I have a thing about monochrome. The kind of beauty that fills me with awe, that staggers me to the point that can’t function for a time, almost always comes in a single shade. It doesn’t matter which. I have long felt that a snow-covered world is the world at its most beautiful, but I think that’s only a sliver of the truth. White is the only color that the dirty, vibrant, complicated modern world I grew up in chooses to paint itself from time to time. I would be just as awed if the skies opened up and bathed the landscape in violet-petals. Or if it was overgrown in a single night in moss, or the bright, distinct blue of a billion empty boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese.
The same is true of scenes on alien planets where the world is a single stark color. They make me feel both calm and energized. Emotionally fascinated and lulled into a state of unfeeling serenity. My mind and body are very sensitive to stimuli, and single-color scenes are exactly the right kind of overwhelming. And yet, reactions like this are difficult because they are very hard to put into words.
I haven’t explored this much in my writing. I did it at least once, and it’s one of my favorite of my own stories.
I want to go back there. To that place where there is no line between emotion and color. It’s not the kind of writing I crave, as a rule. I prefer ideas to sensations. But right now I’m out of ideas. Or rather, my ideas all bore me. So here we are. Since this is NaNo month, and I have once again realized that I’m not up for that kind of intensity, I’m going to start a new writing project: Colors.
I don’t know how many stories I am going to write, or how long they will be. But I’m going to do at least one a week for at least five weeks. Each of them will be focused on a single color. Some of them will probably be high concept and others not so much. Some of them will be as somber and self-serious as this post, and others will have more levity, like that picture of ties I put at the top of the post so I didn’t feel so ridiculous. The first time a tie has ever made me feel less ridiculous.
We’ll see what happens.