This isn’t a cop out, but let me give you an excuse

I’ve been writing.

Sort of.

Well, not really.

I’ve been writing some things down, which is something.  But I haven’t been writing writing.  Father’s Day weekend found me in Mankato, Land of Ten Thousand Lakes Minnesota for a pool tournament for one of the boys.  Now, as is my custom, whenever I go on a trip I always take my backpack.  My backpack has my critical travel needs: iPod, two different ear buds (one pair shuts out background noise, whatever I’m reading at the time (I finished Dennis Lehane’s Gone Baby Gone and started a Zeppelin bio, When Giants Walked the Earth), and my notebook.  I bring my notebook thinking, “I’m almost certain to find some time to write!”  This never happens.  Ever.  The wife and I went on vacation last year to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary with no kids and were gone for five days and I didn’t write a single word.  Last weekend was more of the same.

However, I do keep a small notebook and a pen on my person at almost all times.  It’s a little tip I picked up from Kicking and Screaming (the Noah Baumbach film, not that tripe with Will Ferrel).  So while I haven’t made too much headway in my rewrite (because I haven’t thought of anything original to write) I did scribble a few paragraphs inspired by some of the great people watching at the Verizon Center.

“The room was full of one time biker babes.  Women that at one time turned heads and probably caused a fight or two back in the day.  But now the wind and sun had left them permanently raw and worn; the details of once salacious tattoos lost in loose and wrinkled skin.”

“There were storm clouds gathering on the western edge of town.  He knew the rain was coming; he could smell it in the air and feel it in his aged joints.  The clouds were dark, as dark as midnight.  They blocked out the sun and sent a cold wind Eastward ahead of it to alert all of their coming.  He looked up and saw droves of birds flying east as quickly as possible…”

Great stuff?  No.  The makings of something else later on down the line?  Maybe.

By the way, I’ve figured out what it is I hate about rewrites.  First drafts are fun.  They are full of the unknown, like a child out playing and making the first marks after a fresh snowfall.  There are almost no rules and there is nothing holding you back.

Rewrites are more like work.  You’ve set a framework for yourself and feel an obligation to honor most of that original framework.  Does it limit your options?  No.  But establishes a pretty finite set of details.

I hate work.

That’s probably why I’m often on the internet or writing when I’m at work…

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