So here I am at work staring at a blank Word document while my schedule goes from blue—filled with clients—to white—abandoned and alone. Ordinarily I would simply write, but my brain is empty. I have written at least a hundred pages of my novel and don’t really know how to get over the middle hump—ALWAYS my problem with every novel I have ever tried to write.
I suspect I’ll just skip several weeks and attack some of the scenes I do sort of know what will happen in—is that sentence even English? Outline the third wedding and some of the anniversary party, hope that inspiration will strike or my characters will have interesting conversations and mention something they have been working on or I don’t even know, anything.
So my friend Pamela was telling me how she tells her grad students that writing is like driving. You have the steering wheel and the gear shift, but then you also have traffic and rain and a spider coming down from your rearview mirror, and construction, and you have to get to work on time, and you have to manage all those things at once. Writing, she says, is like that: managing voice and audience and content and deadlines, and context and style and the totally random page count and All The Things, all at the same time.
I feel as though that “all at the same time” part doesn’t entirely work for me, maybe because I think about managing some of that stuff in one draft, and other tasks in other drafts.
But, at the very least, I am glad she didn’t say driving was like parallel parking, because apparently, in Boston, nobody gets taught the methodical way to parallel park and everybody just does it by guess and by God.
But maybe that’s what revision is like.
Happy Fall, y’all. It’s that time of year, when everybody is eating, drinking and presumably smoking Pumpkin Spice Fill-in-the-Blank. I admit to being guilty. The Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Waffles have fewer calories, less sodium and cholesterol and more vitamins than their other flavors, and let’s face it a warm waffle on a chilly morning is a happy thing.
But pumpkin nachos? Oh, Joe, what were you thinking?
At least we now know what Linus van Pelt will be munching while waiting in his sincere pumpkin patch on Halloween.
So although most people go on summer vacation by, for example, actually going somewhere that is else, I took a summer vacation by working on my novel and basically abandoned the Blogosphere for two months. There were no beaches, maybe two cocktails, and zero blogs about sharks. Or much of anything else, or at least not written by me.
I would like to thank Wine and Cheese (Doodles), A Kinder Way, and Robert Okaji for letting me steal, um, reblog their wonderful work to keep my blog alive while I was writing 37,000 words of a book that starts with someone creating an OKCupid profile.
Obviously, the book will be a comedy.
So although I have not been writing for YOU, Gentle Readers, I have been writing, and thinking about writing, as always, 24/7. So we will declare vacation over, alas, but at least you get ME back.
Onions My knife never sings but hums instead when withdrawn from its block, a metallic whisper so modest only the wielder may hear it. Or perhaps the dog, who seems to enjoy the kitchen nearly as much as I. A Japanese blade, it’s a joy to hold, perfectly balanced, stainless steel-molybdenum alloy, blade and handle […]
via Onions — O at the Edges