Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's Going On?

I'm working on my novel when I feel this tickle inside my right ear, so I stick a finger in and it comes out with a wad of orange-brown wax, which means, of course, that I can't very well type, which necessitates a trip to the bathroom for, first, a square of toilet paper to remove the wax and, second, a q-tip for further investigation of the waxy ear canal, and then the other canal, and while I'm there I might as well blow my nose. What's going on?

Mystery of Writing

Okay, so in my novel Trout Kill I've been working and working this paragraph till I'm sick of it. It's a big part of Eddy's slow-motion epiphany. In the dark night of his life, he's not the brightest firefly. It's taking him a while to figure out he doesn't love his wife, but now he's on the verge of it. In this mine-scene,Beth, Eddy's wife, has confronted him. She's desperate to save the wreck of their marriage, while Eddy senses the end of it.

She clutched my warm hands in her cold hands. The buttons of her coat were pressed against the zipper of my field jacket. Our faces were close. The lilacs blooming in her hair enveloped us, and her eyes were drowning in worry and sorrow. I couldn’t take the next breath. Sorrow was a giant fist that ripped out my old heart like it had the night I swam around the wrecked ship. The giant fist left my chest hollow, and the hollow ached for a new home, and for a new heart, and for it to beat again.

I love this shit, the not knowing if a scene is good or not, if it works or doesn't work. The mystery of writing keeps me coming back for more.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wow! It's been a couple of years since my last blog post. Oh, well. Not to fill you in on what's been going on .... No, I won't do that. Let's look forward. So, what I'm doing now is contacting my old students from Canby High. What a trip! They remember me, or at least most of them do. Those who may have unkind memories have, thus far, been gracious enough to not share them on Facebook. Those comments that have come my way have been positive. Influence can be a scary thing. I hope I wielded mine in the English classroom in a way that helped shape good brains and hearts. I was lucky to have had the privilege to teach hundreds of such brains and hearts. If I could go back and teach all those years again, all those students again, I'd try to be ... what? Hell, I don't know. Maybe I'd be incapable of changing anything, especially if my mindset were filled with trepidation about "influence." Maybe I'd be indecisive like Prufrock: Do I dare to eat a peach?