Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Writing again--and a puzzling dinner

Whoohoo! I'm a novelist again. I dug back into my work-in-progress today and actually wrote two new pages--not much, I know, but it's a toe in the water. Some time ago I read about the Snowflake method of writing a novel--like adding layers until you get the complex shape of a snowflake. The author recommended you write a description of your novel in one sentence, then one paragraph, and then one page. Then write a page about each of the main characters. When I went back to it today I realized that I'd done all that, and I do know my characters pretty well and I have the general plot in my mind. I had thought to read it all again--I'm at 47,000 words--but those notes convinced me that I should just plow ahead, finish the draft, and then go back for rewrites. I'm full of ideas and, now, enthusiasm. Once you move away from a novel in progress, it's hard to go back and pick up the threads, but those snowflake pieces made it much easier to step back into that world. I am anxious to write--but the world is too much with me (please forgive the cliche). I have a coffee date with my new neighbor in the morning and must fit in my bike ride; tomorrow night I teach; Friday I have to grocery shop and have a tentative lunch date. But Friday afternoon and evening are clear, and I know I'll begin to get back into it. Why did I move away from it? I can't even remember now, except that a lot of other small projects seemed to come my way.
Had lunch today with a friend who is worried about what she'll do in retirement. I was prepared to offer suggestions, but it turns out she gave herself a kick yesterday and shed her doldrums, began networking, and has some real ideas, any two of which will keep her more than busy. I predict she'll easily end up like me, wondering how I got so busy.
Tonight Betty and I went to a new bistro that I've been longing to try. She had lentil soup and Caesar salad, but I relished the appetizer plate of pate--three different pates, two smooth and sophisticated and one country, all delicious. The server put everything on one check, so we asked her to split it--and we each got identical checks that still had all the food and wine ordered on them. So we paid what we thought was the amount each owed, though I was amazed I could have pate for $4.45 and wine for $2.75--it was the house chardonnay and not very good. Well, of course, on the way home we figured out that the waitress had just split the bill in half, so we each paid half of what we should. She wasn't very attentive, I think because we were two older ladies not ordering entrees (we've run into that before), and though we wondered about the check, it had taken so long to get it we didn't want to wait around to question her. So we left, and on the way home figured out what happened. I called the restaurant and they said not to worry, the waitress would have to make it up. Well, I sort of hate that but as I said to whoever was on the phone, maybe it was a learning lesson for her. And she honestly hadn't paid much attention to us. But oh, those pates were good. I'm sure we'll go back, but I hope we get a different waitress.

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