One line from the day’s work

Writing status updates for facebook and twitter has left me the new habit of collecting single lines from my day’s writing, isolated out of context by the forced brevity of those forums. Sometimes these are polished lines from work being completed, others are raw ideas for new work. My favorites are the bits of conversation with my characters, and times real life with my boys and the writing interact.  Out of curiosity, I scrolled back to collect these.

July 1.  He was bending to reload, his eye carefully trained on the fisheye bubbling of air out of the squirt gun’s tank, letting him know when it was filled.  His vision refocused, training instead on his little brother’s face, perfectly still, staring back up at him from where he stood on the bottom of the pool. (raw draft, related to character in Awake in Her Garden)

June 30. She cursed him.  With the venom of certainty but without the thrill that comes from victory.  Some battles one would rather have been wrong about. (raw, new story)

June 28. Tiny monkey and I are eating blackberries big as mini-christmas trees. Reminder of picking berries along the cottage drive as a child, transferred to WIP, Roonan stopped by the road to free the horse whose halter became entangled while reaching for berries in the brambles. Sigh, character love. (fb post, prefacing work on Beyond Grieves)

June 16. Took the boys to the pool.  Wrote a story with the glare of sun leaving my screen full black blankness, as a boy came and flirted with me, not knowing the most obnoxious screechers in the water call me “Mom.”  Yeah, story came out funny.  Poor boy did not fare well.  But made use of the memory of hotel keys at the bottom of the pool, from my wedding reception.  Summer! (fb post on new story)

June 14. Character a-ha, after reading of Tobias Wolff: “…unable to reconcile what they know to be true with what they feel to be true. Duplicity is their great failing, and Wolff’s main theme.” (work on Breathing Water, and later Beyond Grieves)

June 13. There had been a gun secreted in a holster at his ankle. He might have been police. He might have been military.  He might have been a spy. (Grieves)

June 12. Nervous over the quiet concentration of mad scientists upstairs.

June 12. His wedding-ringed hand rose from the pool. ‘We came here to play tennis & golf,’ he thought to her. ‘We ate on the street where I’d held your hand.’ (raw, new story)

June 8. Midatlantic girl, mother to Floridian sons: hadn’t occurred to me they knew Blackbeard as I once knew Ford, Jefferson and Poe.

June 5. School year done, back to novels: today’s work, viewing footage from the past 20 years of  motorcycle TT races. (for Roonan in Grieves)

March 13. Boys and I are kept company by the ghost in the room: paramilitary lover, politely irritated I’m making dinner & not working on his novel. (Roonan nagging me back to work on Grieves)

March 12. He wiped his hand one way, then the other: his fingers painting one possibility then another across his thigh, his face not convinced of either. (Grieves)

March 7. On her nightstand was a picture of them, leaning close, knee deep in sun yellowed grass. She would be embarrassed were anyone to find more. (Grieves)

January 22. “You were there,” she asked the man hunched in triangle and saw instead the boy he once was, and the body at the bottom of the stairs. (abbreviated, from Grieves)

January 9. Dreamt I couldn’t find the classroom for students who were waiting, but found my missing stepmother and a fab hat for the races.

January 5. Writing happens when we stop thinking. Flash memory of lectura’s reading to the cigar rollers in western Cuba sparked whole new idea today. (for Breathing Water)

November 24. ‎’Right yer be. Safe home,’ I read, and off the novel was in my head again, Carinne nose to baby’s head whispering “I found him. I found yer Da.” (Grieves)

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Filed under Novel Writing, Writing Life

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