Thursday, September 4, 2008

Puttering and working, and how sometimes they feel just alike

It is a humid and overcast kind of day here, today, with the promise of maybe a good thunder shower to really steam things up at some point. (I'm predicting approximately 2:52pm, which is right about when they rev up the car pool line at school.) I spent a fair portion of the morning running Joey to the orthodontist and home for ibuprofen and back to school and then going to the ATM and the post office. While also unlocking all the windows and removing screens so the painters can finish up the outside of the house (hopefully before that thunder shower hits). And also finishing up the invitations for the party Michael is having for his friends at school to come play video games and have pizza in mid-September. All eleven of them. Fifth graders. For pizza. And caffeinated beverages. And video games. For four hours. Did I mention they're fifth graders? But he was feeling too shy to have them over this summer, so if he's blossomed enough to feel comfortable not only having them over but also talking to the three new boys to get their addresses, then I can deal with four hours of them. Absolutely.

I've spent a little over an hour fussing with a new bibliography page, because I didn't like the old one, because I don't like fiddling with HTML every time I want to make a teeny change, and because I thought it'd be cool to have my personal blog match my bibliography. Technically, this should fall under the category of writing-related work, but that little productivity demon in the back of my brain keeps hollering that it doesn't count. I told him to hush and count it as part of yesterday's mini-celebration.

I appeased Mr. Productivity Demon by spending almost two hours brainstorming and making notes about what "Pale Roses" still needs to become a whole, breathing story. I even trotted out the ms and started scribbling in new lines/scenes/tweaks where they need to go. I'm struggling in that no man's land between knowing in abstract what the story needs and looking for the actual words strung together into sentences to make it happen. I think this is the part they call "writing."

Part of what I (think I've) figured out about "Pale Roses" is that maybe that IS its title, after all. Every time the logical part of my brain has considered what it could be instead, my muse has made little noises of disgust and objection. Every time I stop and wonder if maybe the title does work, she whispers seductively and sends chills up my spine, but she wouldn't tell me WHY I was getting chills. And the problem with those "it just feels right" moments for a writer is, you have to find a way to put it into words. You can't pass along gut feelings to other people just by willing it onto the page. So I sat down with some blank paper and did some cluster diagramming in an effort to sort it out. And it worked. I haven't put any of the notes I've come up with into the Google Doc, but I suppose I should. On the one hand, the process journal helped a lot along the way, but on the other, I'm afraid of losing what I've found if I grasp at it too tightly. So I may wait a day or two before I update the Google Doc.

Tomorrow, Joey's 7th grade class is taking a field trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art to see the Egyptian display. (Caution, there's a movie that opens from that last link.) I get to go with them! This will also involve an unnatural number of nearly-adolescent boys, this time crammed into my van for a 30-45 minute drive there and back. And at a fast food place on the way home for lunch. And the teacher and I are the only adults going, so... Yeah. But they're good kids for the most part, and I get to look at art. Cool. (When Joey said what he needed the permission slip signed for, I raised my hands and shouted, "Does she need drivers?!" It barely phased him this time.)

1 comment:

Thomas said...

I've always been a huge fan of seeing how things look and feel and work behind the scenes; I think it's probably one of the main reasons I went to work at Disney.

Please do continue to update the Google Doc! Even if it's a day or two behind, it's still a fantastic insight into the writing and creative processes.