Dinner with Salon last night. Amazing, as always, if a little bittersweet.

Folks are heading their separate ways: B and Wretched to Lawrence, Kansas to Wretched’s terrific new job, Glorious to Europe for a couple of weeks, me to the River to move boxes and get ready for the carpet guy on Monday. Many vibrations throughout Packing Universe. And slowly, for W, B and G I hope as for me, order begins to emerge from chaos.

I’ve had to hit the “Pause” button on the writing. There is only so much that one can do in a day. But mine is a mechanism that rolls back into “Play” automatically, without having to touch the controls. So it happened yesterday.

Driving in the car, idea collides with head. A why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?-oh-wait-I-did moment. About one of my characters. My sweet, beloved, murderous Seraph. What his place had been in the chapter I just shared with friends…the chapter that the revision will ask me to send again when the change is made.

How do we miss the plot twists, the character developments, that should be so obvious in our work? The expression in baseball is “caught looking.” I’ve been caught looking at a sea of brown boxes and job applications and rooms that look like some crazy person has been at work rearranging things.

My own advice to myself has always been stand back from the chapter, the section, the character and see it whole. Take a walk with it. Seduce it; let it love you a little while. My own lack of listening to my own advice has resulted in a distracted attempt to rework the long, technical chapter so much—to layer on the revisions so heavily—that the impasto of revising stood out a foot from the canvas; layer buried under layer under layer.

I think I can get on top of it now.

But what got you there in the first place: That’s what comes when you’re thinking into the box. Literally.

Advertisements