The Marks of Success

The last two days have proved fruitful, yesterday a little more than today, but writing ebbs and flows, following the nature of life.  The marks I’m talking about illustrate fully just how when the words are there, there is no better place for a writer to be.

I’m a horrible typist; well, let me qualify that.  I’m a fast typist, but extremely sloppy.  I earned a C+ in eighth grade for my mediocre skills, but they’ve sustained me thus far, and I can’t complain, or not very much.  At times red squiggles inundate my document, or at least dot the landscape.  Since I started working on The Hawk last Thursday, the red squiggles haven’t been an issue; regardless of how the words emerge, the red squiggles are always present.  It’s how I eliminate those squiggles that tells the story.

Until yesterday, my paragraphs were cleaned up as soon as I’d finished them.  I kept checking my word count, eager for a chapter-length to have been amassed.  As I plodded along, I tidied what had been accumulated, the whole thing looking neat as a pin.  However, that’s not my style.  My style is to bash out a chapter without too much consideration, aware the words will be what they will be at this point.  Then I take an additional twenty minutes at the end to clean up all the red (and green) squiggles.  I’ve been doing it this way for many years now, part of my process.  But the past several days have been odd; I poke about, right-clicking on this incorrect word, then on that one, feeling like I’m pulling these words, mistyped or not, from my entrails out through my nostrils.  Not exactly a pleasant image, I’ll admit, but exactly how these chapters were being crafted.

On Monday, the red squiggles were starting to add up, which pleased me, and which I expounded upon in the previous post.  I knew I was close, so close I could taste a whole morning’s worth of mistakes piling on each other.  Yesterday, I hit the jackpot, an entire chapter pounded out with little conscious thought, and the prose wasn’t half bad either.  By the end, I knew I was cooking with gas, feeling so good that I couldn’t wait to write again today.  In fact, I was so excited that when I woke at two a.m., ideas crowded out sleep.  How could I manage all of that in one little (or not so little) chapter?

Today’s work was a little more laborious, and much of what I wanted to write will be covered another day.  But I can’t discount the sensation of being back in the role of an active writer.  I’ve been aching for that all summer, pondering other ideas, but ultimately I returned to this story, man, what a tale!  It’s the longest novel I’ve written to date, with more plot than Carter’s got pills.  And that’s been my stumbling block, how to sort this story line with that one, and that one over there.  Oh, and don’t forget this one and…  And while I love how everything coalesces together, getting it to coalesce isn’t always easy.  In fact, it can be downright maddening, and more than a little frightening, maybe even a little writer’s block inspiring.  But I managed to fight my way out of the Cuban Missile Crisis, so hey, things are looking up.

And in the meantime, I’ve done some sewing; still procrastinating on putting together the rows for the mum quilt, so instead I spent yesterday quilting the toddler quilt.  Basting that project was a breeze; such a difference when it’s 10 X 12 rows opposed to 15 X 19 rows, hehehe.  This afternoon I’ll sew around the perimeter, then attach the front of the binding.  The back will be hand-sewn; I need a little sofa-time (preferably with the hubby snuggled relatively close).

I also need cake; the husband returns soon, and I’m in the mood for something sweet in addition to his lovely presence.  My life used to be usurped by writing, I’ll be the first to admit it.  But while it hasn’t taken a back seat, it certainly has been knocked down a few pegs in the queue.  I don’t fret this alteration; life is constantly evolving.  but I am grateful, perhaps more than I can convey, to have found my rhythm again, even if today was a little bumpy.  If nothing else, the squiggles are once again asserting themselves, and I’m happy to let them.  Pile up boys, because as you do, so shall the words.  And it’s much easier to sort out a plethora of squiggles, when compared to bulky plots piling in my gray matter.


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