Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Letting Go, Part Troix

Two of the hardest parts of letting go are. . .

Waiting. . .and. . .

Not Following the Leader.

Oh, god, waiting. It's an art in itself. I don't know how your creative process works, but I'm a binge writer. My creative well fills up, I binge write, the well goes dry. Then I have to wait for it to fill up again. Hard, hard, hard. There's no point in telling me to change my process. I can't. Don't want to. Won't. I just want to wait by the well. I want to wait well. When it fills up again, I'll work again.

It's not limited to creativity, of course, but extends its evil tentacles throughout our lives: A teenager takes the car out. Parent waits at home. NOT waiting well. Worrying.

Waiting is hard sometimes.

And as for Not Following the Leaders? Oh, god, risky. A deadline is a leader. An editor is a leader. Society is a leader. Parents are leaders. Lots o' leaders. Sometimes I have to lag behind. They look over their shoulders: "Aren't you coming?" No. Maybe. Not yet. "Hurry up!" Can't. Won't. Doing this my way. Go on without me.

What's being released/let go in these cases? Worry. Impatience. Distrust. The clock. Paying the bills on time. Other people's expectations. Our own desires. Little stuff like that.

Maybe you have a waiting story? Maybe you have a story about letting go and taking a risk and going your own way?

Oh, and by the way. . .good morning. :)

Did somebody make the coffee?

42 comments:

Nancy P said...

Have you been waitng for me? I slept so late!

While I'm waiting for you now, I'll go get coffee and check in at Olivia's place to see what purty fleurs she has up today.

Nancy P said...

Lol! Okay, not exactly a flower that Olivia has up today. Amazing photo, though. I'll bet she had to be patient and (wait for it)WAIT for it.

Jen said...

This blog post is dated at 10:22pm tonight, however, it is currently not yet noon anywhere in the US. 'Fess up, Nancy, are you blogging from the future? If so, you may have stumbled across a solution re: the waiting.

Nancy P said...

"if so, you may have stumbled across a solution re: the waiting."

lol. Indeed. I've been hanging around Far Manor too much, apparently. (For those who don't yet know--our friend farfetched writes futuristic fiction. Now that's an effing sentence.)

jen, I just now came back here to find your website in my links, and here you are. Has anybody ever figured out how to "write" the opening bars of the Twilight Zone theme?

As for the time conundrum, some things must just remain a mystery.

GreenMinute said...

You're safe now.
You did nothing wrong.
I'm here to help you.

This is inspiringly effective. But, curses, just as effective in opposition:

You are not safe now.
You did something wrong.
There is no one here to help you.


I wonder if I can start a character under these circusmtances and keep her there for a few hundred pages....

I also wonder, pervesely, whether Nancy's circle of comfort and trust can be applied by someone evil, under the same cicumstances. Isn't this what the real villains in life do?

As in the movie Notes on a Scandal?

I don't know what's wrng with me today, perverting comfort strategies. Must be Wednesday or something. It just seems fantastically effective, ficton wise, to have an evil person using needed comfort to kill. Keyword: needed.

Wouldn't a desperate need for comfort be at least as effective as the same character being attacked in the shower?

P.S. I posted this in another time zone and am re-posting it now. Apologies for any confusion.

Catharine said...

I think I practice that "waiting by the well" habit myself (maybe that's another reason we get along so well?)

Between the story at FARf's place and your post and slip-sliding in time with Jen and the sound of doom & dread in greenminutes comment and the story I dreamt on the way to work my head is spinning and I'm too dizzy to type.

What a day. What a week. I can't wait till you unpeal the next layer.

-katiebird

Nancy P said...

Oooo, Green, you are so deliciously right. Just reading your upsidedown version of those three sentences gave me the chills.

And, yeah, that would be exactly what a diabolical villian might do. In fact, I have one in my current effort that does exactly that, but you have now nailed it down in my head (ouch) better, thank you very much.

Nancy P said...

katiebird, you dizzy dame!

I think your creative process and mine are quite similar, although it's harder to tell from the outside with you, because you have so much more Real Life stuff to do than I do. But you do work in intense binges, right?

Story you dreamed on the way to work??

Jen said...

You are not safe now.
You did something wrong.
There is no one here to help you.

I wonder if I can start a character under these circusmtances and keep her there for a few hundred pages....


I did that once! It was a vampire novel where the primary metaphor was ethics. (It didn't really work, in the end, but I had planned the piece as a series and think maybe I could fix it by marrying the second book to the first book. I wish I had the energy to do it; it's still one of my favorite pieces of my own work.)

GreenMinute said...

Story you dreamed on the way to work??

Do I have to get a job to do this? Might be worth it.

I had dreamed this when I woke up today (well before 10 AM, Nancy):
One man. One shadow.

Those four words were in my dream, posted large in block letters like a sign. Man, I hate that. I hate word dreams. It's like (as, I know) being given a puzzle and not knowing what the rules are, or who the leader is, and why the hell the well won't fill up.

P.S. Nancy, you are not the well, btw. You are the water.

Family Man said...

Good morning Nancy.

Although I'm not a writer, I've found that I'm the same as you when I'm writing stuff for my blog. Sometimes it seems I can't stop writing things, and other times there's just nothing there. I have to wait for the feeling of wanting to write to come back.

I like what you said about waiting. When I first joined the military, they had to beat into my head to be on time for appointments/work, etc. I still can't stand to be late for an appointment, but I've let go of a lot of the worry associated with it.

Catharine said...

I've got an idea for a story, or a series of stories. But I couldn't think of a spark. Something that would make them possible - believable, even though they would be a fantasy.

Then something clicked with FARf's story.

My Dream: What if a state made a decision that made that state (which was formerly NOT a POPULAR place to be) almost a utopia? A state where EVERYONE wanted to be? And because it's always been the LAST place anyone wanted to be, it's affordable.

And the ghost towns came alive again? What would happen?

Who needs audiobooks?

GreenMinute said...

It was a vampire novel where the primary metaphor was ethics.

Neato mosquito!

Catharine said...

Jen, Did I ever tell you about the time our son invited a Vampire into our house?

It didn't work out well at all.

Catharine said...

(snort) FamilyMan -- You are too a writer!

GreenMinute said...

Catharine, what a wonderful thought you have! Wow.

Five gold stars, Catharine. really.

This little group is too sharp!

oooooh, what's the new law?

Polygamy, marijuana, no low-fat ice cream?

Family man, the military hit us at such an impressionable age (in those days -- you know, before W called up all the reservist old farts). When I got free of it, I wouldn't wear a watch for years.

So after that, I had to be early to be on time. So I am always early and worry endlessly if I am too early or not early enough.

Nancy P said...

That's because you're a Virgo, Green, not because you were in the military. As a Virgo myself, raised by two punctual people, I am always so proud when I can manage to be late.

Cathy. . .what a fabulous idea! Truly and unruly. And I love Green's "laws" for it. To which I'd add off the top o' me head, "no margarine, free vacations, no rush hours (somehow, maybe staggered start times, for betting dreaming-while-driving-to-work)."

Catharine said...

!! greenminute,

I'm glad you like it. And that you see that it almost doesn't matter what the law is. In fact, different states could pass different laws that could set the tone for their places.

For me the dream is ghost towns (or dying small towns) coming alive. And the stories of the people who go to them and live.

Some stories might even take place years and years after the rebirth.

I just had to think of a way to get people there.

Now, I'm remembering Nancy's Small Plains. But, that's a real place :). Mine is pure fantasy.

Like Candide except it really IS the best of all possible worlds.

Nancy P said...

jen, I love vampires, but Catharine, it's always best to meet them outside on the patio.

Nancy P said...

Green, your dream. . .

One man. One shadow.

Wow. Talk about dramatic.

I love word dreams. I had one once that was, like yours, big block letters. Is this how angels in elementary school communicate with us? Mine said:

BELIEVE IN
SOMETHING
BIGGER
THAN
YOURSELF

Shades of AA!

But, hey, I can follow directions, except for when they involve meeting deadlines.

Nancy P said...

Cathy, such a thing almost--but not nearly as far out there and cool as your idea-- exists in the new "Frontier Counties," which I've wanted to write about. That's where there are six or fewer people per square mile, and the counties advertise free land and/or buildings to entice people to move there.

I've thought it might make a good novel to follow six people to a Kansas county like that, but that's where any similarity to your idea ends. In mine, of course there would be murder and Bad People and Unintended Consequences of accepting--and to the original residents for offering-- a Free Lunch.

Nancy P said...

family man, you'd think this waiting business would be a natural for a slacker, right? Too bad it really isn't, a lot of the time.

Catharine said...

Just so you know, it's almost impossible to type and eat bing cherries at the same time

Kelly McCullough said...

One man. One Shadow. That would make a fantastic opening. Lovely.

Waiting, the author's eternal dilemma, waiting for responses from editors, waiting for galleys and ARCS, waiting for two ideas to walk into the right bar together. Waiting (as I am) for reviews on book two and reader comments on book three, and the right opening for four. My father-in-law finds me a miracle of patience, in every day life, and I keep trying to tell him it's an occupational necessity.

Jen, cool place to start a vampire novel.

Jen said...

Jen, Did I ever tell you about the time our son invited a Vampire into our house?

It didn't work out well at all.


No, I have not heard this story, but please feel free to regale me with tales of the weird any time. I can easily believe that that sort of thing often wouldn't end well, however, since even ethical vampires gotta eat. :)

Polygamy, marijuana, no low-fat ice cream?

Greenminute in '08!

Catharine said...

Mine said:

BELIEVE IN
SOMETHING
BIGGER
THAN
YOURSELF


Nancy, you blow me away.

Jen, Just typing those words (about our vampire) sent a shiver down my back. I used to think vampires were totally a fictional invention. But, now I'm not so sure.

Family Man said...

Hey greenminute. I haven't worn a watch in years. I can remember long ago if I didn't have a watch on I would almost start panicking. :)

Catherine thanks for the complement.

Nancy I've found trying to achieve perfect slackdom has eased a lot of the worry, but unfortunately some is always there. BTW I just saw the quote of the day and I like it. :)

GreenMinute said...

Is this how angels in elementary school communicate with us?

Yes, it is, Nancy. Except when they show up as blog posts from Catharine. [The words in my dream were very much like those on a blackboard -- chalk turned lengthwise.]

For me the dream is ghost towns (or dying small towns) coming alive.

Catharine, this is a truly beautiful idea.

The death of the small town is, in my lifetime, the American plague. I want my own small town back. So badly. So badly. But it's not there.

What small towns remain are generally bedroom communities. I am trying to think of a vital few small towns that remain. Some are tourist towns, surely. But the real small town communities that currently thrive that I am able to think of are those of the Amish.

Perhaps a few ethnic towns have retained themselves as communities where people live and work and stay. Nancy, is Lindsborg still around? Have you been there?

It's a Swedish town (from when entire communities would move to Kansas for the land grants).

Catharine, free housing seems a interesting thing to consider. Then you don't have to make it the whole state.

Nancy P said...

Man, you guys are rockin' and rollin' this morning! So much great stuff to talk about.

family man, I thought you'd love that quote for the day. :)

Cathy, I solemly take your Wise Words to heart. :) No driving and Binging.

Kelly, that's right, your are the Waiter this week. But, lordy, so much to wait on at one time! Who was it who said that a writer can never die as long as he has a manuscript in the mail? At this rate, you're looking at eternal life.

More, in a bit.

GreenMinute said...

Jen!: Vampire Junction! The water tower ain't water no more. Free blood in every tap.

Do vampires have hot and cold blood faucets?

Samantha Drucker at the General Store has only jars of beets and cherries, Catharine, on the shelves.

Uncle Joe is indeed moving kind of slow. He's a thousand years old... at the Junction.

Type eating bing cherries? Hmmm. Type O-postive?

Nancy P said...

"the water tower ain't water no more"

!!! I love that so much.

Lindsborgh still exists, Green, and in my Travels Across Kansas I now and then encounter a few towns that are thriving, or at least keeping up the appearance of it. Usually because of an energetic core of natives who restore the library, etc. More towns that aren't thriving. I love any town that still has a locally-owned cafe where you can still get chicken fried steak and fresh baked cherry pie.

Nancy P said...

Omg. We don't talk much politics here, but I am so boggled over this that I have to say something.

Rudy Giuliani has named. . .Norman Podhoretz as one of his key foreign policy advisors.

Podhoretz is like the devil incarnate neo-con. It's like some New Yorker warned us earlier: "You think Bush is bad? Just wait until you see what Rudy Giuliani can do."

I am boggled, if not surprised. No, wait, that's not true. I am surprised. I didn't think ANYbody would name Podhoretz ANYthing at this point.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

FARfetched said...

Great quote of the day!

The thought I woke up with this morning: El Dorado. Shangri-La. Two cities of refuge, one for each hemisphere. In my dream, I was with a group that were all going to Shangri-La because we were world-weary. Besides myself, only one other person, a woman, was not Asian. We were asking each other why we were in this group and not going to El Dorado.

Green, your inverse quote reminds me of some of the stuff Kafka put his characters through!

Jen, Carnacki wrote a very similar novel — a vampire trying to live ethically — and completed it. I don't know if he still has it online or not; it seems like he was on the verge of getting it published at one time but it must have fallen through.

Letting go… well, The Boy is our particular let-go exercise. Mrs. Fetched and I sometimes have to remind one another of that.

Nancy P said...

far, my apologies--I neglected until today to get your blog on my roll. (That was funny over there today.)

I love your story dream--which has a similarity to Catherine's,which has a similarity to mine, and Carnaki's and Jen's are related, which means we really are One Mind, I guess. Or, at most, two. Thank god I'm part of a mind with you guys in it! :)

FARfetched said...

No prob about the blogroll, Nancy. Lord knows I've been slow to update mine at times. New Blogger makes it a lot easier, but what I really ought to do is write a script to build a blogroll from my RSS list.

Oh, and you mentioned coffee. I ran out of the regular stuff today, so I had to dig out the "stash" — a sampler of Ghirardelli coffees my bro Solar gave me for Christmas. Mrs. Fetched suggested the Double Chocolate pack. J probably scarfed it after I left.

AndiF said...

Hmm, I don't let go, I don't wait, I'm not writing anything, and I have no vampires* to offer. Whatever am I doing at this blog? Ah sweet mystery of life, at last I've found thee.

* I might claim that the dogs are blood-sucking but that's pure metaphor and they would vociferously disagree (of course pretty much everything they do is vociferous so that may not matter).

Nancy P said...

Andif, you're here because The Blue Dot commands you to be here. Oh, wait, you're the Blue Dot, so that means. . .

Got a photo link for us, pretty please?

I'm off to the "liberry" to write, but be warned. . .they have wifi. . .

Jen said...

Jen, Carnacki wrote a very similar novel — a vampire trying to live ethically — and completed it. I don't know if he still has it online or not; it seems like he was on the verge of getting it published at one time but it must have fallen through.

I'm pretty sure I read some of Carnacki's novel at one of his websites, back toward the beginning, and if I'm remembering properly, there's nothing remotely similar about our vampires or our style as writers. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure our ethics are very similar, either; I never interacted much with Carnacki at the poli-blogs but I think I'm pretty far to the left of him.

(Btw, I did complete my book -- it was something like the 7th or 8th novel I wrote. It's just that it was Book One of its own series and I never finished the series.)

Jen said...

Did my last post sound bitchy? I don't mean to sound bitchy. I am so tired I can hardly hold my head up so I think I might have to go lie down for a little while. I'll stop in later or tomorrow. Hope everyone is well!

AndiF said...

Link to pic? Haven't got any blue dots but how about a Invaders from outer space attack Brown County pic.

Nancy P said...

Oh, nice, Andi. There must be a message carved on that tree where the alien's searchlight hits it. Maybe it says, "Take me to your weeder."

Happy napping, jen. Family man approves, I'm sure.

FARfetched said...

@Jen: "Did my last post sound bitchy? I don't mean to sound bitchy."

Nope! Just sounded like the facts. Now that you said you were tired, I can see it in your response too. I haven't ever read your novel, but the description sounded very much like his so I made a few assumptions. Y'all's ethics might not be the same, but I'd guess they're mostly compatible.

Get some sleep, OK? We'll wait for you. :-)