Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Get Rid of the Clutter

I have a hard time getting rid of stuff. Like furniture. Perfectly useful furniture. Or pieces of fabric that I love. When I finish this novel, will I really make a duvet cover from all that lovely stuff? And my prose. It too is beautiful. You know, the idea of it anyway. Can you tell that I’m still mulling over my first person-third person shift in narrator? What I will have to give up to go there? I give up some of the magical-ness for a closeness to the main character. The first person will work better with some logistical stuff, but not all the logistical stuff. I sent my revision out to one of my Big Sur Workshop groups and waited for them to do the work for me. I thought it would be so easy. Have them make the decision for me. But the decision falls back on me. It is a test. Now is my time to either pass it or fail.

I have an undecided personality. That’s why I throw everything into the novel in the first place. That’s how come I come to these hard decisions of having to narrow my view. Decide how to focus myself and then through that perspective see my story in its best light. But the process through the unknowing is unbearable for me. That’s an exaggeration, but it is hard. My Uncle Dan, who hates being unsure, is on the other side of that particular personality characteristic. He says that he never knows which way is actually the right way to do it. He just decides and does it, right or wrong he gets it done with out worrying over it as I do. As I am right now. And that, right there, is reassuring. Maybe other people don’t really know either and they just go along and get the things done that they have to get done. Anyway I keep thinking if I clear out the garage. If I go in there and get to work throwing all that unnecessary stuff away, will that be enough of a real life metaphor to get my novel life moving? Does an action in one area, elicit action in another? Or is it procrastination? And I realize even at this point the thinking about it is the procrastination and I should just do it. Work on it either way or both ways for awhile. The clarity will come. I had just expected it to come before now.

As Always(perhaps just a little less sure),

Writing Exercise:
Time to focus on the work. The work is enough. The act of sitting down with the characters and learning to love them more is enough to keep the project moving. Time for another koen.

Hoca borrowed a large pot from his neighbor. Days and weeks went by and he did not return the pot. One day the neighbor stopped by and asked if he could have his pot back. Hoca apologized, "I am sorry, I forgot to return it. But I have good news for you, while in my possession your pot gave birth to a smaller pot".

So, he sent the happy neighbor home with two pots. Few weeks later Hoca knocked at his neighbor's door and asked if he could again borrow that large pot. The neighbor, after his recent gainful experience, was more than happy to lend his pot to Hoca. When days and weeks went by without a word from Hoca about the pot, the neighbor decided that he'd better go and see about his pot.

When Hoca opened the door, the neighbor asked if he could have his pot back. Hoca with a very sad face informed the man that while in his possession, the large pot passed away. Shocked by Hoca's audacity, the man got angry and said: "What do you think I am, an idiot to believe that the pot died?"

"Why my good man" replied Hoca with a smile, "You had no trouble believing that your pot gave birth?"

I selected this randomly and it seems like a useful one for me. Read it twice. Out loud if you can. Then write about it. Go wherever your thoughts go. Bring your thoughts purposefully to your project and apply it to your characters. The time and the energy of writing is enough. That is where the work is.