In Time for a Watchman

32nd Trial: Grey VS Gray. Still clueless

Weekly hours writing or in the pursuit of plot: 6hr

Weekly choice of tea: Ginseng Tea from the Goad household

Biggest Success: Began Chapter 6 and finished Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’

I was apprehensive to begin reading Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ because, really, I felt the same way Scout did in the novel itself. Do not change Atticus. Do not alter the precious childhood memories produced on the streets of Maycomb County. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is in us all, with its innocence and its political strength. Lee’s newest release seemed to put us all in check, because Mockingbird left at least myself feeling strong in the ideas of right and wrong, of the ignorant and of the discriminated. And with that strength we could challenge all racial adversaries with the radical mindset of the now developed Jean Louise.

I bring this novel and my review of it to my blog because it harnesses the human power and ability. Watchman supported segregation and hope through slowly lessening prejudice and increasing one’s faith for the future. How can we have a fair and just world? By turning a light switch on and off? Or do we, as Atticus feels, keep our differences until all demographics are on an equal playing field when it comes to education and abilities? I take pride in my strong opinions, as does the family I grew up in, however the element of bigotry threatens my arguments. It threatened Jean Louise.

And yet in this world we need bigots to shout out Right, just as much as we need people like Atticus to keep balance and foster the strength to build. I liked both Jean Louise and Atticus in their opposition, however Jean Louise did annoy me. I find that I dislike extremists–there is nothing progressive about them really. Without a certain amount of balance, understanding, and give, proper change is impossible within a society. It is due time that we set out our watchman, know ourselves and know our environment. With consciousness comes intention, and with intention comes supportive action. Just like a wisp of smoke in the billiard room, politics fly from my mouth with littler substance than the falling snow.

“A man couldn’t vote simply because he was a man, in Jefferson’s eyes. He had to be a responsible man. A vote was, to Jefferson, a precious privilege a man attained for himself in a–a live-and-let-live economy.” Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Next week I fly to Southeast Asia, where Jamie and I will discover new lands and the inevitable inspiration that comes with the beauty and power of the world. I have been familiarizing myself with as much of the culture as I can, reading their beliefs and customs. I am intrigued with the triad of the Hindu religion, the yantra-mantra-tantra triad. Yantra specifically, as it is one’s harness and guidance of their intention and will. I shall go to S.E. Asia, and with my literary inspiration, set my watchman!

 

Broaden the Corners of a Story

17th Trial: Finding the focus within a story

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot:  2.5 Hours

Weekly Choice of Tea: Turmeric and Ginger

Biggest Success:  Small events will exemplify a story’s moral(s) more than the overarching storyline.

This past week passed as most do–a breath of relief followed by anticipation for another Monday. I accomplished a small portion of chapter four, and I cannot help but compare this small progress to a cat playing with a dangling toy fish. The time I dedicate to the novel seems to dangle before me, and sometimes I do catch it. Sometimes I hold on so tight to it I then release it, to see it go beyond my grasp again. I play this game until I am fed up, and the story lays forgotten for days. It’s more exhausting playing with my prey than to actually hold it captive. I find it fascinating that dreams and aspirations take the abuse of neglect quite easily. I do not blame work, as we will always work and personally I love what I do for a career. However my focus sways, and cannot stay long enough for me to spend quality time on my novel.

Undeterred, I love my project even with the shame it brings me from not working on it. I am currently watching To Kill a Mockingbird, and it is times like this that my passion dangles before me and I grow mesmirized. I am so happy to have started this journey, as if so many stories such as Harper Lee’s speak to something deep within. One scene from To Kill a Mockingbird showed me something new and interesting. It was the scene with a dog coming down the street, jumping and growling and obviously infected with Rabies. It was shot down by Atticus in the middle of the street and in the eyes of Gem and Scout. This dog has nothing to do with the overlying story, with the trial, or the play, or of tormenting Boo Radley. And yet do we not sense Atticus as the protector? Do we not see an innocent creature shot down, mirroring so much of what is to happen? There are so many additions to a story that may not seem (as when I read To Kill a Mockingbird) noteworthy in the course of a novel, but in reflection are the only things that truly put the reader in the mind-frame to accept such an ending.

I have only now to build upon that thought. How exciting, to think of small adventures that could bring light in the corners of a story, and to distract us as well as instruct us.

When I think of To Kill a Mockingbird, the first image to come to mind is a front porch swing. And naturally I see the scenery of Grove Avenue, from the porch of my aunt’s home, and I hear the creaks that come with the swing’s sway as I sit to observe it all. A front porch should do the trick for any writer’s block—if only!

When it comes to talking about To Kill a Mockingbird, I always imagine a front porch swing. I then naturally think of Grove Avenue!

When it comes to talking about To Kill a Mockingbird, I always imagine a front porch swing. I then naturally think of Grove Avenue!