Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 23 June 2002

[Ganesh statue on my desktop]

Good writing today! I put aside the various things I've been working on and started something new. Although the story is new, the issues it deals with are things I've grappled with before, in stories that haven't been published. I'm trying to follow the advice of writing about things that matter to me. My fiction-writing skills are much improved from a year ago. Maybe that, combined with writing about things that matter to me, will be what it takes to start selling more.

I've got about 1500 words, all written today.

I'm doing one other thing differently. I'm pushing on through a first draft without backing to to change things that I've changed my mind about. In the past I've often done major rewrites of the first scene or two of a story, when I think I've figured out that I want to do it differently. That takes a lot of time. Besides that, the work is often wasted, in that I often decide to do it the first way after all, or else decide to do it yet another way. This time I'm avoiding that. I'm just writing it on through. When I have a different concept of the story I'm changing what I'm doing with the current portion, but I'm not doing any rewriting of what's gone before. Then I'll do one major rewrite to put the story together however I decide is the right way at the end.

We'll see how that works.

I spent the morning writing, then went with Jackie to Taste of Champaign for lunch. We ate BBQ, then wandered around and looked at the booths we hadn't seen on Friday.

All sorts of things, all sorts of people at the Taste. There was a booth for a martial arts school. For a while Jackie and I watched two children, maybe twelve years old, sparing with bo staves. There was a wall with handholds for practicing rock climbing. We watched a girl, maybe nine years old, climb like a pro. Then a boy, a few years older, who couldn't even make it ten inches off the ground. I heard him tell someone nearby that his hands kept slipping off. Maybe he'd eaten one of the greasier dishes at the Taste.

There was a guy running for state senate there, shaking hands and passing out fliers. Running for office would really suck. Glad I don't have to do that for a living.

Then we came home. I wrote some more in the afternoon.

[Jackie's fiber from dye day]

Jackie came home from dye day yesterday with several skeins of yarn that needed to be hung up to dry some place where it wouldn't matter if they dripped a bit of dye. We hung them on the tree outside, then sat outside with it and read for a bit. I'm reading Toast, Charles Stross's recent collection. Wonderful stuff.

This evening we watched "Wonder Boys," the movie with Michael Douglas based on a novel by Michael Chabon. It's wonderful. It's another story about the writing life. Perhaps not as realistic as, say, "Shakespeare in Love," but still a fascinating depiction, as well as an entertaining movie.

The Ganesh statue up above has been my writing companion since before Clarion. Jackie and I have a number of Ganesh statues--she started acquiring them when she was in India. I forget where we got the dancing Ganesh, but one day, I think it was while I was gathering up the things I was thinking of taking to Clarion, I decided that I wanted to take the dancing Ganesh with me. he's been sitting next to my computer ever since, both at Clarion and at home.


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