Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Writing as leftovers

Today I am supposed to be writing. I am very nearly done reconstructing several stories in the early section of my Juliet Stories; but it has been much more taxing than anticipated. It's not been hard work, exactly, but work that makes me impatient and mildly anxious. The early section of Juliet belongs to the book as it was originally conceived, only fragments of which still remain. I have reimagined these stories more times than I can count. There remain lasting sentences and phrases repurposed for different contexts. It's dizzying.

I feel like I'm eating leftovers for the tenth day in a row. I've had this meal before. I can eat it cold, or heat it up, or add some hot sauce, or wrap it in a tortilla, but dammit, I know exactly what I'm eating, and I'm so very very tired of it. But if a friend came over, and I wrapped some up for her, she would probably think it tasted awesome. Know what I mean?

I'm down to the nitty-gritty, to the less-than-glamorous, stuck-in-the-kitchen part of the process. I accept it.

Here's what I hope is happening: that I'm transforming these leftovers into a really fantastic meal that I'll get to share with a tableful of welcome company. And it will all be worth it, even though the kitchen is getting hot, and the onions are just shy of burnt, and the sun is shining, and I'd really really really like to run outside and play.

4 comments:

  1. Keep at it, Carrie! I'm cheering for you over here, and can't wait to read your Juliet Stories. And I'm beyond curious as to how much is autobiographical. Don't you hate that question?

    Sometimes I love leftovers, but you're right - over and over gets a bit stale.

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  2. Thanks, Rebecca!

    Ah, autobiography. That's a big topic, and it's an inevitable one when it comes to this book (though I remember people were always interested in what parts were "real" in Hair Hat, too, which I deliberately tried to make as non-autobiographical as possible). I still need to work through my thoughts on this subject. I think it's going to be difficult to peel things apart, and I hope it won't be read as autobiographical, because what happens in the book isn't at all what has happened in my life.

    Sigh. I hear myself explaining already.

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  3. Oh, I know that feeling. I start to wonder if what I'm writing is going to be as dull for readers as it is for me, because I've been stomping around on that ground so long the grass seems flattened. But it isn't.

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  4. I don't find the need to read what I've published because I'm so darn sick of it and I hold it out to others and think "Here - are you sure you want this piece of crap?" So positive, eh?

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