Sunday, October 24, 2010

Waking and Sleeping

In the last four days I've written about 8,000 words on my novel. I have, as they say, gotten into it. This morning, I woke up at 2:30 from a sound sleep but could not get back to sleep. I was living out scenes from the novel in my head, working out the future plot, even figured out how the protagonist saves herself  from the villain. For too long I kept abandoning this novel, then coming back to it. I think because the world of it didn't seem real. Now it does, and the characters do--this late in the manuscript (54,000 words, thank you very much), they're taking on personality and depth. When I do that first rewrite I'll be more confident about who they are. I want to toss the world aside and write, write, write, but of course I can't do that, particularly not this week. My horoscope this morning said the world would keep me very busy in the beginning of the week and then leave me hanging. My calendar indicates just the opposite. Anyway, having my muse talk to me is great, but I'd like some sleep, please. The late Dorothy Johnson (A Man Called Horse, The Hanging Tree, etc.) used to say if her muse wasn't talking to her she might as well go scrub windows. One day she wrote that she'd just had an awful shock: she was working on a novel about NYC during WWII, called The Unbombed, because New Yorkers always lived in fear of bombings. She wrote she'd had a terrible disappointment: her muse had just told her that the man she thought was going to be the hero was going to be killed in the war. I know the feeling--the villain in my current work-in-progress has changed three times, but I think now I finally know who it is.
I am still exporing the possibility of self-publishing this novel, since the others haven't sold. It's a whole new world out there, and self-publishing has lost its stigma, may have some distinct advantages.
Lovely dinner tonight with old friends, couples who knew each other from way back but don't visit often. Nice to bring people together. The two men were both Air Force pilots so there was a lot of flying talk, and one is a docent at the Carter where Kathie plans to volunteer, so they all had a lot to talk about. My meatballs were good--sitting overnight really did improve them, softened what I thought was too strong a tomato paste taste--and the mashed potatoes with spinach and gruyere were wonderful. For an appetizer, I served store-bought hummus--I've found a brand I really like, Cedar's Original, and I plopped a couple of defrosted cubes of pesto down in the middle. Great combination. Kathie brought chocolate cake for dessert, so it was a festive and good meal.
Nice day. Much better than yesterday. And I did write 2,000 words. Moving on.

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