I should be writing!
I should be sweeping and vacuuming, getting a bag together for the thrift store, helping my daughter get her bedroom ready to paint, dusting my piano, cleaning up the kitchen (which has gotten totally out of control for the last couple of days.)
I should be scrubbing the bathrooms. I feel like a rich person, having those two bathrooms instead of one, but then I realize it's twice the amount of cleaning. I shouldn't be blogging. I should be scrubbing.
I should be studying the Level 4 Rider pattern. I should be making study notes for the written test. I should be writing more lesson plans.
I should be writing a book instead of a blog post!
Here's the problem: blogging is so very easy compared to working on this rassafrackin book I started writing. I think this is the worst, hardest, most distasteful novel project I've taken on, ever. I've started so many that never got very far and were abandoned. I'm past that point. I don't think I can let myself quit writing a book anymore, now that I've finished a few and have one that I believe could become a real published book. I can't walk away from this one.
Without getting into details --I don't want to give too much away yet -- it's a hard subject to write about. I've discussed this with my writer-friends and come to the conclusion that it's perfectly fine to pick a nasty topic to write about. Hey man, life ain't all roses and cupcakes. Somebody's got to talk about the stuff we'd all rather avoid.
And what if by tackling something awful, I can bring a sense of hope to it?
I suspect the hardest thing about this book though, is that I feel... called to do it. I feel like this story was out there, and it came to me, and I'm the one who has to get it down into words. I do not know why it has to be me. I wish it didn't have to be me. I'd rather let somebody else wrestle with this one.
Isn't that the problem with being called to do something? How often are we called to something we really want to do? In comparison, how often do we get this unmistakable feeling that we have to do something difficult when all we want is to put the feet up and read a nice book?
There's a very strong possibility that I just don't do "nice books".
So I struggle along, sometimes only writing one word a day, just to say I've written. Most of my novel writing these days is in my workbook. I've taken my own advice.
I'm stepping back from the (hated) work in progress to concentrate on building the story. In my workbook, I've been getting to know my main character. She's one of the reasons that writing this book is so much like pulling teeth. She's nothing like me. All of my previous characters had little tiny bits of me, just enough that I could find some way to relate to them.
She's tall, slim but chesty, with milky white skin and strawberry blonde hair. She's cold. She has one good friend. She doesn't like animals. She's blunt, factual, and to the point. She doesn't even dress like me.
I know why she's like this, in both nature and nurture. I wrote pages and pages about her personality. But I had to find one specific way that she and I would have a common interest or characteristic, if we could actually sit down for a conversation in some parallel universe...
I found it. She's a packrat. She loves old things, antiques, history.
She is cheap enough (like me) to avoid spending money on new stuff. She is enough of a quality snob (um, sort of like me, I sheepishly admit) that she believes nothing is made as well as it used to be. She hoards her favourite objects (much more cleanly and tidily than I would) because the junk of today could be tomorrow's treasured antiquity.
A-ha. I got her.
She's starting to warm up to me. Slowly, though, which makes sense, because she's not one to trust easily.
In my mind, I keep telling myself that I SHOULD be writing this new novel. My instincts are telling me that by cautiously getting to know this fictional woman, I'm doing the right thing.
I should be interviewing Alaina, writing down her likes and dislikes, what makes her tick. That's what I'm doing. As long there are enough clean dishes and undies and towels to go around, we're fine. But now I must put the computer away for the day...