Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Writer’s Block Break Through – Kind of

It had been almost a year since my corporate exit, and still no complete story. My sister and her husband had planned a long weekend road trip coming up in a few weeks. Besides always packing her art supplies, Pam also packs plenty of reading material when traveling. My goal was to have a story completed in time to send with her on her trip.

Trixi KittyEvery time I mentioned writing a book, the immediate response was I needed to write one about my little calico. I couldn’t really argue because she is Miss Personality Plus and my world pretty much, okay completely, revolves around her. A small stray that found and trained me well. I tried writing a story about our garden strolls and then one about her and one of Pam’s beagles, but both seemed forced and contrived. Then I had a series of short stories started, but I needed at least three more to give it substance. I started writing one, then deleted it, then started it again, then deleted it, and then just stared at blank screen typing and deleting random letters. After the several starts and deletes, I decided to turn to Willow May. The little girl who was the catalyst to this whole adventure from the beginning.

Willow May had teased me off and on during the months after I quit my job. She started out more as a poem about a little girl going to a carnival. The first few lines came quickly until we got to the carousel. I just could not get past the carousel. I would try to skip ahead, but no matter how I tried, I ended up back at the carousel. Willow May and I would play for a while, and then I would close her back up for another couple of months. I was wanting to write her in a Tim Burton fashion frosted with Gris Grimly and a sprinkle of Dr. Seuss on top all placed in a deep dark Poe crust. I don’t know why I would have writer’s block?

I had only a few weeks before my sister left on her vacation to persuade Willow May to let me get beyond the carousel. She was a stubborn little girl and I cannot say I ever had that break through moment where my fingers could barely keep up on the keyboard with the over flowing of passages. But she did let me finish, yes, I had a finished story! Did it have gaps? Oh my gosh did it ever have gaps, but unlike my other writings, these gaps weren’t like the first half, middle, or last half of the story. I had passages that I had alternatives lines out to the side, passages that were totally misbehaving and I knew needed discipline, and a main character who refused to give me his name, BUT the storyline was complete. I emailed it to my sister on the eve of her trip, I think the email was as long as the story.

That weekend seemed like an eternity waiting for her response, and then when she got back, she made no mention of it. I took no reply to mean she hated it and was trying to figure out how to tell me without hurting my feelings. She finally emailed me, then called, she said she enjoyed the story, and one particular character highly amused her. I will admit, I was hoping for a little more, you know, “OMG! I love it! I laughed, I cried, I laughed again, I reached a higher spiritual plane and I am an overall better person now for reading it.” Okay, that probably was a lot to ask and should be happy with the enjoying of it and being highly amused by one of the characters. Anyway, one major step...actually having a completed story.

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