Last week I watched the eclipse on my back deck and caught Kai’s kid crud and had a massive falling out with my daughter and then made up with her again and started a writing class after roughly 20 years out of the writing game and started my period after 97 days of cramps and bloating and excruciating back pain.
So I’ve been a little busy.
That writing class. I’m now kicking young me for not appreciating college more. There’s nothing more fun than listening to a word person talk about the intricacies of words and the order in which they are put together.
Well, if you’re a word person, anyway. To everyone else, I imagine it’s boring as hell.
I am reading. A book. For grown-ups. It’s called Tell the Wolves I’m Home. It’s too soon yet to say what I think of it, because right now I’m just so very excited to be reading a book with no pictures and more than 60 pages.
Anya got Beauty and the Beast for her birthday, so we’ve watched that a few times. And Anya has suddenly glommed on to Harry Potter, so…
Um…the writing course, mostly.
Squaring away the last few ceremony details, and trying to come up with a fun, but doable, menu for the reception.
Also a late celebration for my parents, as I was too sick the day of their anniversary to do anything for them.
The fair is coming up. I love the fair.
Making me happy:
Confession time: Part of the reason it’s taken me so long to write this book is that it’s taken me so long to write this book. It’s gone from being a neat story idea into some weird sort of magnum opus, and I didn’t really feel it was an important enough story to be a magnum opus. And I convinced myself that perhaps I’m not really cut out to be a writer and I stopped writing.
But now, just a little way into this writing course, I’m thinking that my problem was I was focused on the story when I should have been focused on the writing. When I think about the truly great stories I’ve read, the ones that stayed with me long after I set the book down, I do not think of stories that are unique or especially powerful, but stories told in a singular way. John Irving comes to mind. Pat Conroy. Kurt Vonnegut. Stephen King. (I know not everyone shares this opinion, but I’m into King for the gut-punch details and the in-depth insight into what makes people tick. He said once that when he writes, he wants your heart. Well, he’s got mine.)
I am much more interested in writing an elegantly crafted story than I am in writing a good tale. Make of that what you will. It’s why poetry always appealed to me more than prose, I think; I was more interested in the music of the language than the relatability of the lyrics. And now I think I would like to apply that on a larger scale. Which is probably way too ambitious of a project for someone in my position, but there you have it. I will either soar, or come running back to editing with my tail between my legs. But I’ll kick myself if I don’t at least try.