Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Still Filling Pages

The new structure appears to be working. I went to Starbucks on Sunday with my daughter. She did her homework while I did several timed writes, filling at least ten pages in my notebook which is the only point- to just fill up pages.

A few of my favorite books for pulling writing prompts from:

"The Writer's Book of Days' by Judy Reeves
"The Pocket Muse" by Monica Wood
"Five Minute Fiction" by Roberta Allen
"The Writer's Book of Matches- 1,001 Prompts to Ignite your Fiction"- by the staff of "fresh boiled peanuts"

This week I've been working on a major revision of an old story. I just finished a draft about five minutes ago. It's about 6400 words. I'll take a fresh look at it tomorrow and fix any glaring inconsistencies before sending it out to my writer's group for our meeting on Sunday. Today I put in about four hours. Yesterday two and a half. Monday about one and a half, and much of that time was spent culling through old files, trying to find a story I felt a spark with and could revise in less than five days. Of course I did all this while doing laundry, fixing meals, running to Jump Rope practice, gymnastics, vlounteering at school during lunch recess for mileage club, helping with homework, signing school papers and caring for the new kitty that showed up on our back deck. Will have to post a photo of her. Too too adorable. Named her Tallulah. Lulu for short. And although cat number one, Zoey, hates her living guts, Lulu still tries to play with her.

Just finished the new one by Cormac McCarthy called"The Road". It's the first time I've read him and I was blown away. It tells a horrifying but oddly beautiful story of a postapocolyptic America. I especially loved how the prose echoed the physical and emotional landscape of the story- bleak, sparse but hopeful. I literally held a pencil as I read so I could underline certain sentences that took my breath away.

"He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins."

"Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world."

The whole novel is filled with jewels like these.

The other book I picked up after "The Road" is "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs. Talk about two books that mess with your mind! It's been on my bookshelf for a long time but now that the movie is coming out I need to read it. I overheard a woman comment at a bookstore last week that she read the first nineteen pages before throwing it across the room in disgust. Hearing that made me even more curious. I am well past page nineteen and if she was disgusted by those few pages then it's a good thing she put it down. I don't find it disgusting but it is extremely disconcerting especially knowing that it is a memoir. And in spite of the bad rap of that genre lately, I am inclined to give the writer the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise.

I believe that registration is now open for anyone wishing to participate in the official Novel Writing Month that starts on November 1. Check out their website at

A writer's path includes concentration, slowing down, commitment, awareness, lonliness, faith, a breakdown of ordinary perceptions.
- from "Thunder and Lightning"

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