Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time to Kill

I am not working, at present. Seeing as I am plagued almost daily by migraines, it's pretty much impossible for me to work. I haven't lost my job, though, and I will get back to the office as soon as I am well again (or, as well as I ever will be). Granted, I'll be hourly when I return, but them's the breaks, and you can't really blame them for changing the terms of my employment, seeing as I require so many days off for medical leave.

So for now, I'm working on my portfolio (always good to keep it updated) and writing.

But Ms. Strainedconsciousness, you haven't been writing much, you chide.

I've been writing stories, Dear Reader, ones that have been locked in my addled brain for years, and that only now have the chance to flow out onto paper (and then into the computer).

Several years ago - 20, in fact - I came up with a ghost of an idea for a fairy tale of sorts. Later, influenced by reading The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, I refined my ideas, and they started taking shape more fully.

A month ago, I made a first pass at the story, but it had ventured too far from its starting point, from that original idea, and so I scrapped it and started over, stowing the legal padful of scribbles away so some of the ideas wouldn't be lost.

On my second attempt, I blazed through the story in a handful of days, filling a legal pad and part of a spiral notebook, then jumping onto printer paper because I'd left my writing at my apartment and couldn't get to it. Now, all of those pages are typed and printed out, to be revised and added to in copious amounts.

There are additional events and places still to be visited, and more trials and tribulations to be overcome by my character, but we'll get there eventually. I typically launch into writing and then, just as quickly, stop, bored or frustrated because I've worked my character into a situation that she needn't be in. Instead of going back, culling the wheat from the chaff, I just abandon the whole thing.

My invalid author status has a few significant precedents throughout history: Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind after either an illness or a car wreck, I can't rightly remember. And it's no wonder, really, because lying supine or on my side - the only positions in which my head doesn't pound like a kettle drum - are two of the best possible positions for writing. And I've already got an idea - another long-gestating one - in my head for another story, one I have had for a long time, but couldn't come up with an ending to.

I have an ending, and once I've finished with my current story, I'll start at the beginning of the next one.

At least I'm not bored out of my mind!

1 comment:

  1. Laura Hillenbrand wrote the blockbuster "Seabiscuit" from her bed as she suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.