Laughing at Myself

Rule #62: Don't take yourself too seriously.

As soon I finished yesterday's process entry, so serious, all about hunkering down to just write-write-write, I got up from my pink chair, walked to the kitchen, and began making a dee-luxe tuna fish salad. Well!

While the boiled eggs cooled, Richard and I went to Home Depot for the last of the 2x4x8s that we need to stack the last of the firewood, and we bought three trash cans and some autumn beauty.

After lunch on the front porch, I moved the last of the firewood with Jim. Now there is just the driveway clean-up to do.

And then I came back inside, sat down in the pink Star Trek chair, and rewrote chapter six. Finished it. It took two more hours, but it is done. This is the first chapter of the old revision that I'm linking to the new beginning.

I have been struggling with chapter six for two days. It wasn't working with this new beginning, but I thought I could keep it if I figured out how to make it work, because there's great good story stuff in there and I've already thrown out so much, and I would toss this if I had to, but maybe, just maybe --

And, after a couple of hours disconnected from the story -- making a meal, running some errands, stacking some wood, bringing home some natural beauty, dining al fresco... my mind cleared, and I could see what to do.

Why do I always forget this part? I can tell myself I need to move, but I won't do it when I get into that trench. And there is deep, good work done there (one of the reasons I won't move, I'm sure).

But I can't stay there too long, or I coagulate. (Thank you, Word Wealth Junior, as Franny says in this novel.) My story lumps up and won't let me stir it, won't let me ... all right, all right, enough with the puny metaphorical stuff.

I like to think I have an inner-barometer that gets me up and out of the chair when I need to re-engage with the world around me, when I need to clear the cobwebs. While it's freeing to know that I get to choose whether or not I'm hunkered in for the duration or practicing that balance beam of in-and-out, it's scary, too, because it requires that I know myself well, know my needs, and know my limitations.

It's scary, too, because I do not always pull out of this trench well. As I finished ALL-STARS in December 2006, I was so deeply, deeply in the trench, not even seeing the world around me, squirreled away for the duration, that I almost buried myself there forever. I don't want to do that again. But this is a story for another time.

Back to work this morning. I figured out how to keep the core of chapter six yesterday and move my story forward by stealing from discarded chapters and sticking with it long enough to discover more of who Jo Ellen really is, and what her relationship with Franny is like. Today, more of same. Another Big Middle chapter from the previous revision is going to require the same work today.

I'm not sure I'm putting it in the right place -- does it come later? I won't know until I hitch it to the tail of chapter six and see where it takes me.

Rule #62.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy. Moderating comments to prevent spam. I'm sure you're not that. Thanks for your thoughts! Write on, warrior on. Make art.