By hook and by crook the words are forthcoming. These first chapters back aren’t overly long; today’s was 2,5 something something, two and a half K of this and that and roads less traveled. Sometimes that’s all writing is, a little bit here, a little bit there, until suddenly I’m looking at enough sentences to call it a day.
Part of my lingering malaise is that the plot alteration that returned me to this story has been truncated. Well, fine novel, have it your way. Okay, maybe not altogether abridged, but altered, and that was the last way I wanted to get back into this story; there’s enough melodrama without me adding to it. But then, that’s also part of this story’s issue; a lot of drama! Well, a lot of plot, because I’m seventy-nine chapters into it, with no end in sight. Although, thank the lord, I do *know* the end. It’s the getting to the end that sits like a vast field of landmines in front of me.
If I step here, will that backfire there, or curtail that, or… Or maybe I’ll just sabotage the whole thing myself by tweaking this part, forgetting about that bit…. It could do my head in, if I let it. And that’s the other key to finding one’s writing groove: don’t let the story get away from you.
Now, that’s not to say don’t let the story evolve as it wants to, because there is a difference. I wanted Sam and Renee to adopt well into 1963. But no. It looks like they will become parents perhaps before the end of 1962! Okay, whatever. But that doesn’t mean I can’t twist that change to my advantage. Yup. And as soon as I figure out what that advantage is, I’ll be in like Flynn. And if you don’t know what that means, it’s okay. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m living in two time periods, one in which technology rules, and the other… The other is five decades in the past, which has little to do with my writing groove, other than to note that if I’m that inundated in the early 1960s, well, I must be doing something right.
Right. Write. Uhhh…. Yeah, writing, I’m writing, and while it’s been taking its sweet little ole time getting going, maybe, I hope, finally, I’m back on the train. It is like riding a bike, or maybe getting back behind a sewing machine, in that the process isn’t lost, only rusty. Thankfully with a sewing machine, there’s a manual. Riding a bike is an ability deeply implanted in one’s gray matter, just a matter of overcoming the initial wobbles. And writing…
Well, it’s a little different, no manual, and it’s not quite physically ingrained into my memory. Writing takes my memories and transforms them into prose, maybe not great prose, but prose nonetheless. That’s all writing is, in a way, taking our experiences and tweaking them a little, or a lot. Then a story is formed, here and there, bit by bit. Landmine by tripped landmine at times, or sometimes I just manage to scuttle past, skipping about the landscape of the story by the skin of my teeth. Then suddenly I find myself in a calm, wide clearing, as if no mines had ever existed.
I can see that vista, just ahead on the horizon. It’s so close, cool streams of plot and prose flowing clear and swift. All I want is to fall on my knees and drink deeply from those perfect, healing waters. It’s nothing at all like quilting or riding a bike, it’s what every writer dreams of.
And it’s only a chapter, or two, away…