Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Ramblings

It's a beautiful day here in Colorado. Sunny, mild, clear skies. Just the kind of weather the rest of the country thinks we don't have in the fall and winter. But we do have a lot of them. A perfect day for a walk, and people seem to be taking advantage of it. I plan to go hiking tomorrow and Sunday to refill the well as it were.

There's a regular daycare center at the end of the street and another one closer to the building for developmentally disabled adolescents and adults. There are also a lot of medical offices on our street. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my office is sort of 'garden level'. My window is high in the wall, but just above the ground outside. It gives a unique perspective on the world outside when I'm sitting at my desk. I see lots of sky and treetops until someone walks past. Some of the adolescents and adults walked by this morning with a couple of the attendants. They all seemed to be having a great time, enjoying the warm day.

A little while ago a woman in a smock--looked like she works in one of the doctor's offices--walked by. She kept glancing in the window with a really sour expression on her face. Now maybe she's got the cold that's going around. Maybe she hates her job. Maybe she got some bad news or didn't like her lunch. Maybe she just didn't like the looks of me. I wanted to make faces at her, but resisted the urge. I do represent the company after all. But it was tempting. It's a gorgeous day. Enjoy it!

Now if the little kids walk by, the day will be complete. It's fun to watch because they hold hands in a long line so they're actually walking sideways. They always seem to be enjoying themselves too. Even when it's a dreary day.

I know Ali's challenge to get outside was last month, but I'm going to issue it for this weekend. Get out of the house. Enjoy the pretty weather. Clear the cobwebs. Watch some people walking and see if you can figure out their mood.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Although I'm still making good progress on the Vesta story (really need a title for this, but don't think it will happen until the end) I am beginning to hear that inner Heckler. "You should put more in about the story cards early on" and "You need more setup with the great aunt." So far I've been able to tell him to shut up. And that is the point of the whole NaNoWriMo exercise. To shut off the Heckler (or editor or critic) so that you just get the story down.

I do know it's a pretty bare bones story right now--with a few flashes of great (if I do say so myself, and I do) evocative writing. The benefit of having written one novel is that I also know that's how I work. The first pass is to build the skeleton of the story. I may know what the end is, but rarely how to get there. That's what is both fun and frustrating about my process.

Ali just posted about Freshman Comp. students and their inability to just let go and brainstorm. To have fun with writing. I was lucky to finish high school before they went to so many standardized programs. I had some fantastic English teachers. I also had the martinet who was more interested in even margins than what was between those white spaces, but she was in the minority. I took Creative Writing from a man who taught us to journal and to free associate. Our high school College Comp. teacher played music and showed us paintings as prompts. Funny how often I hear the voice of the one bad teacher, though. But I'm learning to shut her up, too.

And on a totally different note, I just looked outside and it's starting to snow. Should be a good day for writing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hitting Stride

Almost two weeks in and I finally feel like I'm hitting my stride. Comfortable with the pace, even if it's not as fast as others, I know I can maintain this one. So 5-10 pages a day seems to be what I can do. This means that I now have 36 pages of a book that only existed in my head until November 1st.

Another nice thing? I'm having fun with it. The words seem to flow easier than when I first started. Not that everything is planned in advance. On the contrary, characters are showing up who I didn't expect. An eighty-year-old black woman who may be hinting at secrets about Vesta's parents' deaths. Hmmm. And a gray tabby cat just walked out of the swamp on Thursday. That last one may be because of Ali's new cat, but still, I didn't expect Vesta to have a cat.

Anyone else hitting a stride? Just letting go and writing? I hope so.