Friday, February 12, 2010

Aw, Hell, who am I kidding?

Ever since I finished The Quantum Mechanic, all I've wanted to do is write Breath to Breath. So fuck it, I'm doing that. I mean, on one hand, I got a book up and going and done and out, so I need a breather or something, right? On the other hand, I also wanted to write BtB before, during, and after NaNoWriMo, and now I don't have a thirty-day constraint so I can take my time and do it right.

Mainly, my problem was that Douglas could solve all of his problems and never really had to accept defeat. But then, of course, that was the whole point of the book: omnipotence solves fucking problems and doesn't merely accept them. OK, done and over with.

Now it's time for some horror.

The tagline for Breath to Breath is, "The end of the world isn't all it's cracked up to be." The title is taken from a poem I read in high school, I Have a Rendezvous with Death, by Alan Seeger. Seeger is a poet who fought and died in World War I at the age of 28. He wanted a glorious death at a young age, and his wish was granted: "He was killed in action at Belloy-en-Santerre, famously cheering on his fellow soldiers in a successful charge after being hit several times himself by machine gun fire." (Wikipedia) I have a Rendezvous with Death was published posthumously, and here it is:
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
I didn't really appreciate it when I read it in high school, but then again, I didn't appreciate most poetry I read in high school. Ironically, what made me appreciate the poem was an ad for Gears of War 2, a game with great mechanics, well-paced action, and a story that was lovingly handcrafted by people with nine-pound hams on the ends of their arms. God-god dammit-dammit. At any rate, Breath to Breath is going to be about horror, I want to reiterate that: I want to horrify readers, but in a can't-look-away sort of way that is still enjoyable to read. Somehow. That's my challenge here. Wish me luck!

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