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Monday, May 10, 2010

In Other News...

My other son is home sick today. What is the deal here, guys? I am not even Fun Mom these days. You guys should really take a sick day when I am Fun Mom; we could do good stuff.

I am not Fun Mom primarily because my current book is in pieces all over the place.

Did you ever build something, like out of Legos or little sticks or scraps of paper or Q-Tips? Or, like, make a diorama? I am not talking to those of you who are artistic, now. I am not talking to those of you who think building with Lego is easy or who think "OOO! A Diorama! That's so much fun!" Because I am not feeling friendly toward you people today.

Sorry. I warned you. I am Grouchy Girl today.

I am talking to those of us who come up with creative combinations of swear-words at just the thought of gluing one thing to another thing.

Usually gluing words to other words (metaphorically) is what I like to do. It's how I think and how I amuse myself and also how I avoid working out, or, honestly, working at some more dangerous job.

But days like today, I realize I have sentence fragments stuck in my hair, and to the bottoms of my socks. The story I knew so well before I started writing it -- and last week, as I thought I was almost done writing it - has suddenly shattered into tiny shards. It is like every diorama I ever made and then, horribly, picked up off the table and watched collapse utterly. It is like every Lego structure I've ever touched -- the pieces by now just repel one another when I get close. I was writing the climactic scene of this book and the whole darn thing collapsed right in front of my eyes. It is all around me now, rising like floodwaters.

This is part of the process.

This is just part of the process.

It is not the most fun part, or the most glamorous part. That is for darned sure.

But it is the part during which I remind myself that writing something worth someone's time to read often means taking something pretty good and smashing it against the wall. And then, after a few minutes of despair and panic, taking a breath and painstakingly, lovingly, creating out of the shards and the new parts, something better.

It is also the part during which I clean out my closet, growl at innocents, and eat dark chocolate with almonds in it for breakfast and then also for lunch. Also I get very creative with swearing. But only inside my head.

How's your day going?

Rachel Vail

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