17 November 2009

Slogging through

It's November, and it's raining.

I haven't written a word of the novel in about a week. I knew all along it wasn't going to get finished in November anyway -- I started it over a year ago and hadn't touched it in months, and it was getting really complicated before October ever got close to ending -- but I really meant to push this month.

Well, water under the bridge and all that. Will write tonight, before I go to bed. (It's not like I haven't done anything. The story is several pages farther along in my head -- it's just a matter of getting it down in black and white.)

Work is strange. I've decided to just put my head down, work my tushie off, and not think about the "what ifs" and "maybes." So far, so good. Except that I keep getting interrupted by anxious people -- and by people who (a) don't know what they want, (b) think they do, and (c) keep missing their own deadlines by a week or two. To date, I have not slapped anyone, although the thought has crossed my mind.

Yoga class today was wonderful. Our little yogi, Ashley-Brooke -- she who appears to be barely out of her teens but with a very old soul and a kooky sense of humor -- reminded us that the rain is the Earth's way of cleansing itself. Reminded me of sister Murial, who used to laugh when I would miss Friday night meditation for weeks, then show up just as the rain started: "Oh, here's Cynthia, and she's brought us a cleansing again!" So I felt connected to Murial from the beginning. But then Ashley-Brooke suggested that, it being the new moon and all, we might want to use this time to cleanse ourselves of something that was weighing us down.

I decided to let go of my crankiness. That's not to say I won't still snap at people who are too dumb to live. Or too mean to die. It just means, if I can do something productive to remove the obstacles in my path, I will do that instead of just sitting at my desk and gritching. So...

Two hours later, I was confronted with a communication from one of those people (never mind which), and I decided to stay calm, be rational, and discuss instead of react. And what happened? This individual got defensive, testy, and actually almost combative.

Geez Louise.

But now, another six hours after, I'm wondering if that's not just a knee-jerk reaction on her part. Or maybe even a perfectly reasonable reaction, if she interpreted my opening remarks as being somehow preachy or smug. So tomorrow, I'll go back and go at it from another direction.

This reminds me of the Lent several years ago, when I decided to give up gossip. It was kind of an amazing transformational experience. You should try it sometime. :-)

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep slogging through the rain, churning out words and looking for the USB connector so I can download the pictures I took last weekend. One of these days, there will be pictures on this blog...

05 November 2009


It's here! National Novel Writing Month - the month of November, when ambitious writers all over the world compete to try and knock out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I'm about 5,000 words in, so I'm running behind schedule at this point. If I'm not around much for the next 4 weeks, that's why. I'm finally getting that best-seller down on virtual paper!

It's really quite a challenge. Not the words so much as just doing it. Sitting down and committing to writing three pages before I get up - six on the weekends - typing and thinking and typing and thinking and (here's the scary part) not self-editing.

I can't do that yet. Or not do it, as the case may be. I'm getting better, but I still have to back up and correct typos as I sense them falling out of my fingers. I still catch myself reading over what I wrote last night to see if it makes sense. That's not the point. The discipline is the point. Finishing the first draft is the point. Learning you can go back and fill in the holes in your plot later is the point.

Right now, I have about a quarter of a story, woven in and out of three really good character sketches. Well, two really good ones, one pretty good one, and one really good accidental one that turned up in the middle of one of the really good ones about another character. Oddly, it's turning into a mystery, which is a genre I love but didn't really think I could write. And I have no idea where it's going. I haven't a clue how it's going to turn out. In fact, I don't know what these characters are going to do tomorrow morning when they wake up and realize their lives just did hairpin turns and tripped over things they didn't know were there. Never mind the end - they've got to get through tomorrow first!

And don't we all. God, I love writing!