Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brrrrches...

Yesterday I took a snow day. I had some clients who cancelled and my new hairdresser did too. I cancelled one person and then gave into the gods of chance - happily. I tooled about on the web, mostly listening to McGarrigle tunes and thinking of the days in which the air was full of McGarrigle songs and Goose Creek Symphony and Harry Nielson and Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell - some of the time I still listen to those musicians - either in their past or present incarnations. I loved Little Feet (Lowell George played on the McGarrigle's A Dancer with Bruised Knees!) and Emmylou Harris and Carole King and Gram Parsons and on and on...so it was a bittersweet trip.

In the afternoon, I went to work on Earth Bound, I took my near ending and put it in its own file so it wouldn't nag at me and I took my ? cards and pulled one. I then answered the question or at least let my character struggle with it. I got my thousand words easy. And most blessedly of all, I re-entered the action of the novel. Yes, dear readers, I was getting a little antsy and I know I have probably written words close to what I just wrote ('I re-entered the action of the novel') but this time I did. I got down to it and into it and I mucked about and mostly I listened. I listened to what would be driving Kitty, my detective, most crazy at this point in the investigation and I got her moving. She is now wandering around the crime scene in the pre-dawn light - taking it in differently, thinking and walking and intuiting. Sometimes that's what happens, our protagonists need to wander in the low light just like us or we need to, just like them. Sometimes we need to absolutely not know where we're going but be prepared to move. When I used to direct - I would remind the cast that it was called 'acting' not 'talking'. This can be helpful in novel writing too.

Now, I've seen my clients for today and visited my dear Arlo (go to his blog - buy his book! The man is 89 - he has stories worth the telling! - check him out at A Sailor's Stories somewhere in my blog roll) and I came home and now I'm talking to you all and then back to work!
These pictures were taken on a break from snow shovelling this morning...



5 comments:

kerrycharacters said...

Sounds like a perfect day - and what fun to be getting into the action of your character. I think writers are so lucky to have our characters to lead us to places we may not have visited otherwise. I love the snow shots - we had a dainty few snowflakes and that was it. Having grown up in Africa I find it magical - will learn to embrace it in Canada I am sure! I am going to check out the Sailor stories too. Thanks for the tipoff!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Good luck as you continue to follow your characters; keep a sharp eye on them, they can be sneaky little blighters.

Thanks also for the wonderful snow pictures. Look, winter. Out here with this whole El Nino happening (wonderful with the Olympics in 3 weeks; trust me there's panic) it's almost like spring.

Elspeth

Watery Tart said...

I love gift days like that... days you get to do what you love instead of what you're supposed to... And I'm very glad your strategy is working! (since I'm sort of trying it and all)--actually, last night I hit a question that caused me to write 3 pages to add to an earlier chapter and I think they are a lot better pages than what was there, even if I hadn't really intended to do much rewriting until I got done.

This third book has felt much like 'telling instead of showing' because the plot is so intricate, that seems to be what I can do... but the notes and questions helped get ME back into it too!

Jan Morrison said...

Kerry - oh, I'm sure you'll get lots of snow. When is it you are coming? Bwahahaha! You innocent innocent thing! I know, I know, you can't tell from my pictures that I HATE THE STUFF. But I do, I assure you...
Elspeth - you're telling me, why a character in one my wips got pregnant!!! And she wasn't a young dummy either. She was a forties doctor. I'm still trying to untangle that one. Luckily I don't have to pay child support. And I'm so sorry you don't have snow. Boo hoo! See above!!!!
Tartlett - yep, I think it helps when I keep remembering that the first draft is me telling me the story - like a teenager telling a parent the plot of a VERY boring movie. yep. just like that.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I love those days when you do what you want to do, not what you have to do. And yeah that you are coming along well with your WiP. Reminds me that I need to get back to mine too - she must be thinking I have abandoned her.

And what beautiful photographs. Coming from a tropical country like I do, nothing moves me as much as snow (unless it is the Fall colours).