I did not show up for my novel this morning. It was intentional. I felt at an impasse – boxed in by my own words. It was best to let it sit and percolate on its own.
It’s Saturday and everyone deserves a day off to do something else, to let the creative juices rejuvenate. After two days of long walks with Sheba on the rope, I head to our old dog park. I want to roam free. It’s small and on a Saturday, lots of company for both of us.
Things went relatively well. Sheba played with another enthusiastic young Lab. After awhile she got annoyed with the pup going after her butt constantly. A little snapping of the teeth and few barks did little to deter the lad. More dogs joined the group, among them a GREAT BIG furry one. It was close quarters. The young lad keep prancing at Sheba, Sheba barking and snapping her jaw. All of a sudden the big one and Sheba were after each others throat. I grabbed her but she slithered through. The big one’s owner grabbed his collar. He broke loose. I started running away, calling for Sheba. She followed.
Disaster was averted. I took Sheba into a different fenced off part of the park. We ambled through the snow and frozen cattails. It was peaceful. The gate clanged. Oh no! The young prancing Lab and its owner entered. So we tried walking with them again. I didn’t have the heart to tell the owner that well, we don’t want to walk with them. The dogs decided it for me. The pup wanted to play, but Sheba didn’t. To avert another fight, I said it was time for us to go.
Saturday is almost done. No great accomplishments. But we are doing the best we can. Fights and words are averted. Wine sipped and we have supped. And I am still writing words every day, though not necessarily for the novel. I am keeping my fingers limber and flexible.
I am not a woman of patience. I don’t know if it is my nature or whether I became so from working as a nurse. You have to be sharp of vision, fleet of feet and move, move, move. There’s a cartload of medications to pass out, baths to be done and call bells to answer. The very walls vibrate with DO IT NOW. I got no time to wait.
It’s no wonder that I throw up my hands in the air with my hair standing up on end if it takes me more than a nano second to do anything. Imagine what I am like if I don’t know how to do something and have to read some directions. I feel myself tensing already, my hair electrifying. You wouldn’t want to be around me.
But I am slowly changing. I am no longer a nurse. I am the queen of self-help, you know. Wait. I have to take a slow deep breath to relax. Okay. Better. Having read a ton of how to books and listening to hours of Dharma talk, I’m putting it all to practice, bit by bit. Did Benjamin Franklin say patience is a virtue?
I am getting patient enough to develop some culinary skills. I’ve learned to Google recipes and came out with some winners. Mind you recipe directions are fairly simple and easy, at least the ones I choose. Look, I can even take the time to chop up some ingredients and mixed them up with some ground pork. Then I put a teaspoonful of the mixture in a wrapper to shape into a pot sticker or wonton. Mind you, I was listening to my Dharma woman, Pema Choudron, on Start Where You are the whole time.
I tried to keep that in mind. I have the time. Take the time. Be patient. Start where you are. Keep at it. Make pot stickers and wontons. I have the stick-to-itness. I must have it if I wan-a-ton. That’s how I made it back from our long walk to Broadway, a step at a time, stopping for a rest when needed.
My words for the novel are not flowing easily. Sometimes I sit and stare at my blank screen. But I have an introduction and three chapters written for a total of 4619 words. It is very exciting. I feel a sense of purpose – a job I love to go to in the morning. From reading Janet Evanovich’s How I write, Secrets of a Bestselling Author, I am doing okay. I am having fun and making progress. That is what matters.
Do you know that anything and everything is possible, especially in Canada. Just look at what is happening in our Senate now – Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin- accused of inappropriate travel claims. And look at how our prime minister is responding, on the defensive. What about Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, accused of smoking crack cocaine. Wow! Who can say Canadian politics is boring?
And if I’m not a little inebriated, I would be weeping at this state of affairs in our country, in the world. What is wrong with these people? What is wrong with all of us? Why do things good and moral not matter any more? Why is money and power so enticing? WHY?
I am trying to keep a perspective on things. I know it is important which side of the picture you are looking at. But there are times when sides don’t matter. There are times, no matter where you are coming from or at, it is always wrong, or always right. I know I will feel better in the morning. I will see in a different light.
Still, I should not despair. There are things to rejoice and celebrate. I am alive and healthy. I have baked three loaves of awesome bread and 15 yummy cinnamon buns. I have washed, scrubbed and swept. I have exercised and walked Sheba. And I have written 1100 words on my novel. I am doing all right.
The stage is set. I have a title for the novel. There is a plot and a cover. I have drank enough coffee and I have lost sufficient sleep the last two nights, wrestling with the project. And my desk is certainly messy enough to start the creative juices flowing. That is what you get when you sign up for the project with just a week to go. Now is the time to let go of the doubts and researches on how to write a novel. I just have to write.
The other day I took out Alex Quick”s 102 Ways to Write a Novel. The cover said that it has indispensable tips for the writer of fiction. It defined a novel as fiction having at least 50, 000 words. Otherwise it would be a novella. Well, I haven’t even ever done a novella either. It also said that writing a novel could be an arduous task – taking months, years and even DECADES to complete!
WOW! Not very encouraging words. So, I’m going to have to leave conventional wisdom behind and charge forward. How else can I write a novel otherwise? A novel by definition is fiction. Fiction is not truth. Hence a novel is a bunch of lies strung together.
How hard could that be? Well, it could be very hard for me. I’m like George Washington. I can’t tell a lie. I have my work cut out for me. I am thinking with three days remaining before the kickoff for NaNoWriMo, I better clear my energy field in my work space.
I went to my special place in my mind. I opened my heart space. I breathed stagnant chi out. I opened my arms to embrace my heavenly creative chi. November Novel Writing Month, here I come! I wonder if my nose will be like Pinocchio’s at the end of November. I sure hope so.
The days are getting shorter and cooler. It’s harder and harder getting out of bed in the morning. There is this heaviness in my body and mind. That is my awareness when I wake up in the morning nowadays.
I did not step out of bed till eight this morning. But I still did better than the sun. It did not show its face till nine! And then it hid itself behind clouds as if saying, Oh no, not today! I am tired. Just can’t do it.
Mr. Sun, I know exactly how you feel. I am feeling YICK! I don’t feel like getting out of bed, never mind doing anything. But part of my mind recognizes that it is the time of the hibernation season. It is too bad that we can’t be like bears and sleep the winter away, curled up warmly in some cave.
We are not bears and we cannot hibernate. We have to rise and shine somehow, even if only dimly. I’m remembering that I’m suppose to write a novel in November, 50,000 words in 30 days. Well, it’s only some 1700 words a day. What’s the big deal? Nobody is saying that it has to be a bestseller, or that it even have to be good. It just have to be written.
Somehow that makes me feel better. I’m thinking, too, that even if I can’t write 1700 words a day, I could try for a 1000. That is the goal of this little blog – a thousand and two words a day. So far that goal have not been reached. But wait just a cotton picking minute!
I cannot think like that. I am already setting myself up for failure. Why not aim to succeed from the word get go? I WILL not compromise or booby trap myself into failure before I have even started. How often have I done that to myself?
Look at how far I’ve come so far. Tenacity is in my genes. I love words and have been told I have some talent with them. I have two blogs to show for it. I can work on imagination. I just need to get my head out of linear thinking and into possibles. I CAN. I CAN. I CAN.
I am the woman who can! Alice still lives here. Now where’s that damn rabbit hole? I need to fall into it and come out and see what’s on the other side.