Chapter 3 you say? Wait, what? Thought I’d be weighing in on the Christine Blasey Ford allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, what she revealed to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his indignant rage over even being asked or Trump’s claim that the whole story is invented by the con-artist Democrats? That circus? Nope. Couldn’t do it tonight.
Thought I’d return to a world I love, where complex characters are round and full, and I really care about their trials and joys. Don’t worry. I will not shy away from my civic responsibilities for long, I just need to dip into my own internal drama, and take a break from the one playing out in Washington. It’s not that I’m not sympathetic to Ms. Ford either. My heart breaks for all survivors. I just am also thinking about Dale’s mom tonight. Who’s Dale you ask? What’s happened to his mom? Chapter 3 starts to really heat up this story line. Wait, you haven’t read any of my novel yet?
Missed Chapter One which was posted on June 28th? Or Chapter Two posted on July 5th? Well, catch the wave of excitement for this yet-to-be-published novel of mine, Crazy String, and straight away read those chapters. The funny part is that if Crazy String had gotten published by that first editor who contracted the novel to her agency for a year, but then dropped me when the contract ended, I would never have crawled into a non-writing hole, and long desperate months later emerged as Nine Cent Girl. My blogger self would never have been born! And oh, I love her.
Chapter 3 is a tease, I mean really, this chapter sets up plenty of questions, but answers are miles ahead. Please let me know what you are dying to find out about. I promise to let you know when the entirety of Crazy String hits the shelves as I’m shopping the manuscript around once again.
I am aware that if you are a humanitarian and liberal thinker, you are crying over this week’s terrors, but if you’re a conservative and supporter of our current administration you may be feeling triumphant, but currently I am focusing on creativity and staying clear of politics, as hard as that is for me and yes, it is hard to ignore humans in cages. Instead, I am planning for my work with next year’s students while taking a week-long class with two terrific colleagues. During all this plotting I can’t help but remember my own artistry, which is, of course, writing. The place I go to whenever given a second, an empty space, where I fall so hard whenever I have the chance. So… tonight I thought, why not share bits of that imaginative place?
Interested in reading Chapter 1 of a yet to be published novel? I’d love to know if you are… indeed… interested… and what you think afterwards. Please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll add another chapter to the storyline next week if you’d like.
There is no denying that at the center of memoir is an unreliable narrator. As I wrote yesterday,”Working with memory is even less faithful than fiction. There is nothing to google or investigate. Sure I can ask a brother or two, but I don’t remember any of them standing with me in that short hallway between the kitchen and my father’s den.” In memoir you stand alone, even if the subject of your work is the whole lot of you, you have only yourself to corroborate with.
As I plunge further into my own murky and dark past I have only my instinct to rely on; here the tenants of fiction and non-fiction collide, for they are both born of the creative spark that ignites my fingers across the keyboard. Beyond that they deviate.
There is an old adage, “write what you know,” that has been sounding away in my mind. Not that I ever try to write what I don’t know, but sorting out what story is the story to tell, the story that rolls around in my mind, and has, for years, isn’t always a direct line. To coax it into being I thought to set up a new writing area in my bedroom, away from the kitchen and living room, which although might be perfect blogging spots, tend to distract when one needs more concentrated concentration. To aid the process we carried in a table from my grandmother’s summer home stored in the garage attic. This, I reassured my timid self, is a starting point. And with that I started writing.
Ever wonder what writing magic you can create in only 7 minutes? Letting your mind minder into which ever direction you wish will relieve stress as you stumble on to a new idea. Students in my classroom, and classrooms all over, discover all kinds of wonderful when we find the right prompt. A few weeks ago many of us had a blast writing on Vermont Writes Day. You just never know what will turn up when you let your imagination soar.
As we close out dreary November, let us pause on this day of Thanks to do some Giving. To family, friends, strangers. No matter who where when. Through the ages, the best among us has lead the rest of us to the same state, that of gratitude. For a few moments, join with me to contemplate these sages and their best advice. That is all we need today. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust