After a mild and pleasant May, summer has descended upon Northern California. This morning at a little after six, my youngest daughter went for a walk with her son, sending me the above photo, also noting it was already hot out. I was pleased for her foresight to get out while it wasn’t stifling, also for the gorgeous shot of her neighborhood, the quiet stillness a balm on my heart.
I’ve been faffing about with The Hawk: Part Two, and have uploaded a revised version, which now leads me to going through the novel again before attempting any writing. I suppose I could note that my granddaughter’s belated arrival has set back the writing, but all these events occur for more reasons than my puny vision can manage. My plan had been that by now I’d be adding to that story, but Little Miss took her time, and my sister is having surgery this week, so instead of labouring over plot and characters, I’ll be otherwise engaged. In the meantime, I’ll reacquaint myself with the latter two-thirds of the novel so that when I do have time to write, I’ll possess a better grasp of just what is going on.
Sometimes certain parts of life get revisited more often than we plan. That’s not a bad thing, when it comes to new babies and editing. Summer heat however isn’t on my list of favourite things.
Still, the heat is a variable for some purpose, maybe only to appreciate cooler days when they arrive. (Are they here yet?) I was born and raised in the Sacramento Valley, yet eleven years spent in Yorkshire, England, turned this Golden State girl into a wilting flower when the temperature rises above 90 F. Silicon Valley isn’t immune to scorching days, but our nights cool off more easily than in the Central Valley, thank the lord. And due to all the bustling activity, no quilts are under the hammer. I have a couple of placemats to hand-bind while waiting during my sister’s surgery, and if nothing else, hospitals are never hot, so I can hide out while the sun blazes.
I used my bathroom wall hanging as a comforter of sorts when my eldest was in hospital two weeks ago, draping that little quilt across my lap in the middle of the night as a baby was taking her sweet time to be born. Now that quilt lives in the master loo, Little Miss is coming on two weeks old, time marching right along. The Burrito is four months old, and I’m getting one step closer to delving back into a story that at times feels like it will never find completion.
Yet, The Hawk needs this time of contemplation. The editing that took place as I revised Part Two wasn’t more than cleaning up two typos and eliminating several commas, but it has led me to reading through the rest of the tale, which for whatever reason is what this story requires. And after going through three chapters this morning, revision is essential, what with slight sentence modification and more commas removed. It’s keeping me in touch with this behemoth, maybe that is the most important part of this novel’s construction. Never before has so much time elapsed within the writing process, which at times has been a little frightening. Will I actually finish this saga has become the biggest query, but I can’t lose myself in that. I need to stay right where I am today, which is in sticky Silicon Valley, although high clouds are providing a break in the heat.
The Hawk echoes many themes, love and war and faith. But for me personally it’s about perseverance and the challenge of letting go. Never before have I written in this scattershot manner, editing on the fly. It’s akin to improv quilting, adding colours here and there without a plan. And if I am willing to put everything on the line, not looking too far ahead, a fantastic beauty awaits, like this morning’s scene from my daughter. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting to start her day so early, but the opportunity presented itself, and off she went, the Burrito in tow. Her energy lifted my morning, it suffuses this post, and from there, who knows where it will lead.