A little over two weeks ago I shared the sad tale of my old juniper tree,
and today finally summoned the courage to call an arborist.
He just left after telling me (1) the tree will survive and (2) there's nothing to be done
for another year or so except (3) to pray for forgiveness. I thought he meant the tree
forgiving me but realized he meant me forgiving my neighbor.
I feel somewhat better although still cannot look at that old tree without flinching.
And tearing up.
In regards to my stuckness on my work-in-progress, this past weekend I printed out
everything I'd written so far (30k words!) and read it in one sitting. After taking some notes,
I knew I needed to go back and rework some stuff before moving ahead. I'm struggling
with the rewrites but am no longer panicked that fixing stuff will slow my momentum
to the point that I'll never finish the draft.
I will finish this draft! Hear, universe?
As for my web site, nothing's happening there. I still don't know how to proceed.
I guess two out of three ain't bad.
Now, here's a gratuitous squirrel shot: Massively oversized image by Tracy Abell
I actually have no idea what my word count is right now
because I'm writing in chapter chunks and don't really care
about total word count.
All I know is I'm back in the 1000-words-per-day saddle
and it's the best thing happening for me these days.
I'm a little past the halfway point in this first draft
and I'm going to push on through to the end.
I hope to finish before our fall conference in a month
because then I'll show up there feeling like a champ.
You heard it here first, folks: Tracy is going to feel like a champ.
image from morguefile.com
(For those pondering the significance of this image:
I went to morguefile.com and put "champ" into the search engine,
hoping I'd get the image of a boxer such as Muhammad Ali.
Nope. Only boxer dogs)
The work was fine today but not so much in the way I’d anticipated. I ended up adding fewer than my 400-word goal but that’s okay for two reasons: One, my count was more than 400 yesterday and combined with today’s word count I’m still on schedule for my final goal. Two, I figured out all sorts of stuff about the story and wrote three pages of notes.
I finally know the story with G’s mother! She’s not dead! She’s alive, she’s alive!
I understand why Mr. E is such a prickly personality when he’s around T.
I realized which character is the real rat bastard of the story.
Best of all, I found some needed inspiration while reading I’M A LEBOWSKI, YOU’RE A LEBOWSKI: LIFE, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, AND WHAT HAVE YOU (a fan book written for those of us who can’t get enough of the Coen brothers’ movie). It’s not rocket science but it was the perfect time for this particular slap upside my head (plus it came from an interview with the real-life Dude who inspired the character and movie). So what is the Dude’s explanation for the cult success of THE BIG LEBOWSKI? He points out that in all great comedy the situation gets progressively worse for the character(s).
Apparently Joel Coen writes a scene and makes it as difficult as he possibly can for the character. Then Ethan Coen rewrites it, making it worse. And then Joel makes it worse again.
Thanks. That had not occurred to me, Dude.
I haven’t worked on my WIP since last Friday.
I’m also doing that withdraw-from-the-world-thing which is what I do when feeling glum.
So, I’m going to start posting my word count again in hopes of re-energizing my writing PLUS keep connected with my LJ community.
Hopefully it won’t all be blue meters on my part. Maybe I can sprinkle in posts of interest. And maybe I can finish the draft of this project. Again.
But that’s the last of what I salvaged from earlier draft. Tomorrow I’m on my own…
Almost as many words as what I had when I stopped and started over. Hooray, I think.
So I’m creeping along on this project, reassuring myself that while the words are coming slowly, they are, for the most part, quality words. They are words that tell a story I care about and though I don’t spend much time thinking about potential readers, my gut tells me others will care about this story, too. And then just a moment ago, doubt started shouting at me from the wings, taunting me with “Yeah, well I bet Author X cared about his story, too, but that doesn’t mean anyone else would.”
Here’s the deal: I’m reading a YA right now written by a multi-published author I absolutely love and respect. He’s magic with the English language and writes emotions and humor and characters/stories so real you feel as if they’ve made camp in your solar plexus. And yet, as I read this book all I can think is “Yuck!” Not about the writing itself but toward the story and basic premise.
I haven’t read any reviews of this book because I always wait until after I’ve finished reading, but I gotta believe I’m not alone on the ick factor. So did Author X ever wonder if he’d be the only one to care about his story? And should he even waste time wondering?
I truly believe we write the stories we need to tell, so here are my questions: Have you read well-written books that made you wonder what could possibly have possessed the writer to tell that particular story? And if so, did you end up caring about the story?
Not yet the plumpest manuscript but what I have so far feels solid. I think. We’ll see how it looks in the light of day but for now, I’m calling it progress.