Reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen as I continue to write my book. This is both helpful and humbling. It’s as if he’s juggling eight balls, and every one is a complete world, full of characters, and place and details that feel so real. The expertise is mind-blowing. Some of my favorite books are not like this. They’re written more like the one I’m writing, so I let it inspire me, but not discourage me, which is the big challenge going along, (or was, because I seem to be over the hump) Trying not to let anything discourage me to the point of stopping me. I’m going, going , going. I like what I’m writing. While Franzen capably keeps eight or more balls in the air. I hold one in my hands. I turn it around. I notice it’s not a ball at all. It’s one of those glass fishing lures, green-blue and curved on one side and flattish on the other, hard to see through, and beautiful in its attempt to just be what it is.
(Once when my nephew, Michael, was young I gave him one of those glass fishing lures. I used to collect them. I didn’t know what they were. I just thought they were pretty. Michael liked it, too. I remember he said. “Aunt Lori, you always have the coolest stuff.” I’m sure he wouldn’t remember that now, 19 and practically grown up. He’s at school in Boston and I don’t get to see him much.)
I’ll reach the 100 page mark this week. I’ve been writing almost every day for four months, so I guess that’s not very much. But to me, it’s major. I’m slow because I write it like a songwriter. Every paragraph has to flow, has to be right. I figure I’ll have a first draft written by May, a year after starting.
I had another job for DW these past weeks. A big one. I worked on music every day. I wrote my book in the early mornings, but every day by 10:00 a.m., I was writing for that project. I haven’t been so busy in a long time.
By Friday, I felt so over-stimulated by the music that I couldn’t sleep. A melody kept playing in my head, but I thought: Wow. I’m myself again. When did this happen? It’s taken a long time.
When I’ve stopped doing my work for periods of time, I’ve lost myself. Maybe everything else is only a distraction or an addiction. Although, what would I have to write about if not for all of that? There’s been a lot of beautiful distraction in my life, and I hope there will be more. But not right now. I’m happy to keep it simple, to write my book and work on music, live in this place where my work is the center. When I walk outside, I’m a little disoriented. I want to rub my eyes as if I’ve been sleeping.