Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Weekly Progress Report (a new feature of this blog)

I must apologize to anyone still paying attention to me and my blog. I have not been able to make it back to your blogs in the manner that I am accustomed and feel is your due. This hurts my heart. I am missing you all but I have a million living things IRL that are calling for my attention.

My excuse is my urban farm. Do you want to see a picture?

Picture Goes Here 
(true to form I couldn't get my hubby's camera to save the picture or email it to myself so, as per usual, I have nothing to show for it. Like my book, the garden is a total mess. Take my word for it.)

Here is an illustration of some of the urban livestock experiencing life as we know it.

But come to The Practice Room and you get tons of attention from me (and a bunch of other cool folks!!!). It seems to be a system working for everyone (who comes that is. I am a firm believer that not all processes are created equal! So this is a plug for those that have been on the fence!). Find the schedule and The Practice Room space through the door to the right.

Now to the Report!
About The book (FYI):
Heather(my MC, I knew her way before I met the illustrious Heather Kelly) is homeless, as well as hopeless. That is why she and her mother and brother are staying at St. Jude Shelter for Hopeless Causes. And although, Jude, the shelter's director, is not the saint the shelter was named after, he is the next best thing, because he hands out dollar bills and candybars. But what do all the messages really mean? Can Heather learn what she needs to know in order to save her family from Jude's influence and find something to hope for?

Donald Maass' question: If I stopped writing this novel right now, why would it matter?

And the correct answer cannot be:
Because then I would have wasted all this time fussing with it for the past 3 years of my life(and then some), not only writing the damn thing but also telling every one that I know that I'm doing so.

But of course that is the first thing that flew into my head. Unbidden. Unwanted. Lordy!

And so I am questioning everything, like is it time to put it aside. Am I just not passionate enough? Are my ideas stupid, too complicated or a fatal combination of the two?

But, here are the things that I love about the book:
1. The hair: messages sent via hair-do. It is a quirk of my protagonist that I didn't see coming and decided to go with. Along with the hair comes a myriad of magic as ephemeral as faith.
2. The lessons Heather learns. They are important and worthy and ones that everyone needs to know. Including myself.
3. Much of the book is true, well-written and profound. There are things about homelessness and growing up that everyone even with a home and full grown can understand.  And should understand.

I know that I have to throw myself at it full force. I know that there is no looking back. And that this is a crisis of faith. It is not the book itself that I question, but myself. The book is great. It is the person writing it that is faulty. Oh, it is now that I need the muse in the corner (Dena, is that you?). As god is my witness, I will belt this thing out.

Do I have to write it? I think I am past that point. At this point it is all craft and craziness. I alternate between the two.

So what's your answer to Donald Maass' question?