Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Bear and the Favorite Childhood Book

My rewrite has become quite the bear...a grizzly bear even. We're talking 700 pound grizzly bear at the beginning of Fall scrambling to pack on the fat so it can hibernate for the winter and I feel like a salmon trying to make it up a very shallow river before I get caught in its jaws or swatted by an enormous paw. It's hard to keep yourself motivated when there is so much to be done. I would be willing to bet that half of my 57,000+ words are going to be gone by the time I am done. This is only the first pass. While the meat of the story is still there, I am stregthening other characters with this secondary story line. It had to be done. I can only go where the story takes me. At the moment, it seems a bit overwhelming, though. Like the boat is headed for a huge waterfall and I need to find a way to the shore despite having gotten rid of my oar. What do I do? I set goals (thanks Jes!). Tomorrow, by hook or by crook, I will be done with the first pass. I'm running two errands and then will be home for the rest of the day. It will be done! Then I'll reassess tomorrow to set more goals.

On a brighter note, Jen over at unedited posted some really awe inspiring photos of libraries today on her blog. The kind of libraries you could get lost in. It brought back memories of our own humble Poway library tucked into the back of the small shopping center. Does anyone from Poway remember that one? Mom would take us there a few times a month. She would have to really work with Drew to get him to pick even one book while I would race around like a madwoman picking out as many books as I could before mom would say "time's up!" It brought back such fond memories. I might have had an unhappy childhood if it weren't for books. My parents loved me, but they fought a lot. My father was a very intimidating and imposing man who believed in the power of the belt. They were blessed with a very stubborn (pig headed even), extremely outspoken child prone to mouthing off. We lived in a small, small town when I was in elementary and middle school. There wasn't a whole lot to do. You could ride horses but we didn't own one and my parents didn't have the money for lessons or rentals. But we had that wonderous library where I could ride horses in Narnia! Or in the Phantom Tollbooth! I opened a book and I was suddenly out of Poway and into a whole new world full of exciting adventures. The pictures of the libraries took me tumbling back into my childhood today. Lucky for Facebook friends, I didn't have time to peruse photo albums and post old pictures because I was too busy going through my old books. Remember this one?

I busted this one out tonight. My copy is so old that the cover is torn and the pages have yellowed. It has that musty smell that only very old books have. I bought it at a book fair brand new in elementary school. Most kids saved their allowance for candy (Drew did!). I saved mine for books. Favorites from the library that I had checked over and over and over again - the librarian raising an eyebrow at me as she stamped it with the DUE date. I would feel guilty, like I was robbing someone else of the joy of the book. It felt good to purchase it with my hard earned money. It was a true testament of my love. So I'm done with the rewrite (or the crossout, as it's becoming to resemble that more than anything) and I'm off to read some Madeleine L'Engle.

Happy reading and happy, happy writing week!


  1. This is why we are friends, 3000 miles apart. :)
    I would ride my bike to the library instead of to the pool on hot summer days. I'd bring home old favorites, "How to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days," "Half Magic" and "Seven-Day Magic," and of course every Ramona, and every Narnia, and every L.M. Montgomery . . .
    I still think of the Dawn Treader on these humid, hazy days. I'm wishing for sea breezes, and yearning to snuggle Reepicheep as Lucy did, and fearing to find the island where dreams come true.

  2. It was just meant to be, our friendship! Thanks for always inspiring me - got through the first pass of my manuscript (and it wasn't pretty). I had been procrastinating until you posted again. You gave me the nudge that I needed. And thanks for always commenting on my posts! You're a great friend, Jes!