Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Writing Life 

Spent a few hours here and there writing, first in the dorm room and then, due to a severe lack of caffeine, in Haymarket, where I had the first coffee of the day and a beautiful omelet made with fresh mozzarella and herbs. Followed this with more writing, this time down by the river hidden in a bus-stop like structure deep in the wooded environs of the Smith College Japanese Gardens. Then it was too hot, so I lay down and read an old Dick Francis book I picked up in the used bookstore in town yesterday to clear my head while the laptop batteries charged.

The heat makes difficult to begin again, so I thought I'd sweat my way down to the Northampton coffeeshops again in a few to post a blogentry – yes, and now you’re soaking in it – as the Smith wireless is password-protected. Free wifi is such a wonderful thing. Pity one has to go to town to enjoy it. Now I'm back in Haymarket after an hour's worth of in-town snacking: pizza here, a coffee there. It’s supposed to rain violently soon, but so far, the weather is just oppressive, and the sun shines through large breaks in the cloudcover.

Note to self: next time you do this, bring shorts.

Decided to include small vignettes about where I'm writing in the book itself, to lend the immediacy of writing it to the subject of writing the self through blogs, and what kind of self could emerge, given the particular self writing, and the situations in which I have found myself.

Still trying to say that last bit better, though. Right now, describing what this book is (and what it is not) takes up a good three pages, when I’d like to think it should be evident from the writing.

Overall, I have managed to produce over 6,000 words, 15-plus pages of mishmashed paragraphs in some rough semblance of order, though it’s increasingly looking like they span the first several chapters. At this point, I can feel myself reaching a point where I won’t be able to do much more in the generative sense, not without a printer and red pen at my disposal. If this is it, I suppose – if the rest of the weekend is a total wash, and I end up fudging with the words rather than writing them – it will still be enough.

Have successfully avoided writing anything from the second half of the book – the second child, the loss of job, the summer of homelessness, settling into the new home and vocation. Those readers whose lives are inexorably, unavoidably intertwined with my own need not yet be concerned about their own recent lives, and how they might look on paper. After all, the goal today and tomorrow is to crank out a single chapter, that it and an outline might be sent to an agent as yet unchosen and unpursued.

But writing constantly does not always allow me to choose my subject, and the way I write doesn't always let me put aside the voices without running the risk of losing them. Soon, too soon, it will be write it or lose it. Soon I will have to write some of it, if only because if I am to continue to write, I will need to write about something; if only because writing it is the only way to ensure that it doesn't go in the first chapter, even if that's only to create a bookend for later.

I'll try to be kind, but I also need to be comprehensive and honest.

The storm is coming, or so the paper says. Outisde, the sky grows grey with clouds again.

posted by boyhowdy | 5:26 PM |

What are you writing about again?
i haven't even put on pants since before school got out. how can you stand it?
How can I stand it?

One leg at a time, baby. One leg at a time.


But seriously: if there's anything I've learned about Daddyhood, it's that people with kids are never truly on vacation.

I dream of the day they'll be old enough for summer camp.
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