In my last blog, I talked about my “hummingbird” approach to writing — all fits and starts and never letting yourself assume that you can only write when and if you have long, uninterrupted blocks of time. Yes, it works, but do I yearn for long, uninterrupted blocks? Of course!
A progress report. My current project, a novel about a Jewish-American woman born in 1918 and that follows her life for approximately 40 years, is actually taking shape. I’m about 130 pages into it and even though it’s mostly being writing under the constraints of my “hummingbird” method, things are starting to fall into place. I’m enjoying getting to know the protagonist, as well the other characters in her life, and look forward to each new, albeit brief, session.
Because this novelis set in real places and at a real time in history, I needed to do a lot of basic research before
I ever wrote a word. But once I’d completed what I absolutely needed in the way of research, I had a choice: to either continue to research everything I possibly could or or to start writing and do
I love the research and could easily let it drag on for years and years and never actually start to write. Working as I do, when I come to a point in the story where research is essential, I either stop and do it on the spot or mark the passage and return to it later.research on the fly. I chose the latter.
I like to say that for the past two months, my writing has been constrained by our new dog, Mischa. But really, it’s not her fault. She’s just being what she is: an enormous puppy that needs lots (and lots) of attention. Now one-year old, Mischa is a Newfoundland-Bernese Mountain-Dog mix. Mainly she’s Newfoundland. We’ve had her since early March when her original family found that she, along with their young child, were too much.
Mischa has exemplary qualities. For instance, she hasn’t yet consumed any of our other three, small dogs (one Corgi and two Dachshunds) nor has she dug up the two remaining Rosemary and Lavender plants I added to our back garden last June. She’s even made more room in the house by biting a hole in the Swiss exercise ball I kept in the guest room. I wasn’t using it all that much and it did take up space. And, she has an eye for interior design as evidenced by when she dragged a small Persian rug out of the living room and chewed off one corner. It must have clashed with the sofa.
Since we discovered a nearby dog park, I’ve taken her every day. Misha bursts out of the double-gated holding pen with the energy of a rodeo bull. Despite her size, she’s still a puppy and a very friendly, gentle one. She easily befriends most other dogs and their owners. Of course that makes me happy. There are rubber tubs filled with water and when she’s ready to take a break from playing chase with an elegant, white poodle or a pair of young, black labs, she jumps in to cool down. By the time we get back to the house, Mischa is ready to kick back and the rest of her day is mellow.
So how much of my current dry spell can I lay at Mischa’s paws? Doesn’t really matter. Next week I’m getting back on track!