eglantine_br (eglantine_br) wrote,

The things that go into stories

Most days I am a firm believer in the ass-in-the- chair school of writing. Even if I have not yet been paid, even if I never am, it is work, like any other work we choose to do, or must do. Nobody talks about waitresses-block, or the bricklayers muse. (Maybe Ben Jonson had one of those though!)

But if there is a semi-mystical thing that we should try not to poke at, it is the force that takes ingredients, things we notice, or know, or feel, and makes them into a whole. That part is more like cooking maybe-- the goopy inedible stuff that bakes and becomes something consumable. Or maybe it is like pregnancy, a messy private action that leads to something we can eventually take to the store..  I don't know how that works in me, or in anyone, (The writing I mean, I am fair conversant with the other two,)

There is something sneaky and mysterious about the way research leads to false branches-- and an almost visual 'not that way, not that, that's it.' I love prompts, and how we can all take the same structure and everyone makes their own thing.

Today I am working on something-- and it involves a search for English 18th century house-paint, and a long ago trip to the Nantucket whaling museum, and an old woman who made me a pair of mittens in 1975, and the memory of my hopeless crush on red-haired Owen Jones, who was in 3rd grade, and too grand to notice a 1rst grader.  (Besides I was afraid of his sister.) Also, a terrible tragedy that happened almost 200 years ago now.

So that is all in the pot, we shall see what we get.
Tags: writing about writing instead of writing

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