Cats Cat and Writers Write
Another novel is done, at least done enough for me to sit back and not obsess over it every moment. As I wrote “The Thing Inside Lucy Doyle” I found myself writing and editing in my sleep, terrified that I would lose an important point or the entire plot. I have a strange relationship with writing and the flow is not always there and when it comes it feels like a storm in the desert and I must put out every pot I own to collect the water lest I lose a single drop.
I found myself growing fiercely protective over this one, not just the words on the screen and in my mind, but with the ritual of sitting down in the quiet and letting myself see the story as it unfolded, and unlike other novels I have written, I felt like I was fighting forces outside of me attempting to hinder my progress. Taken alone the small things that interrupted me: the broken keyboard; the replacement keyboard with the space bar that had its own ideas of how words should be formatted; the broken water heater; the social obligations and phone calls; the noisy neighborhood and the neighbors suddenly remembering my existence and knocking at the door, would not have bothered me, but during this one as the characters in the book fought spiritual battles, I felt I was too.
I am not the type of writer who can take six months or a year writing a book, when it comes it comes with all the urgency of a speeding truck or train and all I can do is hold on until it is done. Everything I have written over the years has been completed in hours or days or weeks with barely the time given for food or sleep, much less social interaction or relaxation. Urgent is the word and the feeling and when it is completed I am left exhausted and a bit depressed as I send my characters on to their happy lives or doomed futures and then I try to find my place in life again after having been swept away.
As much as I love riding the wave to its end it’s not very conducive to maintaining relationships outside of the pages of the book, and those around me suffer from my inattentiveness, single-minded focus, blank stares during conversation, unanswered phone calls, and cancelled appointments. I imagine that is the curse of being a writer, or perhaps with loving a writer, so now it is time to issue apologies, finish projects promised before it all began, and dust off the social side of myself with a smile. I also have to face the massive pile of dirty clothes, the balls of cat hair in the corners threatening to become a whole new animal, the kitchen floor that hasn’t seen a mop in far too long, the counters with the coffee stains, and the bathroom that needs a good scrubbing.
I also want to take the time to thank those who loved me before the tsunami swept me away, and who still love me as I find myself back on land, confused, hungry, and out of sorts. Writers write, much like cats cat, and sometimes we disappear for a while, returning wild-eyed, exhausted, and hungry for a good scratch and joyful welcome.
But mainly I’m writing this blog post because I checked in this morning and saw I had over a hundred unique views in a night, on a blog I hadn’t even looked at in a long time, and I thought, as I am prone to do, how odd. How odd that folks still come here, how odd is it that they check in, how wonderfully odd is it that folks from all over the world sometimes drop by, and my next thought was, ain’t life grand! So to you folks who stop in every now and again to read my words, and those who buy my books, thank you and thanks for visiting.