Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The snickety click of a key

Whew! Finally a snick, after a bout of mental flailing. On Friday I settled down in the library, excpecting to write another 1200 words, as the story has been flowing smoothly for quite some time now. And then bam! Screeching halt.

Suddenly the plot, or rather plots, overwhelmed me. All the loose threads and all the characters and objects and clues just gathered into an unruly, flabby mass that was impossible to gain control of. It was like trying to reach around a five meter wide bean bag.

It was dawning on me, horribly, that an ending cannot be stumbled into. It requires discipline, careful pacing and the clever crafting of excitement and release. It requires that you deal with all the elements you've splashed happily onto the canvas along the way, making them cohere into a subtle, sophisticated, yet clear picture.

How come none of my confidantes exclaimed in delight when I outlined the end for them? Not one 'Cool!', not one excited 'So that's why' or 'Now I see'. Just a polite succession of nods and ohs. It just wasn't good enough, and it truly felt like years of hard work amounted to nothing more than a ramshackle, lacklustre construction. And I've only weeks left of Pan's paternity leave to finish it and make in shine.

Dark thoughts and lousy mood ensued. I took the weekend off, sleeping as much as I could. I changed writing venues. I surfed listlessly. I had tons of coffee, and cookies too. I ditched my computer and trudged around, circling my Inspire, desperately hoping for a revelation of sorts.

Today started off not much better. But then, but then. I stopped by Not for robots, just to read about writing for a bit. Sometimes that helps me focus. And while my mind pretended to read about the relief of a good snick, it really shifted into an actual snick. Like pieces of a puzzle finally fitting perfectly, or a key finally turning in the lock. Of course!

Sure, details must be nailed down. I still don't know exactly how the events unfold. And sure, quite a bit of rewriting is required. I'll have to go back and painstakingly erase or change every carefully dropped hint that no longer applies.

But that's really a small price to pay for liking my story again.

(Gorgeous key by Line).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's safe to look, future girlfriend

Remember this, Magnus? How your little bellly ached from the antibiotics in my milk and your neck ached from the KISS and things were kind of screwy?

Yeah. I agree. This is worse. Eye infections suck! Now, your run of the mill eye infection will be annoying, and itch a little and cause some soreness and go away after a brief treatment, or even on its own. It won't cause you to thrash around in in your sleep because of the pain, nor make you look like Rocky after a particularly nasty encounter with Dolph Lundgreen. So. It looks like we've got ourselves a special one.

Enough with the hospital visits and the searing eyedrops and the swelling and the endless turns for the worse already! Every time we have to hold you down to rinse away the blood and pus, my heart breaks a little. So sorry! And worse is yet to come with surgery next week.

I can't show a current photo of you, cause your future girlfriend might hold it against you. But let's not forget, this is what you really look like.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The madness of 32

Happy birthday, beloved, beloved sister! You've reached 32, a fine age to be, as I recall. It was the year I decided to un-grow up, quit my job, and run off to the big city to become a writer. Let's call it the madness of 32. Following suit?

Wherever you're going, all you have to do is call my name, always.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shelter of sorts

It has begun. The final stretch from the woods to the end, and I've only a very blurry idea of where I am going. But yay! It feels amazing to be writing again! It's been a week (sort of, broken up by travels and a visit to the hospital with Magnus, who has a pesky eye infection), and we've eased into a new routine where I spend the morning with the guys, then head for the library to write around ten o'clock.

I've tried different venues, but the one I like best so far is the one above: a lofty perch in Deichmanske, which has good lighting, plenty of air, no shoulder riders and no books in plain view. If I see the titles, I keep imagining content into them instead of concentrating on my own story.

On the way there, there's Rubber Soul, a teeny tiny coffee shop with really nice lattes.

The owner makes his own vanilla syrup with real vanilla pods, and let me tell you: It's good! But even better are the book shelves on the take away cups. Perfect. Only downside is that they close at three, which means I can't stop there and fiddle with today's writing on my way home, as I would have liked to.

I'd say it's going well for a first week (and depending on a pyroclastic cloud of all things, it might last another day yet). 4000 words, a new beginning, plus some solid work on the end. Next week I'm delving deeper, and darker, too.

But it has to be wonderful. As my good friend Leo (9) said: Story? That's easy. You just start off really cool and then make the ending even better.