Last week I had nothing to write about – funny right? Then the south got hit with the snow, which right on time provided writing material. However, I didn’t get that blog out until Friday. What have I been doing? I’ve been very engrossed in finishing a manuscript. If you’re a writer, you know it’s very difficult to think of what you’re doing with a bunch of characters, and a blog post at the same time. All of you that follow my blog know that I usually write about news items or things of life and lifestyles. You also know the postings having to do with writing are pretty far and few between. Last week, I actually went in search of a new group of blog buddies – who discuss topics on life and lifestyles. I’m sure you’ll understand when I say, that step made me want to post something on writing. I need to reiterate a comment I made last week – we humans are peculiar animals, aren’t we? Therefore, today I will talk about my craft – writing.
Let me begin by saying with this particular manuscript, I’m this far from finishing, (I have my first finger atop my thumb indicating a scant). I also do not want to mention how long I’ve been trying to complete this task….okay, you twisted it out of me. I began writing it in 2004 when we moved here to Virginia. I’d work on it, put it away, and move onto something else. I’d then, finish a short story, after which I’d have to spend weeks with my mother, taking me away from any writing whatsoever. After those bouts, I’d spend a month, or two trying to get my head back in the timeframe of the story – kind of like Ray Milland in the movie Lost Weekend, minus the alcohol, or J.D. Salinger working on Catcher in the Rye, which took him ten years to complete in case you didn’t know that little tidbit. Actually, at times, it worked like a cruel cycle, because just as I’d get my spirit back up to continue on, I’d have to run off to my mother again. But, eventually I’d pull it back out, and begin one more time. Now, understand I’ve finished many other works in all this time – there’s just something with this manuscript.
I must say, lately I’ve begun to think, maybe it’s because I’m simply to close to the story. I do believe, however, the reason does have a lot to do with my mother, since she assisted with many of the early facts in the story. I also need to add this little detail. You know what it’s like when you’re reading, and deep in a good book – you live it, and breathe it? When you blink, the characters present themselves. It doesn’t matter where you go; work, play, across the street to a neighbors – you’re so caught up in the story, you couldn’t blast it out of your head with a stick of dynamite. That is exactly what this story has done to me, I think I even dreamt of it one night last week.
Nevertheless, and suddenly a sense of urgency hit; I don’t know where it came from, but it plunged me back in the story. Mind you, I’m still in the “need to finish” mode, because as of last week I announced I had about two chapters left. Well, I still have those two chapters – you see, I’ve had to go back to the beginning, and re-read to make certain all the plot holes in the storyline are closed. Take heart though, none of this has discouraged me. Which by the way, has also been an obstacle holding me down like concrete boots. Why do we writers do this to ourselves? I remember a line from Under the Tuscan Sun, when Diane Lane’s character talks about the fact she couldn’t write until the loathing began. How true is that? At any given time, I would pull out the material, notes, drafts, dictionary, and open my laptop. Then, go to the kitchen for a glass, or cup of whatever. I’d turn right around, walk back in the direction of my stuff, but never actually sit down. Before, I could stop myself, I’d be upstairs sitting at the desktop sending tweets, or searching Pinterest.
Monday when I came home from work, I thought a case of the flu had me for sure. I suffered from an extreme case of nausea, I had a headache, and I could not, for the life of me, get warm. I thought for sure by five o’clock, I’d be bed-ridden. To my own surprise, at six there I sat at the laptop, reading through one more chapter. So, I am very pleased to announce that when I’m done typing this, I will be moving onto chapter eight – four more to read, then I’ll be headed for the finish line. I’ve completed four novels, and countless short stories, but none of them have been as important. Actually, writing this blog post has helped me grasp why this manuscript is so important – this one has my mother throughout all the pages, and it definitely will be a work dedicated solely to her. Now, even though this post has been about writing I have this sneaky suspicion I drifted off, at times, in to random ramblings. Maybe, it’s been one of those weeks. But hey, thanks anyway for listening.
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