I am not a particularly fast reader, but I did spend an unprecedented amount of time immersed in C.J. Lavigne’s debut novel, In Veritas . It is a story ostensibly about communication in which the major character, named Verity, is pretty much unable to communicate in the usual manner. The crossed-wires in her brain give her a severe case of synesthesia which lock her into her own somewhat non-sensical world and contributed strongly to making her an outcast from a very young age. – with the added complication that people have an impossible time lying in her presence. She escapes from incarceration in a mental health facility with Jacob, a wealthy young man who seems to be somewhere in the autistic spectrum. Having been cheated out of control of his family fortune, he does pretty well on the stipend he receives. Jacob and Verity live together in an affectionate - although emotionally distant and seemingly platonic - relationship where he switches career paths every five minutes and
I set out to write a nice light post about the first episode of the new season of Wynonna Earp , the movie The Colour of Space , the first season of HBO’s Perry Mason and the first season of Warrior Nun. But I ended up in a bit of a diatribe about how the entertainment alternatives that seemed so numerous and satisfying before the pandemic, now seem inadequate to fight off the ennui and despair that continues to undermine us during and in the wake of the first wave of the pandemic. Maybe it’s a stress thing; we find it harder to cut loose and enjoy anything in the lower functioning state most of us have adopted. Sports teams are playing weird, shortened seasons for remote audiences. TV, the music industry and publishing have all stalled out. There’s very little new entertainment coming out and most of us have finished watching, reading, and listening to work we would be naturally inclined to enjoy. We’re panning for gold in places we wouldn’t ordinarily be inclined to look for it.
I’ve never called myself a Chuck Palahniuk fan. I’ve been aware of him only since the Fight Club movie and have read only Invisible Monsters and Fight Club . I’ve never been to one of his readings, though they seem to be pretty amazing and I’ll probably catch one if I get a chance. While looking him up online, I came upon a piece of his writing advice on Litreactor about avoiding the use of thought verbs. It was genius. It spoke directly to me and my worst tendencies as a writer like no teacher or article has before – and it came to me at exactly the right time. IE: while I’m on the fourth draft of the novel and that level of editing is at its easiest (which is a bit like saying it’s easiest jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle when the sun isn’t directly in your eyes). When I discovered that Palahniuk had written an entire book on writing, it seemed like a good investment, even if all I was doing by buying it was paying him properly for the thought verb essay. I am del