Amongst the Rare

51st Trial: The first 30 minutes of the writing process. The sitting down, the picking of the pencil, and the blank and sometimes uninviting white paper.

Weekly Hours Spent Writing or in the Pursuit of Plot:  8hr

Weekly Choice of Tea: Earl Grey

Biggest Success: Successfully snowboarding down the mountainside in Northstar, near Lake Tahoe. I fell, I landed hard, and I conquered.

snow-boarding

Jane Austen claims that one who can write a letter with ease, cannot write ill. Yesterday as I struggled with the chapter’s momentum (I have started chapter eight, happily enough) those words wrapped me in an innocent bubble, because I can write letters easily. In this bubble I do not feel the weight of my own expectations or of those brilliant writers that any novel will be compared to. But instead I fell alone, and my writing and my story are what they are. My technique compares to mine alone, and my voice echoes from my own mind. It does not give me confidence that I do in fact write well, but at least I cannot write ill. I find, like with most letter writing, beginning it is the toughest, whether you are starting a new chapter or picking up where you left off. About 30 minutes into my writing do I then become involved and pick up speed, but those 30 minutes are dreadful.  Must look beyond dreadful – mental note!

I wished I had seen Austen during the book fair I went to during my Valentine’s day treat! It was in Oakland, and it was the largest rare book collectors fair in the world. Jamie took me there as a surprise, little knowing that any book there ranged from $400 – $100K. I looked through the rows of vendors, pining over the Dickens, the Brontes, the Wordsworth, and the Shakespeare. I held tightly to Arabian Nights only to have to put it down again. The series of Tennyson sat nobly overlooking my puppy set eyes. Austen though, evaded me. I felt her, along with my favorite stories by the Bronte sisters, in the booths of particularly dusty, well-used, and sometimes stained books. There were large world Atlases that reminded me of the young Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, and there were thick books of anatomy, horticulture, and beetles that took me into Mr. Rochester’s library. Rarity comes with a price, but it was worth it to hold and flip through the pages of History and Time itself.

Happily I found a first edition of Harry Potter, which came home with me later that night!

hp-1st

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A Story by Any Other Name

5th Trial: Describing what I am writing about to others, which is so easily explained by my own inability to see far into how on earth I am going to get my character’s from here to the end of the novel.

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 2 hours– a low point! The sacrifice was well worth it, spending it at Perin Plantation, a home back in country side Ohio

Weekly choice of Tea: Iced peach tea

Greatest Success: Sharing the weekend with the wonderful grandmother Perin and holding a beautiful baby named Amelia

I have been writing at a local coffee-house called Smelly Cat this past week. It has adorable small red tables with tin flower pots, where the bright yellow flowers bring a feeling of quiet meditation with them. Which is important, because the streets surrounding Smelly Cat bring many characters with it. Just Friday I had a man screaming across the street “Bless you!” to anyone that sneezed within his ear shot, as he sat by his possessions in plastic bags, wearing a thick red sweater with ornaments dangling from it. I, of course, was sitting next to the person that had an allergy to something, and was in the middle of that strange dialogue between them. It was at this place too that I had two separate people ask me very similar questions:

“I see that you are writing, what are you working on? Oh, a story? Of what?”

“I heard you say you were writing a story. What will it be about?”

I of course avoided both questions, shrugging my shoulders, mumbling that it is something we all have yet to find out. I find it humorous that I give myself no credit as to the direction of the novel, one because it is true. However, I am realizing that stories seem to take its own direction, whether you intended it or not. For instance, at the start of chapter two I had the brother character being present and moving the scene alone, initially not intending him to come out until later on. I find that I like his placement there, and wonder if this is an effective approach to writing a novel: give it little restraint, and it will unfold just as beautifully, though differently. Didn’t Shakespeare teach us that? That a rose is still a rose, given a different name? My story will not lose its overall meaning, its ability to create that which I want it too, if I allow it to change an intended course. I have had a title in mind for a while, and yet that may change too. And so for anyone who wants to know such similar questions as asked above, just know that my story will be what it will be, and will smell just as sweet!

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” -Shakespeare