Making Literary Sausage
That’s what I’m doing this week – the first, rough, rushing-hectic-and-headlong through this WIP that has me by the throat and won’t let go until I finish. It’s ugly, it’s messy, and I don’t want to think too hard about what’s going into this draft (hence the sausage metaphor, thank you very much) and when I get done it will still be raw, unready, but it will be something.
Hmm. I’ll avoid sausage posts in the future. This one’s making me reconsider my lapsed vegetarianism. (You know, my dad used to make sausage on our kitchen counter when I was a kid, out of the deermeat he butchered on my swingset during deer season. Yes, and people still had to ASK why I was a vegetarian all those years. Brrrr.)
I love this part of writing, but I love all the other parts, too. The editing, the revising, the reading it aloud, the thinking, the long walks out here in the country when I get blocked and how those two miles can free my mind to secretly, subversively consider ways around plot trickery that I wouldn’t dream up this close to a keyboard.
It consumes me, this work.
All this to say, there have been many other blog posts in the past week that I wish I had written, posts I could have written if my manuscript would have given me time (it’s calling even now, I must post links quickly!). For instance, this excellent post about the San Antonio SCBWI conference by Vonna Carter (bonus: a picture of me and Shelli! Thanks, Vonna.). These posts on the Speak Loudly discussion about Laurie Halse Anderson’s excellent book and others – thanks, Shelli, Suzie, and so many others for speaking eloquently to this topic.
I have been reading, too. I finished The Duff – amazing, uncomfortable to read at times, breakneck pacing once I learned to live with my queasiness about Bianca’s, um, choices. Highly recommended for older teens. Also, Mockingjay a few weeks too late to squeee about it, but I loved it as well. I’m reading even more fairy tale/mythology stuff – including The Girl Who Married the Moon, and hundreds of traditional fairy tales, looking for that sliver I can pick out and turn into my next creative theme-tool. So many more – Dancing With Dead People, a memoir that so far reminds me of The Glass Castle, and Crank are next on the stack.
Now back to the writing. I cannot escape the WIP – this one’s funny, and poignant (to me at least) and deep, and maybe even controversial. What am I thinking? All this in middle grade? Maybe it’s for older middle grade. It’s got all sorts of Topics of Importance buried in there… and this sweet, real relationship between two brothers that reminds me so much of the way my older sister and I helped each other through The Divorce.
No one has a better job than this.
Writer Friends? Write well, write quickly.