Thanks for your messages about The Project.  It is coming down, though because I am piecing together the scenes chronologically, instead of switching around between past and present, and between characters, the process is taking some time.  (I cut out a lot of narrative to meet my 500 word per segment goal.)  I’m removing them from the blog as I’m pulling them into the story, which is why the most recent segments can still be found here.  It’s like one of those puzzles that take up a corner of the dining table for a couple of months; you stop by every once in awhile to pull a piece or two from the box and add them to the picture.

This week I discovered that there were some scenes I just didn’t want to write.  They hurt, you know?  Climbing inside those characters to explore their dark places was, well… scary.  So I tiptoed around the edges of them.  I peered down their crooked hallways with my penlight trembling just a little bit, and revealed only those thin bits of illumination in my scenes.  A cop out, really.  A safe place on the landing above five-hundred-word boxes with basement shadows drifting in their menacing, sweat-slicking way.

Yesterday, the story demanded that I walk down those stairs all alone.  If the narrative was going to be cohesive – if it was going to make sense to anyone outside my own head, I had to feel in the dark with my own hands and eyes and sketch the character’s motivations without light.  It was horrible.  And liberating.  And the best natural high I have experienced to date.  When it was finished, I stood shaking in the kitchen, blinking fast at the ceiling while my husband cooked brunch and my kids at the table worked hard to convince me their parents were actually wolves.  This is why we do it, I think.  Why we keep writing when we know we’ll probably never make any money at it, and there are always so many other things we really should be getting done.  It’s for the moment when the words take us up way beyond the sky blue sky and the bright hot retina burning dangerous distant stars show us that their light is close, and warm.


Filed under fiction

3 responses to “Breakthrough

  1. It’s incredible, what you do with words. You always manage to take me with you and put me in the room. out of breath, laughing or crying or yelling.

  2. Congrats, Desi! And may you have many more of those wonderful moments! I had one yesterday (although surely not as intense); after a full day of writing and revising I felt just wonderful inside. What a high it is when it comes.

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