So while I’m technically back to writing, I haven’t written in days. Between our trip to Humboldt County, quilting, and keeping an eye on grandkids, The Hawk has lain dormant in my computer. Now this doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about, ha ha ha! (Whoa, I about fell outta my chair with that one.) I’m *ALWAYS* pondering writing, and I don’t think I can emphasize that strongly enough. I’m truly grateful that sewing doesn’t occupy a fraction of the gray matter that novels steal, or I’d never get a quilt finished. However, a couple of quilts have been eating into my authorial moments, so as I wax lyrically about writing, I’m posting pics of the Wedding Quilt, which is done.
But that comforter is going to muscle its way into this post past photos and captions; so many elements go into a completed quilt, just as they do a book. In this quiet writing time, contemplation of the story has emerged, and today it was about the hawk that was, is, and has yet to be scribbled into the manuscript. Just as a quilt is made of layers, and I’m merely talking about the top, batting, and backing, a book is more than sentences and chapters. It’s my soul being stretched, and I guess with this tale it’s taken a good four years to grasp those alterations.
Within the writing, the characters aren’t the only ones maturing; this is so much about me as a human being, and while I don’t want this to come off as all about me, ahem, in a way it is. Writing is such a personal endeavor, yet there is a public side to it that seems at times like a Mr. Hyde to my Dr. Jeckyll. Or maybe it’s the other way around, hehehe. Either way, on so many levels writing forges a split within me, be it in the guise of not writing and desperately wishing to, or during the writing translating how many varied personalities. Or what about the myriad themes explored within the story, or the time frames or languages or….
Whoa, that’s a lot of issues, similar to how many sewing techniques I’ve employed within one quilt; making blocks with my machine, hand-sewing the quilt sandwich, machine and hand-sewing of the binding, dude…. And writing, or thinking about writing, is just as complex, but it’s all within my mind, then dashed onto a keyboard silently and intricately, weaving its own glorious sprawl of colour. But I can’t count those kinds of stitches, and a word count carries little weight. The weight rests upon my soul, nestled inside my heart, changing me as the chapters increase.
So what does all this ballyhooing have to do with a hawk? In the beginning, it was just one hawk. Now more than a few have graced the story’s pages, maybe a trinity, maybe not. Marek has decided to tell Klaudia about Eric, and when I write that scene, I want the reader to truly understand that it was Marek’s decision, not mine. But okay, I’ll play along, wondering how in the world that’s gonna happen, and the resulting upshot of that plot twist. And what it will eventually mean within my life; I’ve written a lot in the last ten years, another post for a different day. But I will say that in one way or another, each draft, regardless of what happened to it, altered me. Some of those stories simply made me a better novelist. But more than a few have led to increased wisdom, greater empathy, improved relations with others. To me, this is a vital point in writing, creating art that speaks of joy, hope, love. You can never get enough of these virtues.
And perhaps that’s the main lesson I’m to take from my non-writing, quietly chipping away at the dross, permitting myself to be refined in the process so the paragraphs that follow are precisely what The Hawk requires. Hey, that’s a pretty nice way to look at not getting much accomplished. I can’t accurately say how much of this story is currently my lesson, but hopefully when it’s all said and done, I’ll look back at these years immensely grateful for the inner growth as well as what was written. It’s like gazing at these photos and being reminded of the quilting process; early mornings and late evenings spent seated on the sofa, covered in a blanket celebrating love. I don’t think it gets much better, and more meaningful, than that.