The Bathroom Spitter

November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Six months ago I started this blog to write about my novel.  Tonight, I sit down and open up my chapters one by one, and I can’t stomach them.  I am sorry to say this.  This novel was conceived mostly by me, but also by my teacher and writing friends.  I don’t mean to trash mass market novels, but I think my novel reads like a dime-store novel.  I’m not even sure I love the plot. The idea behind the novel will never escape me: redemption through fire.  Paradox excites me.  It’s not intuitive that we should love those who’ve thwarted us, but it’s truth.

In some ways, I feel like I am writing a breakup letter to my novel.  It wasn’t a waste.  I have sixtysome pages–and even more of notes–of my novel written.  Hours upon hours, and hundreds of dollars were spent in consultation of the book.  I loved (almost) every minute of those sessions, and I know I’ve gained a better understanding of character, of genre, and the general process of writing a book.  It was too good of an opportunity to pass up to work with a seasoned literary consultant, and yet I read my pages and recognize that it’s not really what I want to produce.  It was me six months ago, which strangely enough, is not exactly the me of today.  Maybe I’ll come back to it.  But for now, I think I’d rather try my hand at short stories and essays.  And now I’m going to geek out and quote Dumbledore (sorry, I watched HP last night): “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  Whether or not I ever become published, I want to be known for who I am and not what I do.  Some people label me as a writer, which I’m flattered by and I suppose is a fine way to describe how I spend some of my time, but I don’t want it to define me.

Also, I’m still learning.  Writing a book is an incredibly difficult thing, and nearly impossible when the author doesn’t know quite what she wants to say.  And so goes the paradox of learning: the more you know, the more questions arise.  The world keeps expanding.  Maybe it’s just the whiskey and ginger ale talking but I don’t think so.

It wouldn’t seem right to sign off without mentioning a most excellent Thanksgiving weekend with the Durbins.  16 hours in the car with bd conversing and listening to the BBC presentation of LOTR, playing a new board game and laughing at the absurd sentences formed, knitting a hat for my beautiful new niece, talking geneaology with jd, running eight miles in the freezing cold…

Yeah.  I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.  Wishing everyone full bellies and happy hearts.

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