Saturday, May 12, 2007

Getting Into It

I had a particularly satisfying day yesterday, working on my new novel. I've been priming myself for it, noticing I'm afraid to commit. Starting a new novel is like asking someone to go steady with me for a year or so. My head whispers, "what if you can't get this one published either?" Then, "What if this is the one that makes it and GIO stays in the drawer? Keep going." "What if you can't finish it?" "What if your critique group doesn't like it?"

It's endless, really.

Bottom line is that when I write, I'm happy. I love getting into what I call The Zone. I haven't done that, really, since I went through the last round of strenuous edits on GIO.

So, yesterday, I was meeting a friend in Seattle for lunch but had another appointment in Bellevue earlier in the day, so I had some hours to kill. I went to the International District (I don't know why they don't just call it the Asian District) and bought a cute, pink notebook to write in. Blank pages. Pink is not my favorite color, but it seemed somehow cheerful. The pink notebook looked like it wanted to be filled.

On Main and 6ths is an old place called the Panama Hotel. It has the most wonderful tea and espresso area with WiFi, comfortable tables and chairs, pictures of Seattle when it was a baby and beautiful, long-stemmed tulips and calla lillies in vases all around. It also has my favorite bathroom, which may be TMI, but there it is. It's a clean, well-lighted place.

I ordered a pot of Earl Grey with lavendar tea and wrote for nearly three hours without looking up. It's all in there, in me, the whole book. Oh, I know there are lots of corners I haven't turned, things will happen that will shock and amaze me along the way, but it's already in there.

Maybe all types of artists understand this, but I know writers especially understand when Michelangelo said that the form was already in the marble, he was merely releasing it. That's such an elegant way of saying what I find to be the case with my writing.

So, I'm off! My job is to write and to keep the editor chained up outside in the garage until the first draft is done. It's okay. The editor knows the rules. Chains and duct tape. Let her RIP!

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