Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dreaming Up More Story

I love writing, in theory.  In reality, I love coming up with the initial idea, and I love sharing what I have written with someone who might criticize it or love it, but will at least have taken the time to hear my voice and validate that I really do have a purpose in this life, even if it is only to flood an already saturated world with more words and pictures.  That step in between, that actual "writing" step, Love might be a bit strong for that, might in fact be at times actually opposite of my real feeling about the act.
Snag in my yard that reminds me of unicorns
60,000 words into a project I can no longer bear to see, I still know I am only 2/3 of the way to the shortest acceptable end product.  Chaining myself to the keyboard with the promise of chocolate at the end of cranking out another couple thousand words, I still find distractions.  My inner princess is acting about 7 as she finds books to order, people to chat with and games to play, tweets to send about not writing.  My inner parent stands arms akimbo, foot tapping and IGNORED.

Rope swing my kids have outgrown
I push away from the computer and take a walk around my yard.  Except for the woodpecker drilling away on the redwood stumps, it is silent and my thoughts begin to relax.  Relaxation is key for my creativity.  I think of the best storylines in that almost asleep state, usually in bed, just before drifting off, when if I don't get up and take notes, they will have evaporated by morning.  I usually don't get up.  Real life demands I face it with well rested energy, or the students sense my weakness and become weak themselves.

My cat follows as I circle the yard, like the obedient dog who raised him, Rocky can heel with the best of them.  His chatter is designed to encourage me to sit and take him on my lap, instead of return to work at that beloved and hated hobby of mine.


I call my decorating style Saturday Cartoon, Smurf blue, Pikachu yellow
I loved finishing, Duffy Barkley Is Not A Dog.  Writing and being able to say "I have written a novel" felt so wonderful.  But Duffy was not finished with me.  More of his story keeps popping into my head when I am no-where near the keyboard, and flittering away as I sit down and focus.  Now Duffy Barkley:  Seek Well
 It has hit a phase that I had managed to forget in that first novel, the phase where I have told most of the story, but need to go back and expand it, to "Show, not tell."

And there is something else, a boatload of new characters who are insisting on being included, even though their ship floats ghostly and abandoned at sea.

And the drudgery of remembering my original story is amazing, I sweat blood over it, it was part of my lungs and bones, so why now, is it so hard to remember if it was Belle Island or Bell Island - Turtle's Bow or Turtles Bay,  Ah'ee or Ah-ee?
a lot of my stories are dreamed up in the Lovesac
If I could not be a writer, life would be easy.  There would be no guilt when I picked up someone else's novel instead of opening the file with mine.  There would be no blood on my keyboard from chewing my lip in frustration.  I know there is beauty in this confused and angry world.  Why do I have to share that instead of quietly enjoying it?

Anyway, I have found that even now, when I am avoiding writing, I am writing.  Hear me Twitter?  I #amwriting.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this. . . I love the unicorn in your yard and I love Rocky. :-)

    And I do empathise! Especially about the 'inner princess' and 'adult' :-).

    I joined in the nanowrimo challenge last year despite never having written anything longer than a blog post. I managed to complete the month long challenge of writing 50,000 words - and ended up with 76,000 words that became the forst draft of my novel 'Learning how to fly a kite'.

    On my first read through, I chopped it down to 69,000 words. (The days where I was forcing myself to write just to get to my word count were glaringly obvious!) But, I loved my story and felt a tingle of excitement that I could actually 'do it'!

    Then came the hard bit, the word blindness when trying to catch all of the typos and rogue punctuation. The knowing that I wasn't even 'seeing it' properly anymore.

    So for the past couple of months it has been on hold, but now my lovely neice is reading it for me! and catching all the things i've missed - and best of all she is loving the story too!

    She is 3/4 of the way through it and when I get it back I know I have lots of amendments to do!

    In a way writing it is the EASY bit! :-)

    I can't believe I am aiming to do the same again this year.

    Keep at it, you are a lovely writer as you so ably show in your blog posts. x