This morning I sat in a coffee shop, a bit of a hole in the wall, bohemian place. The whirring sounds of the cappuccino maker and conversations of passersby’s combining with the soft voice on the sound system drifts over my ears. The floors are worn in a path that leads to the counter that is manned by a dreadlocked woman whose smile is infectious. I love this place. If I sit in the front I can watch as life goes by in an unending stream of traffic while I sit and enjoy the moment. If I sit in the back the windows overlook the river where I can see the changing colours of fall sliding along in a peaceful cornucopia of breath. Evens its name Slave to the Grind takes imagery and thrusts it into the mind.
So this morning I sit and enjoy my chai tea, the same as every other morning. Breathing and prepping myself for the day. I started coming here regularly as a way to force myself to write. I sit wrapped in the warmth of my favorite haunt and type away on my baby laptop. Inspiration finds me and makes me its bitch.
I have set a rather lofty goal of trying to write one thousand words a day. Most writers say to write three hundred and fifty, so perhaps I am being an over achiever. For those not in the know, three hundred fifty words is approximately a page. So a thousand is a lot and so far I’ve maintained that. I’m not kidding myself if I can’t make it well than I won’t beat myself up on it. But I like having a goal – an end point. And honestly usually when I start (especially when I am mid story) the words flow and I can easily end up doing twice that many.
But there are some days, especially coming up in the foul weather of south western Ontario where writing is like pulling teeth. Each word is a struggle. Or where the story goes sideways and I just can’t write it anymore. I have a novel that is in process, sitting at thirty thousand words (about half way done) and I’ve lost all my get up and go about the story, the characters, everything. I’ve got another one, where at ten thousand words I realized there was no way it could be used at all. Both of those I’ve set aside and hope to come back to at some point. For now I file them away and keep going.
I’ve got just over a week until my release date. It’s really getting close now, close and crazy and scary and exciting and pride filling and utterly terrifying. I’m holding it together barely suppressing my emotions but holding it together none the less. The passage of time seems like a paradox, at points going so slowly that things are NEVER going to happen, then whizzing by in hardly noticed impressions. I know I’m regurgitating what a lot of science fiction shows talk about, but I feel right now like I am stuck in warp drive.
I know I’ve talked before about the busyness of life and this month is no exception. I am organizing a huge Halloween bash, running the store, writing, releasing a book, having my daughter’s birthday, having to attend four other major functions and trying to breath. It’s a crazy month. So I apologize if my brain isn’t working the way I would hope it would normally.
Today’s nonsensical post is about nothing. I am going to include a poem, which I normally wouldn’t – this isn’t the forum for poetry but I wrote this the other day when Mr. Gloria asked me what it felt like to write a novel. I also in no way claim to be a poet but I was feeling it at that moment. So here it is, feel free to ignore it or read it your choice.
That’s it for today. Wish me luck as I progress through this week and try to hold my shit together. (and just so you know this post is sitting at 691 words – so I am not done for the day)
Birthing A Novel
Hour by hour, minute by minute
carving little pieces of my soul
to serve on a plate for the public to mock
Days spent in little coffee shops, ignoring family and friends,
Surrounding myself instead with my characters,
hurting when they hurt, crying when they cry,
losing time, losing sleep as the world I engross myself in takes over.
Monopolizing my time, my energy, my every thought.
staring out windows agonizing over what they would do and the choices they must make.
Hands constantly poised over keyboard waiting for the words to come.
Hoping, praying for inspiration.
Why do it?
Why not just ignore the voices in my head begging to be let out?
Why, because the call is too strong.
I write or I am not.
I am what I am, I cannot pretend to be something else.
I cannot lose myself in the world of the mundane.
I will become something I can’t be
The story begs to be told.
I must endeavour to give it the justice it deserves.
I am a slave to my muse, to the creative juices within myself.
I follow because I have no choice.