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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Surprised by Writing

I took a couple writing pieces along on our vacation last week. I wasn't able to write a lot, but I stole a few minutes here or there to jot down some ideas.

What was more interesting to me was two instances of being surprised by my own work. The night before we left, I pulled out the first chapter of the novel that I have been working on for way too long to consider it even viable anymore. I was surprised to re-read it. I had reworked that chapter considerably a while back, and then put it away, and promptly forgotten most of my changes. It was almost like reading something brand new. It was a feeling much like a parent probably has when a child leaves for a long time - maybe college or the military or moves out west to get away from "boring" middle America. It is a feeling of knowing something, but seeing it through fresh eyes. Of recognizing the core being while acknowledging the very real changes that have happened.

I was hit by this again when I opened up a file for the story that saw its birth in the short snippet I called "Of Strawberries and Salvation". There were nine (yes, nine) pages of material I had written for that story that I had forgotten about. Two sections in particular that - in hind sight - were becoming the crux of story.

And, regarding that story, it has grown so beyond any initial thought of what it might or might not be. To the extent that it may need to become a series of inter-related short stories to not become a big muddled mess, similar to the stories I have of Geoff (I really think I have to change his name), Carolyn, and Ophelia which span a large time frame in small sections. (This is a realization I have had, just as I am typing this...perhaps these two separate story cycles will be enough to combine into a book...we'll have to see.)

Regardless, I am hoping for some time of relative calm and stability in the work/church environment that will allow me the opportunity to accomplish some of these things...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Four Month Sabatical

Been away from the blogging for four months. FOUR. That's a bit hard to believe. Lots to post, I think. I have pages upon pages of material from my Old Testament and Trinity classes, but I'm not sure how much of such things are worthwhile to post. I'm a little conflicted about that. My work-product from the last several months isn't useful for posting on a blog? It isn't that the knowledge isn't good...

A little fiction has been dribbling out, here and there. It is all in long-hand though, and unprintable at this point. We are heading to Michigan with Matt and Kathy next week. I'm hoping to find some inspiration to work on one of the three projects I have actively been turning over in my mind: Novel #2, the pulling together of the "Strawberries and Salvation" short story, and the continuing of the short story I started a couple weeks ago.

I pulled out novel #1. Over ten years I've been picking away at that scab. I re-read the first chapter and realized I had put in a whole new beginning last year, which I promptly forgot about. Re-reading it made it seem like a much better start. I think I'll keep it.

Novel #2 is more defined for me right now, though. I have several pages of outline that I haven't written text for yet, so I want to get back to it. It has had time to sit and mature like a fine wine. Or, lose it's fizz like a two-liter of RC Cola.

Sometimes, I wish I had someone paying me to write, because if I don't have a deadline (either a scholastic one, or a work-related one) I don't do it.

Of course, that's probably what seperates writers (real ones) from us wannabees.