Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gods and Pages

Tentative writing is happening! I have been tiptoeing into my story. I realized I had several scenes in mind but hadn't quite got the whole of the plot mapped out. (Still don't, but I trust it'll come. Probably.) I finally decided to just start getting those scenes out, almost stream-of-consciousness style.

Did you know that is my favorite phrase in the English language?

stream of consciousness

When I started to jot these little vignettes down they led to others, and even a beginning. I still have sheer mortal terror of how to write an ending, though. I struggle to end a blog post, much less a structured story. But the slow, bite-size writing has been good: Fiction is a little less overwhelming now. 

Part of the impetus to write came from reading American Gods again. I liked it best this time of all the readings. I feel like I understood it differently in some subtle way, and I can't remember if I've read it since Molly was born. That would explain the perspective shift.

I took it with us when we camped at Lake Stephen, and it rained a biblical purge all over us. The tent leaked, and when I woke up the first night, I discovered my book had fallen into the floor of the tent. It wasn't completely ruined, and I actually approved. I told the paperback, Now you look like a Neil Gaiman book. I think it's my third copy. The hardcover is in my studio somewhere, maybe. Which is to say, lost hopelessly.

While I was in the woods, finishing my warped and wrinkly book and listening to the then-gentle rain and Molly and Shane playing with Finn I was in a fuzzy haze of perfect contentment. I felt very much then that I need to create a story that honors the human need for tales. And because my story is set in Appalachia, camping under the towering oaks and ashes by the lake made me feel really close to the mood of the story. 

When I finished the novel, I read through the acknowledgements and that pushed me to write, too. There are so many people involved to help a book be born. My story isn't nearly as complex as Gods but it was reassuring anyway to look at all the names of people and start to dream about all the resources I can find to help build mine.

I'm starting an online creative writing class next week that includes a lot of specific exercises I need help with, and I have a lovely writer friend to work through it with me. I'm going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I don't know yet if this story will be novel length or if I'll work on something new in November. I'm looking forward to it. And I'm looking forward to school starting for Molly. And I'm looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. And to Halloween because why not throw that in, too. 

(I am, of course, ALWAYS looking forward to Halloween.)

Be well, and may your books be so well-loved they almost die.

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