An odd job
This is a pretty strange job I have, when you come right down to it, considering that I’m a grown woman with grey hair and a mortgage.
I swim in the morning, not so much because it’s good for me and makes my arthritis go away for a while, but because the undemanding action encourages ideas to slip upward into consciousness. My pool is a sort of glorified hot tub with a fan at one end that one swims against, which its manufacturers call an Endless Pool although I refer to it as my Mindless Pool, because I doesn’t even have to pay enough attention to what I’m doing to turn at the end, all I need to do is just keep paddling away at whatever speed I’ve set the propeller. (And yeah, I know that’s a run-on sentence, Miss Nunnally, get off my back.) And although driving a car performs the same function, it really is not a great idea to drive while under the influence of Inspiration–I tend to come to and find myself sitting at a stop sign with the driver behind honking at me.
An odd job, in that a solid day’s work is the production of maybe fifteen hundred words, done sitting in comfort with the cat curled up by my leg. Even on a bad day that only takes me two or three hours.
And sometimes, a good day’s work, one that leaves me gloating and self-satisfied, is the production of one idea that can be encapsulated in a single sentence of notes.
Then, when I’ve done this activity for a few months, I send a stack of paper to a woman in New York who responds with comments that make it sound as if she thinks these marks on the page refer to real people (“Mary forgets all about Mr Long’s wound” instead of “You forgot to show Mary being sympathetic about Mr Long’s wound”) and then I sit for a few more months with the cat by my leg (although not as much, since I tend to be restless during the rewrite and he resents that) and then at some point I stand up and pack a bag and go talk to a whole lot of people, more people than I talk to in several weeks of normal life, and have everyone paying attention to me instead of the marks I’m putting on the page.
And then when I’m finished with that I go home and do all the stuff I’ve been putting off for weeks and weeks, and at a certain point sit down again and hope for a good day, the day when one tiny shining idea is a grand day’s work.
Yes; a decidedly strange job for a grown-up.
The comment about an English lit class by Writergirlrants reminds me, those of you who are enjoying the rants of this particular writer might not know that there are further mutterings on my web site, on the “LRK on: Whatever” page (a page which formerly bore the name of Mutterings).
Also, I’d be quite interested to know if anyone out there has ever used the material on the “Scholars Corner” page, be it bookmarks, cross references for school projects, or what have you. I’d like to make the web site useful, rather than having it just sitting and taking up too large a corner of a server somewhere.
Have you ever read one of my books for a reading group? If it was either “Folly” or “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice”, did you make use of the suggested discussion questions on Scholars Corner?
And finally, if you haven’t responded to the survey, I’d urge you to do so. I don’t know if we’ve given away all 300 copies of The Game paperback, but if not you’ll get one, with a signed book plate. It’s on the home page.
Thanks, and as always, I appreciate feedback.