Thursday, February 09, 2006

Working With What's At Hand

I know I haven't written anything here for forever, but that's because there hasn't been much to talk about. The rewrite is coming along slowly (I'm wrapping up Chapter 10 today) and critiques of previous chapters are coming in slowly as well. No insights or epiphanies about craft have landed on my doorstep. I've got one submission out, a poem for Infuze, and that's about it.

Last night I had an experience that borders on interesting (okay a wide river separates it and "interesting" but it's in the neighborhood at least), so let's light this puppy back up*.

About midnight I was in the, oh, let's call it the "reading room" for all you sensitive types, when an idea hit me for the end of the scene I had been struggling with earlier. It was an idea I'd origninally had in the car while driving to Wednesday night youth activities. The fact I hadn't written it down before and hadn't remembered it during the three hours I'd been writing meant I might lose it forever if I didn't write it down now.

So I grabbed my trusty sudoku/cryptogram/crossword pen and then noticed there was nothing to write on. Oh, there was paper, sure; but ballpoint pens and Charmin don't work well together. Then I noticed an empty cardboard tube in the trash. So I fished it out, tore it apart lengthwise and jotted down a couple paragraphs.

When the book makes me a big name on Oprah (stranger things have happened), I'll auction off the tube and the paper plate I originally wrote the epilogue on. Maybe even for charity. Or I'll save them for when San Jose State builds me an archive next to John Steinbeck's. Yeah, that's the ticket. Students of the future: seek vast understanding of technique and dedication from the famous cardboard tube. Good deal.

What's the strangest thing you've ever jotted down notes on?

*No puppies were actually lit up in the process of developing or posting this entry.


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