Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Did You Do Today?

It's never a good idea to ask this of a stay-at-home mom and expect to be told anything exciting as a result.

One of my single (and childless) friends asked me this very question this morning, and I was embarrassed to admit that so far, my morning had consisted of getting Sam to preschool, then taking John with me to Target to buy him some training pants.

I left out the part about waking up to Ice Age: The Meltdown, making toaster waffles for breakfast, negotiating with Sam about which shoes to wear to school, and refereeing a squabble over how many Fruit Loops Sam should share with John and who would get to hold the cup of Fruit Loops after Sam exited the car.

That was my morning in a nutshell. Heady stuff there...

And yet, when I got home, and after I put John to bed and dumped his new training pants in the wash (to hopefully shrink them--baby boy is only in the 6th percentile for weight), my life got interesting because once again, I felt a compulsion to write and my brain was almost instantly transported up to Bear Wallow.

Now I'm a novelist, with interesting things to talk about.

Like, for example, this new method of writing. I haven't even once sat down at the computer and tried to bang out a chronological story. In fact, I rarely sit down at the computer at all. Mostly, scenes have been popping into my head and I'll write down whatever comes to mind in my notebook while I sit with the boys in the playroom.

Then, during their naps, I'll slip downstairs to the computer and type out what I've already written freehand. I had so many snippets that I began to put them in chronological order. Then, out of nowhere, I had a fully fleshed out beginning, middle, and end. So whenever I get a new scene, I stick it in the appropriate chronology, and move on.

Yesterday during the boys' afternoon nap, I typed out my ending. Then after they woke up, while they were playing, I wrote a scene that became the catalyst for the ending.

And when I want to write, and I'm stuck, I just number my page from 1-100 and jot ideas down. Sometimes they go together (they usually do), but sometimes it's a thought pertaining to something I've already written. And then I go add all of that to the body of the novel. And the book is slowly coming together.

This is quite possibly the craziest writing experience I've ever had. This is not what writing is supposed to feel like. This is not how writing is supposed to me done. I don't feel like I'm in the driver's seat with this one at all. And now I've got this niggling voice in the back of my head (my Muse, most likely) sayng absolutely insane things like "When you're done writing this one, you'll have to go back and re-write Home Improvement the same way."

And the funny thing is, I really don't feel like I have a choice anymore.


  1. we adapt to our circumstances don't we - and if it works, stick at it! I'm the same - my novel has been bandaged together with patchs of writing - because that's all my lifestyle can allow. Like you, I write certain scenes and then patch them all together everyso often. I'm now at 70,000 words.,,, keep going - I want to read this book!

  2. congrastulations, my friend, you are free!

  3. Crazy days, that's for sure. I usually wake up in the middle of the night with some crazy idea for a story. Then it's a struggle of getting up to write it down, which means losing sleep, or waiting till morning and forgetting some of it.


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