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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Novel Experience

It's so nice to see sunshine. It's been storming for over a week and my poor Cavalier, Hannah, has alternated between a state of panic and confusion after her medication to stop the panic. Today her eyes look normal, and she is her usual self, begging for food every other minute.

Yesterday, I was so stoked when the sun glazed me in perspiration as I headed out to run errands, I took a swing by the library and did some research for my new novel. I'm trying to firm up the time period, and what better way to do that than research fashion, accessories, and makeup for the time. Sounds trite as I type it, but it made perfect sense to me yesterday. It took three trips from my car to get all the books I found into my house. I have a tendency to go overboard when doing research; however, I feel smarter and more writerly {is their such a word?} just staring at them stacked high on my desk. I found great information on churches, schools, etc. and just couldn't avoid piling them in my basket.

A couple of good things did come out of the rainy weather. Since I couldn't use the computer, stove {a nice bonus,} television, etc., I sat at an eight foot table I've stationed in my dining room and began to wade through all my notes and critique feedback on my current novel - those from different groups of writing friends that I hadn't input yet and whittled down the three foot stack to two nine inch stacks. By the end I was sipping on a glass of peppermint schnapps and wondering why in the world I thought I could write a novel. Short stories, personal essays, magazine articles - yes I had done all that, but a real, honest-to-goodness full length novel. Who did I think I was? A couple of more sips of the ice cold brew {I keep the bottle in the freezer by the way} and new ideas started to pop out all over the place, and I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that MY novel will be Faulknerian in its Southern greatness.

Although I didn't get much sleep last night because my mind was unbridled in its enthusiasm to write and re-write scenes and to find places where more narrative summary would work, and on and on, and although my only inebriation today is from the communion wine, I'm thinking with a tad more logical resolve. I have a lot of work to do and am really excited to make the revisions I envision and study the notes from writing peers and take this baby on home. "They" say editing is easier than writing cold. I'm about to find out if "they" know what they're talking about.

I have a feeling Lily Tomlin was right when she said: Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.


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