It’s 8:30 AM. I’m on my second cup of mint tea. So far this morning, I’ve taken Z for a two-mile walk, (measured, embarrassingly, by my new mileage tracker, called MapMyRun. Every time I open it, I wish to inform it that there will be no running, none — but in the little drop-down menu I can change Run to Nice, Placid Walk. Not really. But Walk, anyway. I’m not sure why I decided to track my mileage, except maybe that I’ve been taking longer and longer walks and I was curious about how far I was actually going. Less than two miles usually is my guess, because today actually did feel like a long walk.)
Anyway, I’ve also made myself a healthy breakfast of salad greens, spinach, cucumber, carrot, white radish, and roast beef, topped with a warm bacon vinaigrette. I concede that parts of that salad are healthier than others — warm bacon vinaigrette is literally bacon fat mixed with vinegar and shallots and since when is eating bacon fat healthy? But hey, spinach for breakfast, that’s always good, right? I’ve also taken out the trash, made my bed, and started a load of laundry. Oh, and sorted through some tax information.
And now I’m ready to write.
Except, um, about what again?
So many stories are playing for attention in my mind. The reason for the long walk was to get a lock on something, anything, some piece of story that I can start writing this morning. Ideally, it would have been nice to figure out what happens next in the scene I was working on yesterday. My writing sprint stream-of-consciousness was because I was stuck — literally, totally blocked — on the idea of what car Grace would drive. It needs to be fun. A fun car. Ugh. I don’t know what cars are fun. I probably wrote 500 words on fun cars and what sorts of cars are more fun than others and what cars say about us — oh, look, I’m doing it again — and it was good, but now I’m waking up this morning to the realization that I still didn’t solve the problem. So does Grace need to drive a car? Well, it would just be easier if she did.
All right, that gives me a little tiny bit of a plan. I’m going to look to decide on the car and then I’m going to do my first twenty minute sprint of the day. Yesterday’s sprints worked really well to get my creativity stirring. I didn’t get a ton of real story words but I could feel myself getting into the world of the story again. Bits and pieces of dialog started simmering. I also found out that I have an extra month to work on the wedding story, which is — I think? — terrific. Ideally, if I manage to get myself writing again, I can spend the next two months exclusively on Grace and then set it aside, writing the wedding story, then come back to revisions on Grace. I think that approach is probably smarter than my continued attempts to work on both things at once (with far too much Precarious Balance and other stories fighting for the mental space, too.) Of course, having extra time might just mean that I screw around and waste it, the way I seem to have wasted the past three months, but I’d rather not be so pessimistic! I wrote most of Ghosts in three months. If I did it once, I can do it again.
I do want to write down some of my thoughts about Fen when I get a chance, though. I’m trying not to think too much about her, but her story is so much fun to me. I’m hoping that the fact that it will have had so long to percolate will make it quick to write when it’s time, but I also keep fearing that I’ll forget some of the twists that pop into my head. My head is so crowded with stories! All right, but thinking about them is not helping me focus on Grace, so it’s time to move on.
Goal for today: discover what kind of car Grace drives and write the scene where she arrives. Do two writing sprints and write another… hmm, 290 words. I suspect that’s well within the range of possibility, given that it’s 9AM.
Writing Sprint 1: 273 words with a few too many bracketed areas where I don’t know what the words really are. Whatever, they were words.
Writing Spring 2: Interrupted at 12 minutes and not going well, anyway. Approximately 40 words, because I revised a bunch of words from the previous writing sprint. Ah, me. But so it goes.
Yoga: Jumped ahead and did the 30 minute yoga instead of the 20. It’s yoga for people who do real yoga — jumping into Wheel (which is too hard for me) and naming poses without describing them. The chances that I can do the longer yoga from this podcast look remote. But the great thing about yoga is that it’s about breathing and doing what you can do, so I stretched and tried and tomorrow I’ll do the same. I breathed well, and it felt good. And tomorrow maybe I’ll pause in a couple of places and see if I can look up the poses online to figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do.
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
I’m always amazed at how fast some people write. I read that Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in a day and a half while hiding out from a man who wanted to turn her into a zombie. Maybe that’s my problem. I don’t need to hide out from anything or anyone. Although actually there are circumstances right now in which I am choosing to avoid time spent with someone. Could that work for me? Who knows?