Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rollin' on the river

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Photo by Andif.

This is a perfect picture of what writing's like sometimes, especially if we could add some white water to it. You're floating through a dark canyon, the current is fast, strong, scary, exhilarating. You keep moving, even if you're not sure it's such a good idea, even if you think your book's in trouble, because the words just keep coming and moving you forward. The cliffs rise precipitously on either side of you; you're really deep into it now, and there's no visible escape. Some of the time, you're excited and loving the trip. Some of the time you think despairingly, "Why did I ever think this was a good idea?! Why did I ever think I could write? Why would anybody ever want to read this crap?" And then suddenly, you're delivered into the sunshine, and you realize: hey, this stuff I just did--or some mysterious propelling power did--maybe it's not so awful, after all. "Hallelujah! Let's shove this boat on shore and pop some beers."

Here's to a hallelujah Tuesday. :)


Nancy P said...

My current is moving fast. It's hard to find a place to stop and do things like take my mom to the pain center again this morning. (The shots are helping a lot.) We were there two hours last time. I may take my laptop with me, so I can keep going while the water's high.

What floats your boat today?

Rick Bylina said...

"...Some of the time you think despairingly, "Why did I ever think this was a good idea?! Why did I ever think I could write? Why would anybody ever want to read this crap?"..."

Actually, I spend a lot of time thinking this way. Then a squirrel drops a nut on my head in the woods and reminds me, uh, damn male mental pause. I forgot what I was going to say. Gotta go. My protagonist is down a well with Timmy (Simpson's Timmy).

"Timmy!" (S.P. Timmy)


Family Man said...

Good morning Nancy and Rick.

We're having glorious rain here today, and I'm so disheartened I can't go out and do the lawn. Yeah Sure! :)

My problem with whenever I want to write something is I always come to the part of the river where a beaver dam is set up, and I come to a complete stop. It takes awhile to get around the dam and start again.

Nancy P said...

Good morning and lol to both of you, Rick and fm! Actually, I spend a lot of time thinking that way, too, Rick. And I know that damned dam well, fm.

FARfetched said...

I've been there (the writing part, not that particular canyon). Sometimes things are moving so fast you can barely remember it — you're just riding the current, no time to think let alone despair, paddling with everything you've got to keep the kayak straight or fend off an oncoming rock… then you hit that quiet spot, catch your breath, and go "Day-yum, that was FUN!"

I'm hoping to get a couple of shorter manuals drafted out today. Working at home floats *my* boat. Hey Rick, is Lassie going to have a cameo? One of my protags had a rescue ladder, but it ended up on the other side of the fence yesterday (seriously).

I hope you can get your mom in & out of the pain center quick today. Taking your laptop is a good idea — when Murphy sees you're prepared for a long stay, it'll be a short one. ;-)

Jen said...

For me, the metaphor is often off-world, like rocketing through new solar systems with occasional touchdowns on profoundly unfamiliar planetary surfaces; then when things get hard, like drifting between uncharted galaxies. I don't know, whatever it is, it's always dark, which is okay, because I like dark.

"Why did I ever think this was a good idea?! Why did I ever think I could write? Why would anybody ever want to read this crap?"


But you must be doing well to be popping beers at 7 in the morning. Geez, Nancy. ;p

PS. Best healing wishes to your mom.

katiebird said...

Hi Nancy, (do you mind if I ask?) What pain clinic is your mom going to? And what's in the shots? Do you think they could help my mother-in-law?

(Peeking in to say "HI")

AndiF said...

Context is everything.

Here's my narrative: it's the last day of vacation and there's a pretty canyon with a nice little narrows section that's sort of on your way back to the "real world". You hike cross country to that seldom-visited canyon. But there was some snow earlier in the week and the canyon which should be dry isn't and damn that water is icy. You think about the pleasures of the canyon and you think about what wet, cold boots will do to your already beat-up feet. Then you turn around, hike back to the car, drive a few hours, and use the extra time to have a really good dinner at a Moroccan restaurant before your flight leaves.

Nancy P said...

You guys are all funny today. I'm lookin' at you two, too, far and jen, lol Also lyrical and imaginative and rollin' on the river of write.

Hey, I'm back already. Got to pick up the oars again.

Nancy P said...

Andi, lol! Yeah, couscous might look pretty good compared to cold wet feet.

Great photo, though

Nancy P said...

katieb, the pain center doesn't seem to have any name but Pain Center, but I can get you the name of the particular doc, if that might help. It's on 104th street, a block or two east of Holmes. My mom was referred there by another doc.

The shots are cortizone. Their efficacy seems to come and go, and I don't know how long-lasting the effects will be.

Kelly McCullough said...

Howdy all,

Lovely pic. How did it get to be almost 1:00? I feel like all I've accomplished is a tiny bit of promotion and one hike to the post office to get my CodeSpell CEM back to my editor. Sigh. Must go leap off that cliff into the deep water now. Wish me luck.

FARfetched said...

Kelly, if you can do even a bit of promotion, you're better at it than I am. :-)

Nancy P said...

Good luck, Kelly!

Do you guys recall "Miss Grimshank" who writes to me now and then to tsk tsk about the "bad language" in my books? "She" is particularly horrified by the "F Word." I got an email today from the latest one of her. She's afraid she cannot recommend my books to her friends. I told her I quite agreed, and that she had come to the right decision, in my opinion. My books are not for her. Fuck no, they're not. (I didn't say that, lol!)

Conda said...

Yes, great metaphor, Nancy. And such a gorgeous photo.

I love "the zone." Doesn't happen often enough for me. Instead, I spend too much time thinking it's crap (waste of time, doesn't matter, keep writing!).

I love the first scene in "Romancing the Stone," where the main character has just finished her book. She's sobbing and she's out of kleenix, toilet paper and paper towels so uses a piece of a post-it to blow her nose!

That's happened to me.

Man Eegee said...

why wait for the beer? i say you pump up another tube for the ice chest and tether it within arms-length away for easy access [he says as he recalls the experience he has gained from this particular art form]

boran2 said...

Rivers have provided an apt metaphor for so many different things.

It sounds like writing is a very hairy process. But apparently it is darkest just before the light. But it does get light, and we the readers get to enjoy so many of the rewards. ;-)

Beth said...

Were you listening to that devil on my shoulder, Nancy? Sounds like he's a busy little guy!

I'm back home, now getting ready for my girlfriend to visit this weekend. Good visit with my aunt, although I don't want to see Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown or Divorce Court again for a very long time.

I've missed being part of the village - will be back to a normal schedule tomorrow. It was fun catching up just now!

Nancy P said...

Hi, Conda, Manny, Boran2, and Beth.

Conda, you've made me want to see that movie again.


Boran, sometimes I feel embarrassed that writing is so hairy! Compared to so many other jobs, it should be a breeze.

We'll be glad to have you back, Beth!

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