Writing can be like peeling an onion: there are always more layers, new things to learn. And sometimes you just want to cry.Continue reading
After seeing a letter to my 6 year-old from someone named “Eddie”:
“A silly boy in my class.”
“What’s he like?”
“He wants to be a clown when he grows up. And Sarah wants to be a State Fair owner. She’s going to have Eddie come and be a clown at her State Fair.”
Today after karate class the girls and I were eating dinner at a greasy spoon, waiting for our grub, and talking about imaginary karate techniques. It went something like this:
“I’m training for my rainbow belt.”
“Well I’m training for my one thousand black belt.”
“The rainbow belt is after that. Duuuuh!”
“It is not.”
“Then I’m training for my pink belt.”
“Do you know Red Apron?”
“Then you can’t get your pink belt. That’s required. You know … RED. PINK.”
“And so is Evading Form Seventeen.”
“Do you know Shattering Mirror?”
“No, but I know … Dubious Reflection.”
“What about Stare of Death?”
“So what you just … look at them funny and they die?”
“I don’t know that one either.”
“You better get on that.”
We went camping this weekend, 7 (or was it 8?) families at a beautiful lake in west Texas. I was stressing about losing the weekend, which is usually prime writing time, to the fun but mindless task of packing, driving, unpacking, cooking, herding kids, organizing hikes, etc. and worried that it would eat into my weekly page goal.
But the opposite actually happened. Getting away from the city and the computer for a few days was the best thing that could have happened. The overdoses of sugar, junk food, hyperactive children and fresh air acted like a kind of spa treatment on my brain, flushing all of the crap out of there so that when we returned last night I was working with an almost blank slate.
I’ve just started a new section of the book and am switching POV for awhile, and was having trouble settling into the new character’s skin. Today when I sat down to read what I’d completed so far, I scrapped the whole thing and started over. The result is much, much better than what I had going into the weekend.
It takes a ton of routine and discipline required to plug away at a book which could never see the light of day, but I’m finding that it’s going to be important for me to step back and build in regular “off the beaten path” experiences as well to ensure that the creative juices keep flowing.
Some notable quotes overheard this weekend … maybe future fodder for a story line or scene:
- 8-YEAR OLD GIRL: “My dog ate my brother’s umbilical cord.”
- 6-YEAR OLD GIRL: “[Redacted] just hit me.”
- PARENT: “Aren’t you in karate? Next time he does that, you should karate chop him.”
- 6-YEAR OLD GIRL: “That wouldn’t be appropriate.”