If I can’t blend in, I may as well be who I am.
Two days ago, I ran out of socks. The list of things I want most in life is as follows, in constantly shifting order:
- orange juice
- full use of my entire mouth, including but not limited to :
- ability to wear lipstick again :pets lipsticks:
- ability to brush teeth without having to work around large dome-shaped crust on lower iip.
- expressions of affection to Real Life Romance Hero
Please note that “socks” is not on that list because I dragged myself out to the laundromat this morning and did a load, while listening to recordings from last year’s RWA Nationals. Also free writing while doing both of the above. Even under the weather, multitasking makes me happy.
This post was originally going to be another dip into the archives, with a continuation of my Duluth post, but it’s a big file and would need to be split into two posts, and I’m cranky. See item #1 on the list above. So, instead, I’m going to ramble.
Today’s quote comes from the fabulous Rainbow Rowell, and it fits with my current area of self-directed study. Today’s picture comes from my write-in with SueAnn Porter on Monday. Since we both compose in longhand, we left the laptops at home and instead brought our notebooks. SueAnn worked with one. I brought three, because my brain was all scattered, unfocused and prone to wandering off without me.
SueAnn suggested that our first writing sprint would be brain dumping, which I sometimes call bloodletting, spewing whatever is in my head onto the page. That went in the black hardcover Picadilly, and I’d planned to use my black Pilot Varsity fountain pen for that exercise, but pen had other ideas, and my first page has a small, interestingly shaped blob of ink in the middle. I ended up using a different pen.
Note the absence of tea and presence of a can of seltzer with a straw sticking out of it. The cookie, though labeled as “cookies and cream” was actually red velvet (thank you, Jess-the-Barista, for clearing that up; red velvet makes anything better) and ended up coming home with me, because with the writing and the talking, some things have to take a back seat.
The Abbington Park notebook did not get used in this session, as SueAnn suggested I face my hesitation about working on Her Last First Kiss by doing some character work . Maybe, she suggested, I’m balking at this particular jump because the themes strike too close to home. There is some truth to that. Granted, I do not live in the eighteenth century, am not a member of the nobility and Real Life Romance Hero and I have been happily ever aftering for some time now, so my love life is not as tumultuous as my characters’ romantic prospects.
The thing, though, is that, without knowing it, I had seeded this book with some personal issues. Not fitting into one’s family of origin? Yep, know that. Caregiving? Know that, too. This book isn’t about me; it’s about my hero and heroine, and those really are their issues, and it would change the story into something else entirely were I to take those aspects out and give my people other hurdles to overcome. Well, okay, then. Guess we’re doing this.
Knowing what the roadblocks are doesn’t make them go away, but it does make it possible for me to look at them head on and see how to climb over or dig under them. It’s not a bad thing. Part of that wandering around in the forest time was spent trying, often too hard, to write things to which I did not have a close personal attachment, and that went down in flames, so going to the other end of the spectrum seems like a logical step to take.
Maybe it’s a good thing SueAnn and I had this talk while my brain took frequent mini-vacations without me, because at the end of most of our sprints, I had pen (blue Pilot Varsity) in hand, scratching across the mottled ivory of the page, spelling out how my hero got from adorable cherub child to grown man with seriously warped self image, and responded with, “Really? Already? Are you sure?” and kept making a few more quick notes. Not a bad outcome, that. We’re going to have to have more write-ins like this, but next time, the cold sore is not invited.