Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So Far Away

I'm so far away from the Laundress in these early, snowy days of spring in Rhode Island that I fear I can never return here. I have strayed into the deep waters of poetry in Knot-In-Line. I think I'm drowning. I don't know what I'm doing, or why I'm pressing forward on a path I never intended to take. It's a detour that threatens to suck me into a tunnel of no return.

How is it that a novel seems to have become a confessional. What is there to tell? That is truly the question here. I am stuck in my own laundry room today, washing for others, listening to the drone of the huge wood chipper outside - the grind and spit of the trunks that met their death to bring us light, relieve the heavy darkness of our white pine canopy.

I tap my fingers so quick and lightly across the keyboard, back and forth, unthinking, yet perhaps praying the letters to tell me a story on their own - like a song on piano keys. No, they don't know her any better than I do. The best I can promise myself now is to keep her name in the side-bar of Knot-In-Line --- for now --- until ---


  1. Why should a novel not be a confessional? Every writer writes best about what they know.

    There are creative writing teachers who ridicule the idea of writing a blog instead of 'proper' writing. If you have the time and inclination go and read my last two but one posts; they are about blogging and writing. If you read the comments you'll see what bloggers think of writing a blog; they couldn't have been more supportive.
    I warn you, there are a lot of comments . . . .

  2. Thank you for visiting Friko. I spent so much time to date on researching and writing what I have written so far that it is actually painful to think of abandoning the novel; and yet the feelings of inadequacy to the task nag away in the back of my mind.

    I read your blog posts on writing and agree that it is important to express our authentic selves---whoever we are. I am happy we have bumped into each other and I look forward to reading at your place.

  3. I loved this part of your post -
    "washing for others, listening to the drone of the huge wood chipper outside - the grind and spit of the trunks that met their death to bring us light, relieve the heavy darkness of our white pine canopy." Your writing is as beautiful and poetic as your description of the writing process..."back and forth, unthinking, yet perhaps praying the letters to tell me a story on their own - like a song on piano keys." I think that's stunning.
    I look forward to hearing more about your novel. And thanks for your comment on my magpie tale!

  4. Thanks, Niamh. The post came from the heart; reflected my frustration with my lack of focus here. I have been tempted to delete this blog. It has become one more plague to my conscience. I really have taken a side road with the poetry.
    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

  5. I agree with Niamh the writing here is just beautiful. I don't think you should abandon the novel. I think you will find the story if you keep digging - like Stephen King says - stories are like fossils that need uncovering.The problem comes when the writing is a chore or is no longer a pleasure or 'a plague to conscience' It has to be what we want to do and it has to be playful too I think.

    I love the idea of the novel and I hope you continue with it.

  6. Avril, Thanks so much for your encouragement. I appreciate it more than I can say.

  7. Ann, you have taken me right smack dab into your world, and I can see and hear it all around me. I was re-reading Barry Lopez last night, moved again by his words regarding place and how so many of us have lost our connection to it. And I value your side road into poetry. I began a novel years ago and then let it go. I keep wondering what it would be like to commit to finishing it. Thank you for visiting my "place."

  8. Thank you Kathryn. I finally finished Chapter 4 and have posted it here. Interesting to me that in the time that has passed since I started the novel I recognize deficiencies in the early work that weren't apparent before.

    I wonder whether I might start from the juncture I have reached in the story and approach it as a new novel. The idea came to me when I learned of the NaNoWriMo challenge, 50,000 words written in the month of November. The caveat is that you must begin work on a new novel(existing outline OK). Might be the spark I need.