So I have come to the realization that perhaps for the remainder of The Hawk, and maybe the rest of my writing life, a full chapter a day just isn’t gonna happen. Today’s distraction was tennis, and okay, the fifth set between Rafael Nadal and Gilles Muller was one to relish, regardless of which man you wanted to progress at Wimbledon. But I was bothered well before those chaps reached that fifth set, continuing to look away from the manuscript to check how Johanna Konta was doing against Caroline Garcia, Andy Murray vs. Benoit Paire, and other great Manic Monday contests. Finally around ten thirty this morning, Pacific Daylight Time, I gave up on the written work, settling on the sofa with an early lunch, wondering if Nadal was going to fight his way out of an initial two-sets down to love hole. The next couple of hours were well worth my time, although I’m sure Nadal wishes the result was different. Muller goes on to face Marin Cilic while I admit a small defeat of sorts, with a greater victory looming. Half a chapter produced today is better than no words at all.
Returning to writing has been a challenge, but instead of throwing up my hands and stalking off the court, I’m going to dig deep into what might be a longer five-setter than the Isner/Mahut match back in 2010 at the All England Club. It’s a matter of mind over matter, in that four years ago when I started this book I was still in my forties, wasn’t yet an abuela, ’nuff said. I can’t qualify how aging has affected my skills other than to say the inner stamina seems to be lacking, and it’s not merely tennis upon which to place blame. It simply is, and whining about it won’t make me write more. Acceptance is better than moping.
For today’s work, I had to scroll through the MS to clarify some facts; in skimming through paragraphs I couldn’t help but recall how easily those previous chapters had fallen from my brain onto the document, and briefly I felt the tiniest bit…displeased. Yet, after tennis was over for the day, I returned to my PC, read over what I had managed, added a bit more, and called it done, for now. Tomorrow (hopefully) I’ll tack on another scene, then see what happens on Thursday, as I’ll be visiting with Little Miss and her mama on Wednesday. Other delights have crowded out noveling, but life never stays still. Roger Federer has reached his 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Grigor Dimitrov, while Venus Williams will play Jelena Ostapenko, who was three years old when Venus won her first Ladies’ Singles Championship. And here I am, still scribbling away on The Hawk, although I think I’ll finish it before Little Miss is Venus’ age.
I’ve learned many things while writing this novel, some personal, some professional. Perhaps now I’m grasping the most necessary lesson, that of patience. I can’t rush this story, but I can and should be grateful for the words that do emerge. Every day I write is like another tennis match completed, some for wins, some of losses, but all with purpose. Of course, the defeats are difficult to face, but each experience is meaningful, sort of like the current WIP on my quilt wall. I had high expectations for it, and while I do like it, I’m not certain I’d try this style again. More on that soon enough, as for now sewing awaits as well as mulling over how today’s chapter will end tomorrow.
The glass is half full, up to me to choose the rest of the contents.