“It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time”
~ Barbara Kingsolver
Tired. So tired. Not just jet lag, but book tired. Been up at all kinds of strange hours because of jet lag and words in my head, but I’m making progress, little by little. Loved reading this post over at The Lipstick Chronicles about “How to Write a Novel”:
The most valuable asset to writing a book is time. Writing devours time like nothing else. I don’t know why, but it does. Entire months and days in my life have been given to writing and I have no memory of them whatsoever. They’re chapter six in the Penny Pinchers. Chapter ten in the Cinderella Pact. Whatever, they’re gone. This is the sacrifice writing demands.
So true.*** The past five or so years? A blur. I do remember writing individual books, though; or fragments of them. A Dream of Stone and Shadows? I recall how it felt to sit at my desk, with the light coming in the window just so, churning out that novella from scratch because it was due in three days and I had scrapped the earlier version (which later became Soul Song). I remember writing the last half of Shadow Touch in a hotel room where I lived for almost four days, and where at night I would hear strange noises out in the hall (the unlit halls, which stretched forever and ever across the wings of the old place, and that were reputed to be haunted—and yes, yes, I believe that to be true); and I wrote A Taste of Crimson in a library, in the attic of the garage, in another hotel room, in the back bedroom at night with only the lamp on so it cast a golden glow; and I can recall writing Minotaur in Stone in Shanghai around the New Year, in my bed, under the covers because it was cold; and Tiger Eye, I remember every minute of Tiger Eye, locked in my apartment in Madison for a month, writing from dawn to dusk with music blaring (various mixes, including Sting, Ella Fitzgerald, Angie Stone, the soundtrack from A Life Less Ordinary), and oh, oh man, when I revised that book, I printed it out and took it with me to Barnes & Noble, every day, sitting in the corner in the sunshine with my manuscript and a cup of tea, and a slice of pumpkin cheesecake (I revised in the Fall).
I wrote fifteen novels and novellas in a little old farmhouse (sometimes in China, too). A lot of story vibes in those walls. Hopefully I’m making new vibes, in these new walls. These times are precious.
***(But I wouldn’t call it a sacrifice. Those are all good memories of doing something I love.)