Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I have this great love-hate relationship with mornings. I hate waking up, but I love having woken up early. It's the same thing with writing sometimes. Some famous writer says that writers hate writing, but they love having written.

I've just spent about four and a half hours writing. And boy, is it a good feeling. Now, I am sitting down to blog with a perfectly toasty grilled-cheese sandwich. Yum. Haven't had one of these in a while.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. We try to go to bed early because Caleb has to get up so early, but usually I don't get up with him, but, if I sleep in till 10am, I can't go to bed at 10pm. Thus, I found myself wide awake from the hours of 10pm to 1am. Some of that time I spent lying in bed thinking, and then I got up and went to my favorite night time reading place-- the bathroom, specifically, the bath mat with my back to the tub.

The book of the week, The Hours, by someone whose name I forget right now. Michael Cunningham? M something C something. Blame it on the sandwich. This book supposedly won a Pulitzer, but it's full of name dropping and way too much meaningless description. I actually skipped an entire paragraph which I don't think I have ever done in my life. I made those astute (lol) observations before I notice the "Pulitzer" on the cover... I've just always wanted to see the movie. I don't like when people name drop awards and other famous authors-- it's too much showing off. That's great that you're talking about Merwin and Rich and the two other people, but get back to the story! If I wanted to hear about them, I'd have picked up an anthology or something. I also don't like it when authors make sweeping generalizations about entire groups of people like "Christians with acoustic guitars" or the large two page section speculating about gay men and what they do.

But, there was a great section that was all story, no fluf, from the perspective of Virginia Woolf. It talks about her getting up in the morning to what she knows will be a good day of writing. As a writer myself, I loved every word. I could picture her in her dressing gown with her cup of coffee, going up the stairs to her room and sitting at a desk overlooking the window to the street with the red brick building.

I eventually got back into bed and my mind drifted off to the Dominican, as it usually does, and I was thinking about Virginia Woolf and writing, and Danielle's comments that I should write, and my long-time desire to write about the Dominican coupled with someone's comment at waffle night last night, "what do you do all day?!"And I heard the words in my head "you have a story to tell." So I decided that if God would let me fall asleep, I would start writing. I did this very morn.

Thanks to M.C. and the author of the cooking book for being critique-able yet strangely inspiring. Too often, I see what I would change in other books, but I've lacked the guts to actually try something myself. If other people can write books, so can I. I realize this is effectually giving the finger to the professionals out there who actually make money from their craft, but I figure starting with defiance is better than not starting at all. I know it will be hard and I won't want to keep doing it after a while, and it will take way, way, way longer than I want it to or think it will. But then the other part of me thinks that it's already written. I have written it like a hundred times in my mind and I wrote it while I was there in my journals and I wrote it again after that in class presentations and research papers and powerpoints and cooking for people and training other people who are going there. I know this story like the back of my hand. The hardest part will be cohesion, tone, the discipline to keep getting up in the morning. The dialogue, Spanish-English stuff, like what language do I use for what and how much Spanish should I put in, how do I get the old to fit with the new, how do I talk about injustice in a way that's enjoyable to read? Those things. Bahhhh I'm excited! I do love a good challenge and a big project that seems impossible.

Time for the rest of lunch. Feel free to ask me how it's going/tell me to keep going. I don't know how long it will last...

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