I’m going to try very hard to keep my blog posts to around 500 words, because I’m working on a short story. I’m writing around 1000 words a day, and in order to keep that up, I can’t spend a lot of time writing other things. Because the writing does tire me out, after a while. I know there are people who write thousands of words a day, but I find that after a while, if I’m too tired, my words are no good. And it doesn’t make sense to sit there producing writing that isn’t good. Instead, I know that I need to get out, clear my head — go to the coffee shop, buy myself a vanilla latte, walk to the top of the hill, and sit there drinking it, thinking about the story, or just anything at all.
Once I finish the short story, I’m going back to the novel, and at that point I’m going to try to write more per diem, although I don’t know if I’ll be able to — we’ll see. The novel will be more difficult, because I can usually write a short story in three drafts at most, and I’m quite sure I won’t be able to do that with this novel. I think it will take extensive revisions. Each chapter I write teaches me more about the characters, about who they are and how they respond to the world. Which of course means going back and revising the beginning.
All this is to say that I want to keep up blogging, but I’m going to try to confine myself to around 500 words, and here I’ve taken around 250 already to explain myself.
So let me tell me about what I did yesterday. I typed in the morning, then felt as though I couldn’t type anymore. I needed to get out. So I went to the coffee shop, bought myself a vanilla latte, and walked to a small park where there were benches. There, I sat on a bench and wrote the scene in which my main character betrays her lover to the secret police. Here is my Moleskine notebook with part of the scene I was writing.
As I was writing the scene, two bunnies came out and hopped around, nibbling the grass. They looked at me as though to say, “Hello. We are adorable. Are you noticing our adorableness?” So I sat there for a while, distracted, watching the bunnies. I was surprised at how close they got to me, but I suppose that’s what happens when wildlife is not at all frightened of human beings. It was rather lovely.
And here is the writer, not writing her scene, and instead watching bunnies. I’m worry to write that directly after this experience of adorable lapinity, she went back to writing the scene in which her main character sends her lover to a concentration camp. In real life, writers are gentle, harmless, eccentric creatures. But inside their heads, they are assassins. Their cruelty knows no bounds. They are capable of destroying the world. Really, I don’t know why we put up with them!
I am already over my 500 words, so I will leave you with a videotape I made of the bunnies on my cell phone. I wanted to experiment with the video function, and also to see if I could then upload the video. So I have produced what is probably the most soporific video on youtube. But there you go.
Don’t know about soporific. Not at all. In coaching we have a saying about listening to the Level 3 – the immediacy of the envelope – and how it speaks to us. Seeing the bunnies frolic in the clover didn’t lull me but rather brought immediate recall of Rilke’s “Wild Geese” http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/geese/geese.html
and the verse:
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
In these trying technocratic times, may all humanitarian kind eschew the harsh machinations that would have us enmask, and thereby denigrate, our soft animal bodies; those machinations that would prefer, en route to authentic intimacy, that we appeal to the same convolutions that would make assassins of Eostre’s messengers.
Oops. The author is Mary Oliver. Not Rilke. : )
I love that Mary Oliver poem! 🙂
Bunnies! I meant to be serious and ‘on topic’ today; much to do. But bunnies! Thank
you, thank you, thank you. I feel like skipping in a meadow. I feel…the opposite of
Well, then you should definitely go skip . . . 🙂
The novel is evolved from “The Mad Scientists’ Daughters”, yes?