Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gone Under

I am deep into writing book two-- submerged is a good word to describe it.  I am anti-social and short-tempered.  I am ignoring things (husband, children, dogs, friends) I shouldn't, for sitting in a chair or lying on the couch and staring off into space.  But I swear to you-- I am working.  A critical piece of the story just came to me and I am 90,000 words in -- so all in all -- the book is a book is a book.  I mean.  You need to know when to call The End what it is: The End. But it's not at all surprising that this far along in my process I finally figured out the missing piece of the manuscript.
And now that I have my head is filled with ship wrecks and whispers of pirates and screams of men who should be conserving their breath before they drown.  I've been thinking a lot about a trip I took to California two summers back.  About Venice Beach and Santa Monica and the ocean and the surfers and pier and the smell and the taste of the air and the water and my hair stiff from the salty breezes.  Of standing still at the edge of the water and allowing my feet to sink deep -- being aware of my dress as it whipped around my ankles, the edges darkened and deckled with water.  Of the narrow alley's lined with cottages,  pots of bamboo and red painted chairs circle an iron table.  A cigarette is left burning in a seashell ash tray. A bad painting sits unfinished on an easel. A surfboard slick with water leans against the gray weathered shingles. A wet suit like a peeled banana left behind on the ground. A dog lifts his head and sniffs the air behind a bright green gate.
I went to Asbury Park this past weekend and now my head is filled with a different kind of water.  A different beach.  The whispers of buildings, of laughter, of swimmers, of skaters, of carousel horses.  
But none of this means anything in this context.  What is underneath.  What is buried. What lies on the ocean floor.  What has come before and what was left behind.  Those are the pieces of my puzzle.


  1. great post. and it gives me hope. for my first novel is "finished," yet i know in my head and heart that i am missing some crucial pieces of the puzzle. comforting to know i am in good company.
    bought your book and can't wait to read it. have a good weekend.

  2. How wonderful that you are able to see that while you are "finished" you are not done. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. This stage is usually accompanied by pain-- but something good will come of it.