Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blogging for Books: On Being Between

*a brief explanation for my regular readers—cough—heck, mom, just ask me about it tonight.*

**but if you’re really curious, Joshilyn Jackson (http://www.joshilynjackson.com/mt/) tells me that if my blog entry on “between” wins various places, I get various copies of her books. And I kind of have a she’s-published-and-funny crush on her.**

When I was six, I had a fight with my mother. I ran outside to my favorite invisible spot to sulk and fume. I wanted to run away, but I didn't.

You can leave when you're eighteen, I told myself. After you finish school, so you can get a job and eat and pay for things. Practical, yes, but even at six I knew I wouldn't enjoy starving. At six, eighteen seemed very far away. I can't really be sure that I counted the thirteen years between me and the adequate number correctly, but I knew it was far, and I knew I had to wait, for the gulf comprising Between to become smaller and smaller until I could step onto my own land. (Mom, I love you. Don't get mad at me. I was six.)

When I met K., I was eighteen. When I fell in love with him, I was twenty. We waited for me to graduate college to marry, so that we could tell our children to do it right, and it took bloody forever. Eighteen months between me and him becoming an us. Then nine, and then four, and then, very scarily, fewer than two.

We're married now, thank Heaven. Almost immediately after our return from our honeymoon, I started writing a novel. The first attempt, 10k of words in, got chucked out, and then followed a time of intense outlining. I've been drafting for nearly seven months now, going through four outlines. Fifty thousand words down. Fifty thousand left. So far, I don't enjoy drafting. It's what I have to do to get to the revising stage, the stage which might sound like tweaking, but what-- for me-- will be more like art and less like me scraping the inside of my head clean and throwing it at the page.

There are light years between me now and me becoming an established writer. Our land in Vermont does not yet have the stone terracing and enchanted cabin we've planned. I need to learn how to sew before I can re-slipcover my sofa.

I really would like to get to the cabin and the slipcovers and the career, but I know that I can't begrudge every log, every sewing lesson, every page that lies between me and my dreams. Go easy, I tell myself. Savor the way.

But keep going.


Anonymous said...

That was beautiful. That's all


el-e-e said...

I like it! Found you through B4B. :)

Anonymous said...

I think everyone maybe has that fantasy of running away when they're children--I was 5 and promised myself I'd run away when I was 13,because I thought THAT was old enough to take care of myself.So,naw, I'm not upset-

What's important is the journey--