Friday, July 30, 2010

Writing weekend

This weekend is crunch time for me. The tennis novel I'm working on is moving a little slower than I'd like. I'm hoping to turn it into Operation First Novel, a contest for unpublished authors held by the Christian Writer's Guild. The contest deadline is October 1. All novels must be between 75,000 - 100,000 words. I'm only at 40,000 and it's August in two days!! So this weekend, I am fully dedicated to the task of writing and my goal is to get at least 30,000 words written so I can spend August finishing the last 5,000-10,000 words and give September entirely over to editing.

I'll let a couple of writer friends leave you with a few thoughts about my task at hand:

"The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it." ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895

"When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can." ~Samuel Lover, Handy Andy, 1842

"I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions." ~James Michener

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." ~Peter De Vries

"Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." ~Gene Fowler

"Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum." ~Graycie Harmon

And finally, a few of my own words about this love of writing:


Picking up the metaphorical pen, my mind
racing with character quirks, a man with
brown hair and yellowed teeth, a child who
barks every time it rains, a woman afraid
of snails. Each face like a stained glass
window, colored and magnificent in my head
straining and pulling to get down on paper,
to walk the road I’ve imagined, to impart
the wisdom I’ve birthed, to flounder in the
fool’s mistakes I’ve done myself. Throbbing
forehead weaves the plot, a twisted maze
unraveling on paper, muddied more than
I wish for but the red pen will soon fly, crossing
out and chasing words, compressing my winded
declarations to pithy paragraphs quickly read
but not quickly forgotten, I hope. Comedy
edges his bony elbows in adding pointed lines
of shimmery prose, laughing at himself along
the way while turning up his nose at his little
sister Sentiment who wryly laces her affectations
in, scarcely seen or heard, but felt like a pin
pricking deep into the finger, quickly going to
the mouth to soften the pain. Compelled to go
on when my eyes say stop, genres calling
to be tried on, like overalls, quick on, quick
off. Compulsion should be synonymous with

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