Friday, July 22, 2011

Signed, Sealed, Delivered - I'm Going Swimming

Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Woody Allen

Friday - 1:39pm

In reference to my last post, so eloquently entitled Butt in Chair, please note that the photo presented here shows that particular chair pushed into its resting nook at the table. For you see, dear E.S. Carlson, I took on your challenge. I've written a new chapter in my novel in progress. (Six years in the making?) Look in your email inbox for you will find not only the next chapter, but an additional reworked 30 some previous pages leading up to it.

Alas, my heroine, dear Lily, is out of the wheat field in South Dakota and long past her panic attack. Still in South Dakota, but, oh, in such a different place.

This week I took a huge mess and pieced it back together. I spent Monday, Tuesday and half of Wednesday reacquainting myself with what I'd written over the past few years. Then I read all the journals of notes I'd taken, my character sketches and their long lists of conflicts. I reviewed some of my research and resource books.

I spent Wednesday reorganizing what I wanted to keep of the writing, throwing out some 20,000 words which held scenes that no longer will occur in my story, along with what I first thought would be the ending.

In the words of the most talented Anne Lamott in her book Bird by Bird - I'm 36,000 words into a very "shitty first draft." (If you haven't read Bird by Bird, I highly recommend it - even if you are not a writer.)

Even though I'm no longer certain where my protagonist Lily will end up, I do know it will be a most interesting ride. And I'm so glad to be back with her on that horse, er, Airstream trailer.

Even better, I know what I will write tomorrow. And the next day. My goal for the remainder of the summer, except for a couple of side trips, is to plow through all the way to the end so that I can spend next school year rewriting and rewriting and...

Thank you, ES, for the ultimatum and thank you to my blogging friends, new and old, for your support. Happy am I. I put much more pressure on myself when I'm alone, focused, challenged. Of course, things have certainly calmed down in my summer, which helps.

Cheers to my family who has left me to myself at the lake this week. (Hope you guys got the laundry done, watered my plants, went to the grocery store, fed the cat... yes, we have a cat.)

Dear Family,
Looking forward to seeing you this weekend.
Bring food and toilet paper.
Love, Mom and wife

Up to me to keep it going, but right now, I'm off to float for the rest of the day.

P.S. Can you believe it? I just sent ES that email and before I've finished this post she has already sent me her next set of pages. That woman is a slave driver. Chop, chop.


  1. I'm not a slave driver. I just want to be at your book signing.

  2. It was YOU! Oh thanks and 100 welcomes to the Very Silly Blog! Are you a Fridge Soup fan also? Will do my best to generate 100's more chuckles.
    All good wishes.
    Doctor FTSE
    Pron. "FOOTSIE" - FTSE as you probably know is the UK acronym for "Financial Times Stock Exchange (Index of 100 leading (UK) shares"

  3. Oh, well done. You rose to the challenge and surpassed even your own expectations! Hope you enjoyed your swim.

  4. So very proud of you! And especially pleased to sense that you seem to be 'lighter' of spirit than you've been for many months now...

  5. Hip, hooray! Chapter completion and direction. Good for you. Hope you had a nice long float/swim. :)

  6. Good for you!!! And good for you!! Chapter finished and the floating. All good things!
    I spent a couple of days in the hotel pool...divine!!!
    I am glad to be back home. My art piece is calling!

  7. Did you hear the whoop of delight all the way from the So. of Fr.?

    Oh man. This is so exciting, living vicariously through another writer!

  8. Congrats on your self discipline. You are one among few! Lots of luck in your future efforts.

  9. guuuuuurrrrrlllllllll--you sure did rock that deadline. You took that laptop by the horns and got seriously busy. I can't wait to read about this woman from South Dakota one day.

  10. Yep, it's time to giddyup!!! Excited for you!

  11. Wow.
    So very impressive!
    Nothing like a challenge to get y'going, is there?

  12. Good for you!

    I love the Lamott's "shitty first draft". At least there will be a first draft!

  13. There you go, you're on a roll! Amazing what can be done when we're inspired! Congrats and keep up the great work! Cheers!

  14. Good for you - sounds like the only way to get it done.

  15. So pleased for you, am so looking forward to the end result....:-)Hugs

  16. Hey sound happy!!! There it was all along..writing!

  17. P.S. ..what's this about an Airstream trailer??

  18. I hope that you had the weekend off.

  19. Cheers for getting Lily and yourself up and out and moving along. Well done. Keep on rolling with it.

  20. Proud, proud, PROUD of you, girl! I daresay writing season is upon us! Yikes, I have a novel in the drawer as well and have often thought I should take a look again (it's been 10 years!)but am terrified to. You are giving me courage! Carry on, bird by bird.

  21. I loved that idea--"shitty first drafts"--we refined that to "puke on paper" when I taught high school--get it out, clean it up later on. You go, girl!

  22. I'm sitting here smiling, not only at your great writing here, but also at the wonderful turn your life has taken. What a friend E.S. is! I want to join her at your book signing.

  23. Woohoo! I bet it's been energizing to get going on it! Best of luck.


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