– I have not been abducted by George Clooney’esque alliens interested in the dating habits of single missionary women.
– I have not been incarcerated by the local police for using a shotgun on a naked apple-picker (see one of previous posts).
– I have not engaged in so much Thanksgiving that my fingers look like turkey legs and my face like a mound of mashed potatoes, therefore making it difficult for me to type and see.
– I have lost neither mind nor marbles.
I have, however, been doing a lot of this:
Which has left me feeling a lot like this:
…except that in my mind, the balding guy on the left is Brad Pitt and the sympathetic stranger on the right is Mel Gibson, pre-scandal. See how post-modern and tolerant I can be? But seriously, if I were a marathon runner, I’d be standing just two inches on the other side of the line right now–panting and cramped up and generally victorious–in a “what the heck was I thinking??” kind of way.
How did it all start? The way it usually does. I was sitting around my apartment a week ago Saturday, minding my own business as I watched a rerun “The Invisible Man” (and you wonder why I’m so brilliant…), when out of the blue this idea just kinda zinged through my brain and bellowed “WRITE IT!” loudly enough to get me up and pacing. The initial idea for a brand new novel had landed on me like a creative cluster bomb. It felt like my brain had sprung a leak of tsunamic proportions, and the characters and plot points just started to gush out. I did my very best to shove it all back in, saying (out loud, I think), “I don’t have time! This has to wait for Christmas break!”, but inspiration has a mind of its own–and it’s a ruthless task master. As I tried to explain to a friend, that initial stage of writing is very much like being in love, without the matrimonial terror and the boundary issues. It’s a wonderful natural high that makes it impossible to think about anything else–not even cheesecake. Now that, ladies and gentleman, is the sign of pathological first-draft infatuation.
So…how have I spent the past NINE DAYS? Oh, you know…writing 270 pages and finishing off the first draft in record time, which is a good thing because I was starting to lose weight from sitting on my couch typing for a minimum of nine hours a day, sleeping only occasionally, and eating only rarely. The good news is, the first draft is finished. The bad news is, now that I’m going to be able to start wogging again, I’ll probably start gaining weight. Life is unfair that way. Now begins the tedious task of refining and rewriting, which, if the inspiration stage is like falling in love, is more like going to couple’s counselling. It ain’t fun, the snacks stink, and if you have any luck at all, you come through it with a few less hangups. I’ll let you know when my eye stops twitching and my hair grows back.
All this to say that I am still alive, I have not forgotten you, and I’m happy to be back in the land of the living. Oh, and Lauren? Quit avoiding me!!
Much love to you all.