Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Still casting about...

...hoping something will grab the line and let me reel it in. It's almost 1pm and I'm blank. Brendan's not being helpful. He seems to be in a mood. Or maybe adding him singing "The Banks of Claudy" is wrong. Or too sharp in its meaning for him. I don't know. His back is to me and he's off on a reverie and does little more than cast me hurt looks...and I'm not catching the meaning of this, yet.

I'm heading up to Buffalo to discuss my employment options with an international shipping company located there. Just bought the ticket. I'm not going till January 6th, and everything's been so nebulous, I'm not sure what to expect...but it's forward motion on the job front.

Hmm...what would Brendan give Joanna for a Christmas present?

I wonder if Brendan's funk is from my going through the writing I've done so far and finding a solid through-line? I mean, I knew what the story was and basically where it was going, but those were merely the sketches of bones on a page. I'm seeing the full body forming, now, and back to feeling inadequate to the task of helping it grow into a solid, meaningful piece. It's like when I'm roughing out a figure painting and I can see where some aspects fit nicely together while others are misplaced and I'm not sure if I can correct them well enough to save the work as a whole or if I'll need to start from scratch. I've had it happen where after I've got everything in line I realize I've placed the figure in the wrong position on the frame and none of it will work out...and into the trash it goes.

I've had something similar happen in my writing -- where it turns out I started a novel or script at the wrong point and had to back up or add to it to get it into the proper rhythm -- but that's usually easier to work out. I'm beginning to wonder if this is also the case. The whole first section of "A Place of Safety" is expanding and demanding more and better depth and detail than I thought it would need. I wonder if I'm rushing it through, too much? Brendan's walk to Claudy is too short, right now. It's too surface. I need more, so the meaning of it is not shortchanged.

I need to walk it like I did from Grianan Aileach back to Derry so many years ago. That's the walk where he first began talking to me -- Brendan did. First began showing me I was headed down the wrong path trying to make this story into a screenplay. First gave me the task of telling it through him...or him telling it through me. And where I freaked out thinking I wasn't up to the task. It took me years to get past that, and half the reason is I was still trying to do the story by long-distance. I need to travel this space, in person.

Which leads me to the question -- an I just pushing this book through to get it done and skimming over the world of it to say I've done it...just to shut Brendan up? Have I set an artificial time limit for achieving a first draft to excuse this surface writing? How wrong that'd be, to do. And how typical of me.

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