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Kite - White Rock (Pam Bustin 2008)I’ve been working well this week, on the NIP.

Some days I work on the Typer and some days I stay in my Scribble Book, which, these days, is big black sketch book partially used (by someone else). I love using these books. I flip them over, start at the back and am always surprised and pleased when I come upon the drawings/paintings/notes of the former user.

Whether I work on the Typer or in my Scribble-book depends on … what is coming through. Some days are listening/following days, these are best spent in the Scrib-book. The Typer days are more about weaving the story together with the bits I find on the listening days.

Different ways of working – handwritten vs typed.

Big sprawling mess in the Scrib — often with doodles vs organized, searchable text I can move around, rework, fit in.

Different rhythms.

Different focus.

I feel more … free… in the Scrib to mix in … notes to myself along with the words of the characters. I often find something interesting when I go back through to mark up the bits that will be reviewed and revised for entrance into the manuscript.

Like this…

I hold back. Hold it back and can’t get it out sometimes. And here on this page (which is the back page of someone’s [Alex’s] painting of some flowers), on this page I imagine how good it would feel to push paints around. I could do that. I could try. It seems, always that it might be a good way to … FEEL something through. But then I imagine such lovely swirls of colour and the actual THING done is usually so… clumsy…and so… I stop. Hmm.. Perhaps the back of the page looks better than the front. Does that mean you failed or that the … reflection, the leak through is a truer expression of what you were aiming for?

Like on the guitar… I am just getting the hang of strumming and I can’t for the life of me change the emPHAsis. I can’t get the boom-chicka-boom feeling right. Hmm… writing that, I see why – the booms [1 & 3] seem louder – even here – than the chickas but I think what Justin (my virtual guitar teacher) is saying is that the 2s and 4s should be louder. Sure doesn’t sound like a train when I play it. HA.

Connection? I am still clumsy… but it is entirely obvious to me that I need to build up to it. Build callouses on my fingers. Get the bend right to position the tips of my fingers on the strings. Build muscle in my chording hand just to PRESS right. Need to loosen my strumming wrist and learn the flick. Need to develop an ear and rhythm… so much. And so… It is no different with the handling of paint or words. True?

And sometimes, the bleed-through looks better than the original. I think that holds true with writing too – at least for me. If I go straight at something, I haven’t the skill to render it life-like. But if I try — and I must try — I must go straight at the thing… and when I do this, there are… hints, impressions left behind that I can make use of. It is often the sly word slipped in by my unconscious/subconscious that leads me on a whole new riff and THAT is where the juice is, that is where the TRUTH of it is. Truth ain’t “the facts”. But oh how it rings when you find it.

I am a plodder – on many fronts.Water Buffalo - Samburu (Pam Bustin 2008)

I return, day after day to the page. I put in my time.

I am also a soarer – once in a while. I swoop down and snatch up a shiny bit dropped, unawares, by my plodding self. I swoop, snatch and soar away with it.

Sometimes I take it to a safe place and turn it over and over in my hands to admire it’s beauty, then I fit it into the other shiny bits of the novel. It’s like… decorating the house, building the cathedral of the novel.

Sometimes I soar up as high as I can and DROP the shiny thing – smashing the piece open to reveal the true riches.

The day I found this in the Scrib, I turned the page in my last minute of writing and there was a pencil sketch with the word RISK worked into it.

I like that.

This whole thing is a risk, of course. The writing. Life.

I’m glad I stayed in the Scrib that day. It was good. I found THIS and I also had pages of fresh material to weave into the manuscript.

Little plodding… little soaring… and a dash of trust that it will all come together in the end.

How about you? Are you plodding or soaring right now?

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy -p

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