Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ways of Seeing

I’m writing chapter fourteen. This could possible be the last chapter in my novel. It could be the second to the last. I have the very end written in various places, so I know where I am writing to, but I’m a little lost in the meantime. I tend to wonder if I’m pushing hard enough, or perhaps my dithering is an important part of the process.

I have the urge to see my novel in different ways. I want to draw it on a long parchment and color it with a beautiful palate. I’m thinking grays and browns and maroons. I think some blues in there too. Warm ones.

Or I want to see it in macramé, each piece of yarn representing a plot thread, each knot the point where they intertwine and become one. At the bottom the threads tangle into knots, the weaver not sure where one ends and the other begins.

Or I want to go out onto the black of our newly sealed driveway with very white chalk and mind map the novel in enormous circles(really I have never found mind-mapping to work for me), great gestures(I think I have written about this before) of my novel that just capture the shape and the feel of it and somehow those long strokes would pull all my thoughts together into the rest of chapter fourteen which I believe is about what everyone doesn’t know(including the novelist).

In the past writing the synopsis worked. Somehow tracing my way in words from the very beginning helped find everybody in the present moment.

As Always(off to see the Wizard),
Tina

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Praise of Cabbage-- and other great things.

I’m forty now. Determined to think that this will be my best decade, despite the wrinkly skin and pounds that are harder to take off. Here are the things that I have going for me:

1.Two wonderful children. I always wanted to be a parent. I embraced the parenting wholeheartedly and regret nothing. And now they are big and life is grand partly because they are grand kids and partly because I can be their parent and…

2. Write. Almost as much as I wanted to have babies, did I also wanted to make up books. And by make them, I guess I meant gestate them until full-term(so much longer than you have to do then with those human zygotes). And then labor them out into the world(also maybe more mentally painful, if not as physically miraculous). Like being a parent, I have wanted to make those wordy worlds since I was just a little reader. And now I nearly have a fledgling book of my own. I have to thank…

3. Josh. Not only does he support me in this (financially among all the other ways), but without him I would still be trapped in a lot of bad old habits that would have me insecure and not writing and I probably would never have found…

4. The yoga. Thank god for that(it is religious to me after all). Without yoga, the kids would drive me nuts, the ego would keep me crossing out words and I wouldn’t be able to stand on my head(something I could never do before 40—I literally just started this past week).

5. Cabbage. (I didn’t know how to connect this with the above). I live close to the co op so I have access to all the organic purple cabbage I could possibly eat. Its color looks good in any meal, next to any meal, and on the counter. It’s excellent cooked or raw. Great in Asian, Mexican and Irish, and a bunch of other cultural foods of my own invention. It lasts a long time in the refrigerator. It is so fresh and crunchy on a hike. It is reasonably cheap and extremely healthy. I'm sure it will keep me happy well into my fifties.

As Always(I had a massage today),
Tina

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why do I think this is so funny?



I guess it is the seriousness that makes me laugh. I love it.

As Always(I turn 40 tomorrow),
Tina

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Today was the final round of The Battle of the Kids' Books. Lois Lowry chimed in with a hysterical account of her decision and just as good is to read the ensuing star studded comments, Anderson praising Katniss and Suzanne Collins answering back, with her own praise of MT, and Jane Yolen and John Green and Sarah Miller. They banter and pat each other on the back and say smart things just as we all expect they do when we are not watching. Just the reason why I want to be in the club. Is it a club?
I have loved, loved loved the battle.(Can it really be done?)

Also, kottke.org did a survey of bad reviews of the wire from Amazon(I also loved the link to the you can't please everyone series--what do you think? Do those reviewers really not know Spinal Tap is made up?). I always find the things he does to be interesting. And often timely to me. We just watched the first three shows of The Wire the other night. I have been hearing all the hype, that even Obama loved the show, so finally I succumbed to television. (That is what it has come to-succumbing to television, I'm not even bragging, just terribly behind the times.) And I have to admit I was struck by the characterization. That already I care about Jimmy McNulty, not only is he attractive but I've seen him falling down drunk a couple of times and laughing at himself when he's foolish. So charming. Even the fact that this whole detail evolved from him, makes him seem either too honest to follow the "rules" of the Baltimore Police Force or too messed up to do so. And somehow I want to know which. That seems like a good way to start out the show--and also letting me watch in hour intervals(half hour would be even better--considering how behind I am).

As Always(perhaps it's just as well that I am behind, otherwise kottke.org would never have struck a chord),
Tina