Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pigs in Space...or Quilt Wrestling Live!

My NaBlo posts are in the form of letters to my journal about my revision process. Along the way, I'll include Home-Made Revision Workshop posts, and my Friday Challenges.


Dear Journal,


Here it is the 12th day of October, everything is humming right along. I got about five chapters revised yesterday - yep, you read that right - 5 chapters! Lately I've been waking really early. Today it was 5:15 AM. Why? I have no idea. I wake up, the man is still snoring away (he gets up, usually before me, at 5:45).  I patter downstairs, make coffee, put Hoagy on his line, grab a cup, nestle into the couch for a little early reading. But. But I don't feel like reading. I feel like getting this thing done. Today I have four meetings - not clients but meetings - stretching from 11 this morning and the last one is at 7 pm. I have big stretches of time in-between.  I have a tiny laptop - I could take it with my magic stick with the updated file on it. But I'm not sure I will. Sometimes it works, sometimes when I'm first drafting, or doing beat sheets, but this, this meticulous looking at one damn word after another. NO. Think I'll take my hard copy journal and write about some major changes I'm contemplating with the story. And the lace shawl I'm knitting. OK, that is settled. I was feeling bad because I bought the little laptop just for days like today and normally, I'm pretty sure, I'd be happy to take it. But it is the picky revision stuff - especially since it is a trifle more difficult on a smaller keyboard, no mouse, and so on.
Journal? Do you want to know the changes I'm thinking of? You do? OK, then. It might be good for me to hear them out-loud - well not really out-loud and not really hear but you know. 
Libby's father, Chip Bruce, is an important figure in the book. He left Libby, her mum and her three sisters when Libby was about 9. She has recently seen him again. She and her husband,Palmer go and meet his other family in south-western Alberta. Libby wants to know how her father could have left the five of them, and had a whole other family.  I have his reason, and it is pretty compelling I think. It doesn't come out until near the end of the book, but last night I realized there was another reason that could come out sooner. Chip is one-half aboriginal. His mother was a member of the Blackfoot Tribe, and when he leave's his first family, he has already established another family back near where he grew up - a Blackfoot family. I think I need to explore how tied to that particular land Chip is. Not just his heritage, his 2nd family with problems complicated by their status as Aboriginals, but the way that particular land, with its layers of history, draws him, and in turn draws Libby.
Yep, that'll work. I think I know how to do this. I'm always surprised that in a big fat book, OK, even a medium fat book, it doesn't take a lot of words to bring a different element in. Probably just one small scene and a few references.
Thanks journal! I don't know what I'd do without you to talk to.
Here's a picture of the land I'm talking about...


PS - you're right, Journal, I never mentioned Pigs in Space or Quilt Wrestling Live...later.

11 comments:

GigglesandGuns said...

Voyages in the early morning mind are strange to say the least.
I would certainly be drawn to that land -- allergies and all.

Clarissa Draper said...

That picture. That's where I'm from. It's lovely to see Alberta again.

H. L. Banks said...

Love the pic! It would be fascinating as a reader to learn about the history of the Blackfoot Tribe if it is to be included in your story.

Jan Morrison said...

Yes Mary, the early morning voyages are crucial, I think.

Clarissa - I was born in Medicine Hat but I'm a bluenoser now! Where are you from in Alberta?

H.L. - some of the current problems Aboriginal Canadians are facing are in the book but not too much history. I am learning lots of it but only so I don't step on too many toes! It is fascinating.

M.J. Fifield said...

Five chapters yesterday. I am impressed and a little jealous because I didn't get anything revised yesterday. Or the day before that.

Hope things continue to go well for you.

The picture's beautiful!

Talli Roland said...

Pigs in Space...! Oh, the memories.

Glad to hear things are flying along. And what a beautiful photo.

Jan Morrison said...

MJ - as the song says "sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, a half an inch of water and you think you're going to drown"!

Talli - yay - someone remembers! Wrestling Quilts was from a radio comedy troupe I belonged to called The Seal Club - we were on CKDU back in the day.

lissa said...

pigs in space? yeah, that sounds like an interesting topic.

lovely picture. it reminds me of being somewhere in the past, somewhere people still farm for a living and absolutely no cars.

have a sweet day.

Carla said...

I groan every morning when my little alarms wake me at 7, but 5:15!!! I'd love to be an early morning person, but I'm not. I live very near your picture and get to view it live regularly - not so green these days though!

Faith Pray said...

Dear Jan, What a treat to read your revision journal! I love it. I'm deep in revisions at present, and am so inspired by your life and example! Happy writing!

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the changes you're thinking of for your manuscript. I love it that our writing is organic like that :-). And thanks for the beautiful 'photo! Gorgeous! And it helps me to picture what you mean...