Novel Delusions

I have this dusty novel that I’ve been working on for years – for about eight of them actually. I know I should be done by now but I did go to grad school AND have a baby in there and that throws all kind of scary-ass curve balls at you even if you aren’t trying to get a magnanimous story out of your head and onto paper.

The entire story, in all its snowflake intricacies is seared into my brain. I remember sitting and nursing out of reach of paper, pen, computer (and water – what I was always dying for during eating time) with all the beautiful lines floating around and what felt like up and out of my head.

I would repeat them over and over until I was literally able to unlatch myself to write them down. But by the time I would actually get to the paper, they never seemed to come out with the same flair. Although I do have a line by line vision of the entire book because of this baby imposed visualization. But as I returned to write little by little, I realized that I needed my daughter to have been born to complete the story.

So now it’s not the nursing but the constant chatter from my one and only lovely that keeps my writing at bay. Well, that and work, work work, which I LOVE so much that I forget about my own writing sometimes because really what is more exciting than helping others figure out how to read, write and fall in love with words themselves.

But then I fall into bed, reading Charles Baxter (I just finished his new book), Walt Whitman and Kurt Vonnegut (sigh) and I know that I have to bring my stories to fruition as well. My column gives me just enough deadline to keep me actively thinking about what next non-fiction vignette I will release into the world.

But it doesn’t quell the voices of my fictional characters dancing in my head, keeping me up at night with their wailing and caterwauling to be released to all of you. Life changing for you as I’m sure they will be. Because if they turn out not to be as life altering as my favorite stories have been to me, then it will stay forever in my hard drive, making screeching sounds from time to time.

But, I do have plans. The sewing, the painting, the cleaning will have to wait. I must get back to the folks banging around inside my skull or you all will be visiting me in the local psych infirmary. Let’s just hope I can do them justice when I try to revive them with only a third of their lives lived for the last eight years. I hope they don’t jump out and try to dispose of me for neglect. I suppose if they did that though, they would be forever unfinished. But what a story I would have to tell.

Old, dusty word doc. – click…


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