Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Writing Life

Oh man, this is bliss. Of course I miss the kids, but a couple of phone calls have assured me that they are alive (and stuffed with cookies and lemonade) and it is probably a good thing to miss them. I probably haven't missed them enough in their short lives.

Yesterday I managed to re-organize the entire novel into a chapter structure that I think works far better than the old structure. I also went through the entire thing and cut the stuff that was crap (it's amazing how much more obvious it is to discern what is crap and what is good writing when you haven't seen it for a few years) and transferred the stuff that was decent into the new chapter structure.

The re-structuring is a major accomplishment because it means I can now work on parts of the book more easily for shorter periods of time (say, when I have a few hours free rather than a whole long weekend) and have a sense of where they fit into the whole. Turns out, I'm a writer who needs structure.

Today I revisited the pleasures of writing long-hand. I went out to lunch and brought a pad and paper and while eating I started defining the cast of characters. Up till now, people sort of floated in and out of the narrative. Now I'm deciding how much they should be in there, who will remain minor, who will be one of those vivid, briefly appearing characters, and who will be a main player. I feel like a manager picking a baseball team. I also wrote two short scenes. And writing long hand felt really good; I'm just hoping that I can read my own handwriting when it comes time to put it into the computer.

The progress on my office continues, though I'm having doubts about the color. I primed, painted the ceiling and got the first coat of color on. Sarah drove by and peeked in the window and thought it was a good color; Tracy stopped by and didn't like it. I am having fears that it is a shade too close to creamsicle. I never liked creamsicles and don't particularly want to feel surrounded by one in my office... Thankfully paint is cheap (even cheaper right now since Lowe's has it on sale) so for $15 I can change my mind. I may go with blue instead, though I'll probably wait till Brian gets home and listen to his opinion for once.

1 comment:

Mary Jean Babic said...

One of the unanticipated benefits of bringing Iris to day care twice a week, I've discovered, is that it gives us a chance to miss her. By the time we pick her up, we're overjoyed to see her, and I daresay it's the same for her. Those are some of the best hours in our home.

I think if you have any doubts about the color, change it. Especially for $15. Your writing room is too important a place to have any ambivalence.