Poised on the Edge of a New Project

I love/hate starting a new novel. 

Writing is a discipline.  Oh, I know.  It’s a whole lot more than a discipline.  It involves imagination and creativity and a certain ability to string words together in a way that pleases people who read them.  And at its best it transports the writer out of his (or her: not being sexist here) everyday world into a place of mystery and delight.

But at its core, it’s a discipline.  You want to be a pianist, you practice.  You want to be a good pianist, you practice a lot.  If you have a limited grasp of what music is all about you will likely never be a great pianist.  But if you practice enough, you’ll be pretty damned good.

Likewise, if you want to be a writer, you write.  If you want to be a good writer, you write a lot.  If you have a limited imagination you will likely never be a great writer.  But if you write enough, you’ll . . . OK, you might never be pretty damned good.  You may only end up with piles of pedestrian manuscripts.  But the last one will be a whole lot better than the first one,  I guarantee.

But deciding what you’re going to write about?  Try as I might, I can’t turn that into a discipline.  Ideas are elusive.  Oh, they’re out there alright.  You just can’t command them to come in.   They have to be enticed.  Like fairies.  Sprinkle some bits of sugar cookies about — fairies like sugar cookies.  Unless they’re hungry for steak.

Back when I was working for money (as opposed to working to get words down on electronic paper), we had a little satellite plant in Dayton.  Dayton, Texas; not the Ohio version.  An hour’s drive down little Texas back roads.  Driving there in the early morning was the best.  The mists are still around — did I mention that fairies love mists?  Distractions are few and far between, unless you’re distracted by feed stores, trailers, cows watching you as they finish their breakfast. 

About 30 minutes into the ride, the fairies would come and ride with me.  They seemed to be fascinated by the idea of riding in a car in the midst of this rural landscape.

Walking just doesn’t do the same thing.  It’s not boring enough, I suppose.  Or maybe I just need to choose more boring places to walk.  A 40 acre soybean field, maybe. 

Think fairies hang out in soybean fields?

I have a couple of weeks for this idea to come together.  So I need to change my work habits.  Get up, shower, read the comments you’ve left for me on my blog over coffee.  And then head out for Dayton instead of the computer.

Here, fairies.

fairies 1



11 thoughts on “Poised on the Edge of a New Project

  1. You can buy a vial of fairiy dusted fairy eggs on etsy.com for $9.90. (I recommend the pink/purple mix.) Maybe sprinkle a little on your deck? Save you the drive?

    Or for $6.50 you’ll find Bathtime Fairy Dust . . . fizzes magically, releasing a majestic aroma along with shimmering magic . . . infused with aloe and sweet almond oil. Just soak in your tub–you’ll get bored very fast without a book to read–and let the fairies come to you!

    Then there’s always Dayton, TX. Good luck.

  2. I saw your post, read it. Reread it. I’m going to take that drive one day. It sounds like the perfect time to work out a story in your head. I do it in the morning commute. If I don’t turn the radio on, I completely and utterly get lost into the story that I’m working on. Sadly I can’t take notes. I don’t think the other cars would fare very well if I started to write my thoughts down!

    Yes, I’m definitely going to have to schedule a time to take that drive! Soon!

    Let me know how your thoughts/planning turned out! I can’t wait to hear the bones of the story!


    PS. If you buy the dust that Susan’s talking about, and put that in a magical little bath, and get all fizzly (yes I made that word up) I’ll pick on you for a few days. I won’t be able to contain myself! 😛

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