December 9th, 2005


A tiny nugget of writing lore from my own little beach

Last night at the Omaha Beach Party, GS, blzblack and I were having a long discussion of writing process and related issues. I said something to GS about one of my personal little epiphanies as a writer, that I needed to trust my process -- in my case, launching into stories with nothing more than a well-turned phrase or a single image, expecting (and experiencing) the journey to a finished piece. GS later emailed and asked me to reiterate my comment writing. Here's what I sent him this morning:

Working on "The Water Castle", I got to a point where I really didn't understand my own story and was becoming afraid that I'd screwed it up, and realized that for me writing is like jumping off a high board before I look to see if there's water in the pool. I just have to trust the process, and launch myself into flight, knowing that someday I will land in grace and beauty.

This probably makes more sense if you realize that I am a deeply subconscious writer. Virtually everything I write is a total hipshot, though I may do a lot of research, planning or explicit prethinking up front. Once I begin keyboarding, I'm lost in the story, wondering what comes next. "Following the headlights", as Bear says quoting E.L. Doctorow.

Update: It's early -- specficrider just pointed out that I'm essentially quoting she and I in our brand new IROSF article anent following the headlights.

Tired and cold

I know something's badly out of whack when I find myself thinking that a 20 degree day is welcome spell of mild, warm weather. Sheesh. Heading home Real Soon Now, no more of this subfreezing crap. (This is literally the coldest weather I've personally had to endure in at least 10 or 15 years.) Week winds down.