While on holiday I managed a few revisions on Part 12 of The Hawk. Going through that section, I found a slight discrepancy surrounding peach trees that Eric and Lynne want to put in behind his studio. Part of the inconsistency stems from when I took a lengthy break from the work in the middle of a chapter, which I hope never happens again. Coming back to this project, I scrapped that uncompleted chapter, but the notion of peach trees lingered. Within the manuscript, it was a minor discussion between Eric and Laurie, but in my mind it became a plot point to such a degree that I included it in later dialogues, even if the original conversation no longer remained in the novel.
This morning I decided to uncover just where the peach trees emerged, and while I was partly successful, something still nagged at me, which brought me back to reading over Part 11. One can only skim through paragraphs so many times before the eyes glaze over and every other sentence has peach trees staring back at me. I even made notes of who said it and on what page, and am hopeful to discover just where this idea began. This is a part of writing that isn’t glamorous or perhaps not widely discussed; the ramifications of long breaks within the creation of a WIP.
Continuity is vital within any novel, and I’m feeling pretty positive about The Hawk, peach trees notwithstanding. If nothing else, I’m sticking close to this project when no real writing is happening. Keeping it relatively fresh in my head helps enormously, not just in straightening out when the peach trees first made their appearance, but in the more important element of not getting too far from this story. This time last year I had the grandiose plan of wrapping it up before 2017; now I’m hoping to do the same before 2018 hits. In this respect, writing and quilting aren’t much alike; a project can sit on the wall for ages, then easily fall back underneath the presser foot as if no time has elapsed. Right now I have two quilts vying for my attention, just a matter of collecting fabric, then sewing pieces together. But those dang peach trees are a much tougher beast to tame.
I suppose what I need to remind myself is all things happen in their own good time, be they novels, quilts, or fictional peach trees. Or maybe they are figurative trees at this juncture, since Eric hasn’t even planted them yet. At least I know he’s considering them, and I’ve included them in the lengthy notes at the end of Part 12. Plus two post-it notes sit right under my keyboard, just in case those trees again slip my mind. My brain isn’t as quick as when I started this tale, and I need all the help I can find to keep churning it out. That too has been a lesson which is humbling in nature, and essential in practice. Writing is a gift, it’s also perseverance. At times I dream of what novel will follow The Hawk, then I laugh at myself, praying to merely complete this behemoth. I always wanted to write books, but there is that notion of being careful for what you wish. I’m walking that fine line, hedged in by peach trees, along with low volume fabrics. As Eric is currently in search of guidance, so am I. May we both trust in the one who never fails, enjoying a little pie and coffee on the way….