Taking it Easy, Making it Fun

And here I thought I had gotten back on track with my posting! (Though somehow I have messed up my MacJournal. All the fonts are defaulting to super-tiny, eye chart squintiness. Weird. Anywho.)

I am at the Sudbury Public Library for the Monday night write-in. When once we shivered against the wall of windows, wondering why the heat wasn’t coming out of the vents, now we broil under a sun that sets an hour later than it used to set. We begin blinded — I was wearing my sunglasses indoors and had no choice in the matter — and we end in relief, with gentler dusk light and cooler temperatures.

As for the words … not bad. I had about 400 words or so before I realized that the scene I had originally written to occur where it was simply cannot go there anymore. And why? My heroine asked a simple, obvious question. “Where is my father?”

And he’s not there. And there’s no good reason for him not to be there, unless he was not nearby at all. Which will happen, but later, not now. *sigh*

So now I’m blogging, because it’s been a while, and I have a teeny window above the MacJournal program showing an old episode of Iron Chef. (Apple and Chocolate battle, for those interested. For Valentine’s Day in Japan, women buy the men chocolates, not the other way around. S’cool.)

In truth, I’m taking it easy. After a moody couple of days, I’ve seem to discovered my pep again, and I’m enjoying the personal buzz. I’ve also spent some time at work play-writing. I’ve been using Take Ten For Writers by Bonnie Neubauer (who writes these terrifically fun writing prompt books with this punch, playful graphic design) and Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen (a gentle, welcoming introduction to poetry, which has always been an indecipherable art to me but one I want to put to use more often in my prose). I play with the exercises in one of my Moleskine notebooks, just a little soft-cover slip of a thing. It’s all play, but so much fun! Even my Moleskines and other notebooks … I just wanna get crazy and funky with them, instead of being all prim and proper, writing in between the lines. Wanna break out the markers, the water-color pencils. Maybe it’s springtime having this effect on me?

I’m a very guarded person. Sure, I may act loud sometimes, I may have the big laugh, the weird joke that comes out of no where. But despite a very public blog (that no one reads, thankfully!), I’m a private person. I second-guess myself. I hold back. I’m better about this than I used to be, but it’s still an issue I struggle with. I still clench when I should let go. And worse, it creeps into my writing. It’s like a steady calcification, the bones fuse together and every movement, every word is stilted and gnarled and painful.

Ah, but when I find that flow, I am leaf, watch me soar!
(Yeah, not mine, obviously, but perfect here — stolen with much love from the great Joss Whedon.)

And I find that flow most often when I’m playing, when I forget the process. When I am working on something big, like a novel, I try to micro manage it. I try, often without success, to hold it all in my head at once and it gives me a creative headache. I am least likely in that precious state of flow, when I am working on a novel but I can get there if I stop thinking so hard about everything.

Which is why I’m turning once again to Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I have it in the pocket edition, so it’s my portable creative-zen-writing bible. I’ve been re-reading it again, and it’s helping to center me back to where I need to be. Back to the now, not the then or the will-be.

More to come. I think it may be a spammy, journally weekend for me.

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