Friday, December 11, 2009

The sub-plot


Every novel has a sub-plot. And the sub-plot in my novel is about women. And my last blog glanced across the line into life. Women. I've read about this. There are dangers. And as well, the author has his reasons. November brought many 'developments'. I have been blessed with many new adventures, and in the foreground there are new female presences who have woken me from my quietude.
I am appreciating the love, it is all so vast I am caught breathless, and yet I am underway, buoyed by moments and falling happily. I am protective of them, and we all have so many things to do with each other. There are projects, both personal and 'in the world', that are afoot. But this is to evade specifics. What can be said?
I met 'the marketing lady' at the Chinese Gardens. A business meeting with I Ching decor. We were both excited by possibility. There is a fire, and as we know, fire clings to wood - the fuel. There is darkness obscuring the light, but the fire continues to burn. That's the first awareness: we are working from darkness into light. The book is all promise and it is just now only a manuscript, a few thin pages that were manufactured out of urgency.
You will bring it to the light. You will do that. And you ask me why I trust you. It is because you are at my door and shining. So it is your light too that must shine. I am there with you.
There are memories, other memories. Someone from long ago, who said, 'I taste your lips on mine'. I taste your lips, and then you will fly.
There is also a 'friend'. Ha! I hear you. Euphemism. Is she just a friend? We tried capitals: Friend. This happened in parallel. First there was the novel, and it was happening. Then there was an interlude, although not altogether. The writing continued, amidst the music festival that was the interlude. The friend and I happened. Hugging new dreams that previously were forbidden, or was it simply unseen? What happened in the hugging could be called a doorway. It was a month of doorways and this was one of them.
So are we friends? Are we 'Friends'? Transmuted by the capital letter? Winnie the Pooh would say....? Perhaps 'Particular Friends'. We beseech your abeyance. There must be room and time. I know there will be naysayers, so I sing my song. It is called 'Nevertheless'.
There is music to this - Sarah Blasko, and other eccentrics who believe in the wonder and who conjure new belief. Bat for Lashes, the piano of stillness, the voice of trustingness, the glory of guitars that soothe and soar. I am comfortable, solid, centred in our attainment. And I have lyrics of protestation, if we were to be faced with disdain. The music will grow. I can throw more into the maelstrom: Kate Bush. All in all, there is a 'we', and I ask only for room for it.
I return to the novel, and there is Trish. I realise there may be questions about her. There will most likely be misconceptions. If you are going to surmise, I will say, "Perhaps you are wrong. It is a novel after all."
As Sarah Blasko says, "I seek only to understand myself."
To conclude: there were no 'throw-away lines'. Woman: I was introducing you softly as I was stepping across the line. Diffident, for now there are no compartments that I am protecting from each other. We are all in the field, inside the circle, and in time it will be known what part each person plays. The becoming awaits your acts of grace.
And I do likewise. I am ready.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

After the last word


What happens after you finish a novel? This is how it has been for me.
I proofread the text and tidied up for missing words, wrong words, punctuation etc. There wasn't much I wanted to change in the story. There was an occasional gaff, for example, in one scene a person had walked in but then I'd got distracted and she just stood around while other things went on. So I've let her withdraw, and she comes back later when she takes her part in the story.
I'm mulling over the question of publication. One of my sons has started on the design and layout. I'm talking with a lady about marketing. I'm weighing up the self-publishing route against finding an established publisher.
I'm attending a workshop this Sunday on "creative non-fiction". This was the line I crossed in writing the novel. Professor Robin Hemley from University of Iowa is conducting the workshop. I'm looking forward to it.
The picture? I had a Family Day last week with much of my family, including most of my five children, various partners and a friend. A great throng! And my eldest daughter suggested I read something from the book. I'd never done anything like that before. Mmmm. So I stood on a stump and read the preface (the book has a preface).
Meanwhile my grandson performed beside me on the next stump, his highlight being to stick his tongue inside the centre of the stump and lick up sawdust, grinning. There is a chapter in the book called "Eating the ancient power and virtue". Perhaps he is a sage. I think he is a great prankster!