Well, the writing progresses at a lovely pace; I’ve reached my Camp NaNo goal, although the story has gone from an approximately twenty-three chapter novel to something a little more involved. I won’t hazard a guess at this point how many books, but more than three, hopefully not topping the Alvin’s Farm series of six.
Some ideas execute successful coups, sort of like spider plants. Amid the noveling and epic-poem scribbling (poems are all written in longhand which sends joyful shivers down my spine), I’ve been attacking the backyard, usually my husband’s domain. I prefer potted plants, but last year I put in over a dozen spider plants along the western fence. They have succeeded in taking over that section of the property, and I know are plotting an actual coup for the house.
Part of this month’s writing has been poured into a poem that has awakened my love for that form of expression, and given a home to an idea that I didn’t realize meant so much. I work on the novel in the mornings, the poem in the afternoons, amid baseball and recent outdoor tasks that will keep me busy over the next several months. I don’t have an emerald thumb, but I do like to get my hands a little dirty.
Like dabbling in melodrama; the WIP-novel-wise has really caught me off guard by its length, and my dedication to it. With Alvin, even when I was wasn’t sure just how involved it was going to be, I took three to four months off between tackling another installment.
Back in 2009, I was looking at that book as installments, as I didn’t imagine it would take three novels to finish what I had assumed would be a tidy 50K tale.
But now I’m a wee bit wiser; just how wordy the current novel will become, I cannot guess. But the intriguing part is that as soon as I wrap up this initial section, I don’t want to wait until summer to return to the story. I’ll give myself a couple of weeks; I definitely need some down-time. But come May, unless other issues arise, I’ll get back to spinning some more of that yarn.
And as for that poem…
“The Hounds of Love and War” isn’t going to be completed anytime soon; I write three parts, then plop another poem amid the sprawling saga of the Scotlands and Nesmiths, still firmly entrenched in the mid-1960s. Not all my poems are sturm und drang; one was about my husband’s recently purchased ninja hat.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, of course.
And then there is baseball (the SF Giants are playing well), family gatherings on the horizon, and I badly need a haircut. But the muse has tapped into me with all gears. I can’t tell which I enjoy more, prose or poetry, although the poems are pretty prose-like. I’ve also scribbled a couple of short stories; pen and paper have lured me into brief flashes of fiction that I type out, fiddle with, will hand over to Top Writers Block. One future theme is meringue, and I already know just what that will entail; Rae Smith’s foray into perfecting chocolate meringue pie. If you’ve read the last three Alvin’s Farm novels, well, all I can say is that while Rae’s husband Tommie won’t be trying a slice of chocolate heaven, Chelsea and Pru think Aunt Rae’s latest Todd Lambert Special is just fine…
R.I.P. Brennan Manning 1934-2013