Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I noticed that one of the songs on my Kitaro CD is titled Dance of Sarasvati. I looked her up and found this:

Sarasvati is the Hindu Goddess of all arts: music, painting, sculpture, dance, and writing. She is credited with presenting the gift of writing to mankind so that her songs could be written down and preserved. Sarasvati is often depicted on the back of a swan or peacock, and with four arms, with which she plays the lute or drum and bestows jeweled blessings. She is the Goddess of eloquence, and words pour from her like a sweetly flowing river. One myth of this Goddess is that She is a jealous rival of the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and that pursuing wealth alone will assure that Sarasvati's gifts will desert you.

What could be a more fitting muse for a writer?

I don't have delusions of becoming a gazillionaire with my writing. But I do get caught up in the desire to be published. Nothing is a more sure block to writing than getting my muse confused. When my muse becomes a prospective agent or publishing house or even my desired audience, it slows me down and effects the quality of my work. My goal, now that my new novel is starting to live all around me, is to keep a clear, uncluttered channel between me and Sarasvati. Only by doing this can I ensure that the book gets written true to its vision and not true to what I tell myself someone else might want it to be.

So, my imagination should be used to write the book and not to body forth the book's life cycle.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Writing Breakthrough

I can't say it's been worth it, but this long period of blockage has been more productive than I realized. One of the things about writing that I find so interesting is that it takes place when I'm not writing. Or maybe I'm writing all the time, and just don't know it. So, when I'm blow drying my hair or cooking cauliflower gratin or waiting in a left turn lane, I'm writing. Stories cook, the details blending and maturing, while I'm waiting for the commuter bus or feeding my cat.

I've had what I think is a very interesting YA novel in my head for some time now, and I've been utterly stuck. I know what happens, all the nuts and bolts, but I couldn't write. I just didn't like any of the attempts I made to flesh out the story. They all seemed flat, like a deflated cardboard box. My main character had no soul.

Well, a couple of days ago, she started talking. Her voice surprised me, because she's kind of harsh. Definitely someone who doesn't make friends easily. Can I have that in a main character? Of course, I can. She's on the brink of a journey she can't imagine, geographically and spiritually. Now that she's talking, I can't wait to take her on it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Room

I just read an essay someone pointed me to, and will post the link to it here. I thought this one of the most eloquent descriptions of what it means to be a writer as I've ever read. But then, I appreciate anyone who knows that writing is supposed to be dangerous. Here it is: The Talent of the Room