Monday, May 7, 2012

Sown and Sewn: Part VII The Penultimate Stitch

There are clouds on the horizon, big fluffy ones. Although it's sunny today, or at the very least, right now, I know all too well that it will storm soon. It's not going to be one of those fierce Denver spring storms complete with hail, tornadoes, lightening and thunder. No, it's going to be the kind of storm that we know here in Portland: light rain and mist and for a long, long time too.
But it's sunny right now. It's still early spring approaching the halfway mark. Here in Portland, what do I care if the April showers bring May flowers. If so, what do the showers of May, June and July bring? And why is it that I'm never, and I mean NEVER homesick for sunny-bright Denver, Colorado when it rains? A sunny day here in Portland makes me wish I was wandering the streets of central Denver from downtown east along Colfax. Strange.
And today, as with the last several days, possibly weeks, I've been writing Denver: Denver streets, Denver light, Denver feel and I'm doing it all from memory. How horribly twisted and wrong this will be? Who knows?
Oh, The Errors of Fabric! I cannot wait to shelf this piece. Awful. I'm not just saying it's awful because I'm a self-editing, self-doubting, self-deprecating writer either. I really mean this piece is bad. Hell, this the tenth novel I've written and I know that of the former 9, even the worst one is superior in every way.
And yet, I am compelled to complete it.
Some time back about 20,000 or so words ago, I forewent my old habits of work. Rather than taking the first draft down with pen and paper and then transposing the second draft and working a concurrent third draft, I've taken to the lazy writer's ways.
First, I'm not, nor have I written a single letter with the stroke of a pen in the last 20k words. Instead, I've simply written the first draft on the computer. This is the first time for that.
Also, I haven't been seeding the manuscript with hooks and actualizations in a concurrent third draft like I normally would. In short, within a few days when I consider The Errors of Fabric completed, it will be a first draft only.
I don't know why I changed my work habits with this piece.
All I can think about is that I'm rushed because I waited too long on it. I'm also, maybe, a little burnt out.
But thematically this piece has taxed me. A big portion of The Errors of Fabric is unplanned pregnancy and abortion. I don't understand how I came to this theme at this point of my life. I just did. And hitting close to home, my accomplice is pregnant and we are expecting a son in July. He was not planned, but he is wanted. She got pregnant just after I started the initial work on the novel.
So, imagine it? I'm writing a story about two women, one who gives birth to a child and the other aborts her fetus. All the while I have been living with a pregnant woman, mother of my child, and everyday we're both watching the changes in her. It's wild.
This is, of course, no excuse for sloppy work, or indeed for rushed work or even for new modes of work.
The fact that The Errors of Fabric began in September or October 2011 and now it's nearing the end of April is another conundrum. Six months is an awfully long time to have a piece like this beating me down like it has.
Honestly, I don't know why I've become so hasty.
It's just been a difficult novel to write. It's not the characters. It's not the plot. It's certainly not lack of writer's experience. It's me, simply stated, me. And perhaps The Errors of Fabric will be relieved to be finished too. Perhaps it will be relieved once shelved. 

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