I looked at the last blog post I made and just realized how long it has been since I’ve actually blogged. I chose the word actually here with purpose and not out of the lazy use of one of those pesky “ly” words. I use it because I have been doing a lot more blogging in my head than in reality. Before you think I am a nut case, just consider the fact that I do what’s called “pre-writing” all the time. I think through scenes, dialogue, and all manner of writing while I am doing other things–like taking a shower, driving,washing dishes, or folding laundry. I plot and think through character and structure all without computer or pen at hand.
Sometimes, all that mental work gets transformed into written form, and sometimes it doesn’t. For example, last week, a friend posted a poignant quote by Joyce Carol Oates on Facebook. I saw it while I was working out and thought about it while I showered intending to blog about my reaction. It was a pretty emotional post, and I decided that I would get all sentimental and teary when what I really needed to do was work on the $*(#@*$&?; taxes. I skipped the blogging for something more practical and timely. Replace taxes with holidays, birthdays, traveling and kid related activities and blogging has gotten smooshed right out of my schedule.
I have about half a dozen posts “in mind” about food–no surprise there–and just haven’t gotten around to getting them written up. I have pictures and everything, but when I sit at the computer, I see the little Scrivener icon at the bottom of my screen and it calls to me. (Scrivener is the writing program I am using these days.)
This is all to say, I have been prioritizing my writing more than in the past. Last fall I started the UW’s Popular Fiction certification course. People who know me ask me about the other certification course in Literary fiction I took a few years ago (seven!) and why I am taking another. It turns out that the creation of a novel is more complex than simply telling a story. I’m good at the story telling part–and I have short fiction pretty much figured out. All of the erotic works I have sold have been in the short fiction category. (Two more this year, BTW.) But novels? Dang it. They are tricky things. This course is focused on the novel form.
The class meets once a week for three hours in the evening. We write in class each week–between one and three scenes. I go home and expand on and edit those scenes during the week, making one of them decent enough for the teacher to review. As the book begins to take shape, I am finding myself more and more involved with just the one project– especially when it comes to sitting down and actually writing.