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by Felix Lee

28 october

today i started a new story, working title -felix-. felix is a type of character that everyone's already written about, but i think i have an interesting twist. this time he's a human writing a story about a cat. but then the cat becomes too real and felix has to destroy his creation to survive. not sure yet if it's going to be pyrotechnic burn-down-the-house ending or something more like literary deconstruction.

i know it's a bad idea to write stories about writers, but this is going to work well, i can feel it.

need to trim my whiskers. maybe i'll wash up before scott gets back with dinner. we're having salmon, yum.

29 october

dumb dog practically tried to chase me up a tree today, but i made it yelp good. stupid yappy thing. don't know why they're allowed to breed.

felix is going pretty well. it's awkward trying to fit everything into the journal style, but on the plus side i don't have to mess with dialog and i don't have to work out in detail what he looks like. i can keep most of the writing on an abstract conceptual level.

wondered a bit if felix would make his cat a dumb animal. better contrast between him and his creation. but i don't think it will work that way. the cat has to be intelligent and a little pushy or else there's no conflict.

30 october

felix is in trouble. today i suddenly realized there's nothing that tells the reader he's human, and there's no easy way to add that info. i mean who in their right mind is going to write in their journal,

i noticed my reflection in my cereal spoon and spent an hour gazing fondly at my shapely round ear lobes, my hairless cheeks, and the aristocratic point of my protuberant proboscis

dithered about this for a while and didn't get anywhere. forced myself to step around the block and spent time writing about felix's cat instead.

right now his name is xilef. i didn't want to break the flow by trying to find a good name, but now that i think about it, it's actually perfectly in character for felix to use a dumb name like that.

xilef is fun to write about. i was in a silly mood and decided to make it self-referential, so he's basically a twisted version of me. even gave him a boyfriend named scott. though the way the story is structured, readers will probably assume i'm more like felix than xilef. which i guess is ok. well, i'd better include a disclaimer.

31 october

only a few trick-or-treaters showed up. funniest one was a young kit dressed as mighty mouse, complete with fake plastic muscles.

one of them asked, 'were you the one... the dog that died in the park last week' i said yes, but i still don't remember seeing him. i don't remember seeing any kits at all, but i guess i was too stressed to pay attention to anything besides the dog.

i still don't have a good way around the felix problem. well, i do have a way, but it's a major change, and i'm not really sure i want to do it.

guess i'll sleep on it. good night for it. while looking up saints for -tybalt's lament- today, i found out that halloween is also the witches' new year, and a good time for changes to happen.

november 1

ok, felix is a cat, and xilef is a human. the change was easier than i thought. had to add some indirect details to help the reader keep it straight, but it's going great.

time to figure out the conflict. felix destroys xilef because xilef is hurting felix somehow. wonder how xilef can affect felix...

well, at one level, xilef is a mental construct which can take on a life of its own in felix's mind. gotta look up multiple-personality disorders.

or there's the alternate dimension approach. felix is subconsciously tapping into a parallel universe where xilef lives, and xilef taps back to felix. magic in the art of writing. cliche, but it's good enough for a quickie.

remember, finish that review of riven.

need to start planning the ending. conflict gets underway and felix becomes psychologically unbalanced by xilef's manipulation and starts making arbitrary changes in his story without really knowing why, which messes up xilef's reality in a vicious little feedback cycle, until... something happens. not sure what.

xilef's only hope is that one of the arbitrary changes just happens to restore an orderly universe. but the chances of this are slim.

noticed a cute typo in yesterday's journal entry. "kit" instead of "kid". i never used to make homophone mistakes before, but these days i'm getting more problems like that. usually catch them quickly though. i wonder if it's brain rot or is my brain organizing language differently than it used to.

november 2

lovely brisk autumn outside. three people today commented on scott's bare feet, and it's always the same: 'aren't you cold'. why do they always say the same thing. hmm. i wonder what type of person would say something different..

anyway, i've figured out xilef's motive. felix made a revision in his story that changed xilef, but xilef notices inconsistencies in his reality and lashes out at felix in anger. no, not lashes out. the counterattack has to be something subtle since they're not in the same reality.

still not sure if xilef is 'real' or not. problem is, no matter what, xilef is still two removes from the reader, so it's a major effort to establish believability. well, leaving it ambiguous may help. play with ontological issues and force the reader to involve themselves in the interpretation. feels hard to do... maybe i don't really need believability. i could just do the post-modern thing. not too thrilled with the idea, but it should be easy.

hmm. wonder why xilef doesn't try communicating with felix first before screwing things up. well, he probably does, but felix misses it or arrogantly ignores it. it's not every day you expect your fictional characters to try to talk to you, especially if it's indirect.

escher is leaving great puddles of piss these days and doesn't seem to be eating many crunchies. i wonder if we need to switch to a different dogfood.

november 3

dreamed again i had fur and claws. i was chasing something, or being chased, through a toy store or maybe a hardware store. there was one of those hopelessly mystical books about quantum mechanics on a top shelf and something significant about a sign, 'last cat to leave the store'.

felix is becoming a obsession. i really think i can finish this one and it'll be great. just have to figure out what the climactic ending is, and why felix is being so arbitrary with xilef's reality.

earlier today i decided that felix hates cats, which explains why he's being nasty to xilef. i had started revising the story to make that clear, but then i noticed i was confused. felix is the cat, not xilef. and anyway, it makes more sense to have felix hate dogs but xilef love them, or something like that.

hmm. i don't even know if there are dogs in felix's world. well, let's say they are, but not intelligent. no, that doesn't feel right. maybe, felix lives in a world where dogs are nobility. role-reversal of xilef owning a dog. cats are kept as wizards and jesters. actually, the wizards are forced to be jesters too and they resent playing the role and want to revolt but the dogs can.. umm... dunno what the dogs can do to the cats.

no, that's all wrong. felix is more like a lion, living in cooperative prides. dominant species in his world, breeding dogs for... no, this is all too unreal. and i was supposed to be avoiding that type of detail anyway.

i'm losing focus. can't quite gather up the loose ends. need to take a break. party starts soon.

november 4

head stuffed. headache. probably hangover. too much beer and champagne. scott's 40 now and he says he doesn't care, but he's acting snippy today. i don't know what he really wants from me.

my writing sucks. went through -felix- again, and it's a royal mess. half the time felix is the cat, the other half, xilef is the cat. i don't know why i keep screwing up.

tried to fix it a couple times, but nothing is ever quite right. the biggest problem is felix. he keeps wanting to do odd things with xilef, things way beyond the scope of the story. this is supposed to be a stupid short story, not some stupid overintellectual philosophical treatise.

i tried pruning the threads but it keeps diverging into those stupid tangents again. it's gonna take twice as long as i expected to get to the end of this stupid story. maybe even more. i'm stuck in stupid zeno's paradox again. can't i just finish a simple story for once///

it's a dumb idea anyway. maybe i'll just delete the stupid thing. need to reformat my disks and install redhat 4.2 anyway. there's nothing i have i really want to keep.

Felix Lee
15-16 November 1997

[standard disclaimer. this is fiction. while it borrows details from real life, it does not describe reality.]

Copyright 1997: Felix Lee <flee@teleport.com> . If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask the author for permission first.       Thank you.

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