The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

23 July 2015

July, twenty-third day

Writing every day, but sometimes only in snatched moments here and there (so it's either write, or post updates).  I'm learning about, and am fascinated by, the process - the alchemy - of writing a full-on manuscript/story/book.  It's both far harder and much easier than I thought.  That is because I used to get hung up on the details, the cosmetics, and the craftsmanship of what went onto the page so that I couldn't move forward until everything was just so.  With this project, I'm having fun, I'm enjoying it all, am freely exploring, and most of all, am just putting it down, knowing that this is only one draft of (probably) several. While writing entire sections, I have known that bit wasn't good and would either have to go or be transformed later.  But I am content to leave that for later.  Writing badly can still move the story forward or reveal details I didn't know about before.  Writing badly still gets the imagination flowing and keeps the pencil moving across the page. Sometimes a little jewel is left behind from writing badly, so I'm happy with every day a little writing happens, even when it's bad.

Day twenty-three: brief and bad but brave.

18 July 2015

July 18

I know.  I know!
It's been three days. I haven't written in three days.
There are reasons.  Excuses.  But still, it's been three days.

Today is a good day to get back to it, don't you think?

More later.

13 July 2015

The thirteenth day

I haven't been reporting every day, but am happy to report that I am writing every day.  Still not huge amounts - between 200-600 words daily.  I'm trying to not get stuck on difficult bits or get bogged down when I write myself into a corner.  Instead, I jot down notes to myself at the end of the section and start fresh with a new scene or chapter.  It's working so far.

Last week was busy with work and such, but this week may turn out to have more windows of writerly opportunity.

I hope your writing is going well.

Day thirteen: on the page.

09 July 2015

July 8/9

Nothing written yesterday. Work, doctors, interviews.
Leetle beet written today, not enough to document.  Will try to get more on paper before sun down.
Plugging away!

Day 9 - limpingly

07 July 2015

July 6/7

Still writing!  600 pages yesterday, more today.

I realize my strength (or at least my area of greatest comfort) lies in description, rather than dialogue. Dialogue slows me down and feels stilted.

We could be in for a big thunderstorm tonight, so I might be writing by candlelight.  What fun!  So I'm posting this update now, just in case.

Day seven: atmospheric

05 July 2015

July five

Today is a very special day, as it is Number Three Nephew's 12th birthday.  Twelfth!  How on toast did that happen? I must not have been paying attention because I'm pretty sure he was only five yesterday.  I bought him a decorative box from the dollar store (one a boy wouldn't feel awkward with) and filled it with about seven different kinds of candy from the Bulk Barn.  He is one happy camper.

It has also been a three-h-day - hazy, hot, and humid.  Coming down off the escarpment on the way home, I couldn't tell there was a lake out there at all, the sky was so very hazy.

So, it's been a full day.  I've just now managed to write a little, advancing the next chapter forward a smidge.  Perhaps 250 words.  While writing this evening, I was able to clarify some details in my mind about where Gamel came from and why he is where he is when we first meet him. It is very interesting - and exciting - to me to see this process unfold.

Day five: check.

The Fourth

Happy Independence Day to my friends south of 49!
Let the fireworks shatter against the sky etc.

I read advice to writers years ago that is proving to be sound. It went something along these lines: do not consume someone else's words when you are trying to write your own.  The point was to take care what you consume mentally, for it will impact what you produce. And also that filling up on someone else's words before you let your own free could very well prevent yours from getting out.

I wish I'd remembered that before I decided to watch a movie tonight after getting home from work instead of sitting down with Gamel.  When I did put pencil to paper, it was very hard going. I have an idea what this chapter is going to accomplish, and I've got a clearer grasp of the tone of the narration every time I work at it... but tonight the movie got in the way, cluttering up my access to where Gamel is in my imagination.

Still, the next chapter has been begun with roughly 200 words. A very small amount, but I count it a victory, as it is the fourth day in a row of moving forward.

Day four: victorious.

03 July 2015

July Day Three

As I write this, the sun is hovering just above the horizon in a burst of orange and hot yellow. Birds are madly chattering at each other in a way that makes me wonder if they just chirp to hear themselves chirp, or if they understand each other, from one sort of bird to another. I can also hear the voices of people in the orchard behind my house picking cherries. Not what they're saying, just the sound of their presence out there.

It's been a busy day.  A mighty quick day. I can't believe we're at its end already.  Front-line public library duty is exhausting work - be kind to your librarian the next time you visit!  I'm back again tomorrow, and thinking that I may not survive it.  There is an algorithm I haven't worked out that translates time based on an introvert doing extroverted activities.  It must be something like: four hours of friendly outgoingness for an introvert = 7.5 hours of regular work to an extrovert.

I did manage to write just shy of 300 words yesterday. That's not a vast amount by any means, but I made an exciting discovery.  Gamel started not in England as I'd imagined, but in Germany, and this became clear because the brown corduroy and tweed-wearing antique shop owner is named Mr. Hummels, and not Mr. Hobbs.


More written today.

And so one chapter, at last, is written.

Day three: complete.

02 July 2015

July Day Two

Personal details approaching:
Roughly a decade ago, a mole mysteriously appeared on my right shin, almost spot-on the middle.  Then about two years ago, one showed up in the exact same spot on the other leg (the left one). Maybe two weeks ago, the first mole became swollen and sore - in fact the whole shin bone is achy.  You know what I'm thinking, don't you?  That Dreaded Word.  It's probably just infected from a razor nick or something equally benign, but my way of handling things is to internally freak out about it, and externally do nothing about it.  I don't have a family doctor (a side effect of moving frequently) and this isn't something I fancy going to a walk-in clinic with.  I had almost convinced myself it would just go away (don't all unpleasant things go away if you ignore them long enough?) but when my sister saw it yesterday she told me to see a doctor without passing go and collecting $200.  This involves registering with a "we'll help you find a doctor who is accepting new patients within an overnight drive of where you live" service that will then connect me with a "I'm a helpful nurse who will take the information you gave over the phone to the other people and possibly maybe do something with it" person and that might result in me being able to contact a health care provider for an appointment sometime in the next month or so.  Hopefully the leg will not either fall off or swell to drastic proportions before then.

All this to say that I had personal business to attend to this morning before I headed out to work from noon to dusk.  Now that I'm home I've had just enough oomph to eat a bowl of ice cream with mango and bacon (I know!) and will now crawl into bed with the Gamel notebook to - hopefully - write the rest of the chapter begun yesterday.

Day Two: a forecast of done.

01 July 2015

Be ye maple-leafy

Happy Canada Day, bloggish friends.

I spent the day - happily - with the Peanuts. I remember the Days of Yore when I would head to the Big Downtown and party it up with half a million strangers, culminating in a walk of days back to the car and a sleepy drive home smothered in yawns and residual feelings of giddiness.  Now, in my advanced years, a day spent with five chattering boys and the cutest little girl-peanut in the world was exactly what I wanted to do.

One of the wonderful things about coming home after filling up on Nut-ness is the drive. There is a long straight approach over and down the escarpment to the lake and it's that view that - every single time - has me offering up a thank you to the Lord that I get to live in this place.  Tonight that drive was lit by the biggest, pinkest sun I've seen in a long time.  It was a stunning sight.

Today wasn't entirely about getting my ears talked off, however.  I did manage to spend some time with Gamel.  Well, another character in the story of Gamel, actually.  A very rough count has it at about 700 words.

Day one:  done.