. 3D doesn't always work on me, anyway. It just gives me a headache, and I already have a headache (thanks to yet another drastic weather change), so I may listen to Chuck tonight instead of watching intently.

Meanwhile, my subconscious continues to amaze me. Once I decided to use a particular area where I used to live as a setting, I had a vague recollection of my German teacher in fifth grade telling us about some local legend in that area that had some similarities to the Nagging Idea. A little Googling turned up one thing about how yet another very famous legend may possibly be based on something that happened in that area, but that wasn't the one I was originally thinking of. But then I found the story my teacher had told us, and it turns out that it involved the castle over the village next to where I lived, and there was even a name involved in that story that's similar to what I'd been thinking of naming one of my characters. So, I'd decided on the setting mostly because it was familiar to me and I have photos of it, and it turns out there are two legends linked to that area that have things in common with my story idea. I'm mostly using the real-world setting as a basis for an imaginary fantasy setting, but it's cool when things fall into place like that. It means that it really might feel like the kind of thing that could happen in a place like that.

And now that I've done some additional research, I'm wishing I could go back for a visit. I found out things about the area that I didn't realize were there when we lived there, and now I want to see them. Plus, it's not a really famous touristy area. Most of the info I've found has been from British newspapers, with articles on how it's odd that Brits don't visit this place more often. The official tourism information I've found is only in German (which could be why Brits don't visit more often). I'm pushing my ability to decipher German to the limit. I can navigate the country, even using a map written in German (except in cases where the map happens to show a completed Autobahn where they're still shoving dirt around, but that's hardly my fault). I can read a restaurant menu. I can even generally figure out historical markers and other info like that. This is going to require a good dictionary.

Ah, the things I go through for my art. But the Nagging Idea is making me kind of tingly, with that "Oh, yeah, this is it" sense, and I really want to do it justice. I want the book to be as good as the idea.

I did learn from my research that they've closed the American garrison in that area. That's like hearing they've closed down your hometown. It's a little upsetting. Not that I know anyone there, but I did go back once as an adult, and now it's weird to think that it may not be there anymore. I don't know what they did with the buildings, if they turned them over to the civilian city and if maybe the houses are just available to anyone or if they're being torn down.

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