I turned my memoir manuscript in, and it’s time to move forward to my next book, before the PR demands for my memoir ramp up. So between now and January 2017, it’s novel-time. It’s due in a few months. It’s done but not done done done.
Whereas my memoir took 12 months to write, my novel has taken 12 *years* of effort. It was born in the midst of my MFA’s novel writing workshop, ushered on by Victor LaValle. I’ve rewritten it three times. Thrown away more words than I’ve eventually kept. It waited for me to recover from my stroke. Witnessed the birth of my child, the end of my marriage, and its book contract. It waited for me to live a life, to grow up and meet it. To be able to write the damn thing.
Unlike my memoir, my novel requires so much more discipline and rigor from me. It wants a tidier home. My kitchen is tidier than it has been in a couple of years. And it requires me to get in physical shape. Literally–I can’t write my novel unless I’m running or doing yoga on a regular basis. It goes back to the discipline and rigor this novel demands from me.
I went on a run today.
Confession: I haven’t gone on a run in….years. Over two years. The last time I went for a run, I could run 30 minutes easily. This time–nope. I cut short my run by 15 minutes.
Further confession: I wasn’t running for 15 minutes straight. I was doing “intervals.”
This bout of exercise felt like running (see what I did there?) your hand in the wrong direction on velvet fabric. Not what I expected. Uncomfortable. Dissonant.
But getting back into my novel reeks of this discomfort–like wearing jeans after having worn sweatpants for two years.
Confession: I’ve been living in soft pants for 2 years.
I’ll keep running and getting back into shape. And I’ll keep working on my novel, and getting it into shape. And my novel will shape me.
In other news–there is a family of foxes in our neighborhood. They’re beautiful and delightful to spot in our urban setting. My daughter spotted a baby fox/kit, and she couldn’t stop talking about it.
Then again, we have no more chickens.