Saturday, September 22, 2007

August 12, 2007--A family distraction

Verrry strange day today. All day yesterday my unspoken plan was to get up and finish the first draft today. My wife is out of town—I would just pretend it was Monday and the excitement of finishing would carry me over the reluctance to work on the weekends.

But last night I got into a phone conversation with my mom . . . . This is actually related to the book. The story draws on a lot of actual experiences and as I burrow into how the characters would behave, sometimes I rely on how I remember it really being, and sometimes I can’t access it. My memories don’t make any sense. The real life story in my memory doesn’t always add up to a tight narrative.

So I decided I wanted, partly out of curiosity about my personal story and partly to help me figure out what my characters were going to do, that I would ask my mom for some clarification. “What was it like that time . . .?” “How did it work when we . . . ?” Who was standing where?” This was kind of a big deal, because my mom and I mostly carefully avoid talking about this stuff.

I had trouble getting a hold of her all week and finally got her late last night, and we were on the phone a looong time and she told me a ton of amazing stories. She ought to write a book. It was very late when I got off the phone and I was filled with these surprising stories that I didn’t want to lose so I went to the computer and started typing until my eyes drifted close while I was sitting at my desk.

So, I’m wiped out this morning and slow to recover. I’m hoping actually to put all that out of my head for a few days to get the first draft finished and then I’ll draw on it in the rewrite.

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