Monday, January 24, 2011

a .38 Special metaphor for the new book

My son is very comfortable with live animals. Lizards, salamanders, frogs, baby squirrels, baby bunnies (someday I will link a poem here). He finds them often, picks them up always, and holds them gently but firmly. He is not afraid or squeamish (as I am). What is a good word for it? Pragmatic. He has a pragmatic touch. I stand back and want very little to do with them. I either touch them too gently or when I get freaked, too firmly.

What does this have to do with writing? I have a new manuscript in my hand (the one from Nano) and  it is like a wild animal right now, unpredictable, dirty (as in a mess and I'm not sure what germs I want to get on my hands), most of all scary. It seems like I should take my sons approach. Have a gentle but firm grip on the thing. Unlike the last one where I pinned it beneath me as I tried to wrestle it into shape. With this new one, I want to take a new approach and hold it like my son would, with just the right amount of pressure. Respecting that it has a will of its own, but also what? What is it about his grip that I still have to learn? He holds it without fear but also has this sense of propriety over the animal.

As I write this post, I have this song in my head!

I chose this Youtube version because the video game images seemed to go well with book writing. And I think my manuscript would do well if I approach it with like passion. Can I hold this one lightly and never let it go? "Don't let her slip away, you sentimental fool." That line works for me.

Pragmatic, I say. It will be my new mantra.

Come find us at TPR. It has been busy lately and Jon Arntson has been hosting some late evening times (eastern standard time). That's the time of day when my writing is at its most stilted, but a lot of you out there are brilliant all the time. The practice room has been busy most days, full of writers working towards their goals. Come and join us. We'd love to chat writing with you. Check out the schedule through here.