Saturday, October 22, 2005

19,730 words

With 19,730 words on the page, I'm nearing the end of my first pass of "Ten Years In." I hit page 110 today. My entire world is the Wolf family's dysfunction and a story which seems to be climbing nicely towards either their catharsis or catastrophe. There's nothing sweeter than feeling like all your efforts weren't for naught: the time you spent at the keyboard, your hopes, your fears. Hitting your head against the wall trying to find the right words to describe a facial expression, words that never come. Jumping up and down in your apartment trying to find a character's voice. Closing your eyes and walking the floor blind, from one end of your abode to the other, in an effort to clear your mind and jumpstart a scene—until you stub your toe so badly that you have to convince yourself to stop. Staring out the window for hours on end. Reading, then re-reading the same words hundreds of times. And finally, the high kicks in, and you're typing as quickly as your fingers can possibly take you through a world, that when it comes... you never want to let it go.

Today, Sierra and I spent our Saturday afternoon at the surreal—read frightening—downtown 'Dianetics Center' so I could do some research for one of my characters, nicknamed "Sarah the Scientologist." Two stress tests, a half hour talk, and a forty minute DVD presentation later, I asked Sierra if she thought I was obsessive. She told me that she was glad that I was, but that she really hoped my research wouldn't lead me to become a follower of L. Ron Hubbard. I assured that the worst thing my research for this project was likely to lead me towards was spending an awful lot of time hanging out with murderers and bank robbers in a maximum security prison. She smiled and made an expression that I can’t find the right words to describe.


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