Friday, July 06, 2007

Making a Literary Life Friday: Hammock Time

What with kids on vacation, beaches calling, neighborhood cook-outs and backyard gardens beckoning, it may seem impossible to find time to create your literary life. But there are ways. While churning earth, allow your mind to wander, to churn more conflict for your protagonist. Instead of standing over a hot grill, fretting that your bbq sauce isn't tangy enough for Uncle Bob, turn your imagination loose and see how you can raise the stakes with your plot. Being near any body of water, allowing the tides and currents to lull your subconscious, will unleash a torrent of ideas. Not all writing happens when committing words to the page.

Lisa is traveling and will post again Monday. Wonder what she's thinking...

Family obligations have taken nearly all my waking hours, which means I have to fit in writing during whatever pockets of time present themselves. Fifteen minutes here, 20 there, and, 'o glorious day, an entire hour. If any of you read the excerpt of Min Jin Lee's Free Food for Millionaires in last week's New York Times, then you understand that in life, every moment counts.

My husband is on vacation this week, which means I was able to revise another couple of chapters as he and the children went out on adventures. I read in the evenings, the Red Sox in the background. My niece (art student) and nephew (biochemist in San Francisco -- and single, ladies!) came into town as well, staying at my father-in-law's. Big dinners, lots of laughs.

Twice this week I was pulled from a trance by my husband-- his question, "Are you okay?" Where was I? Deep into plotting my second novel. Without having written a word this week, I've spent time with my characters, pulled apart a plot line and pondered setting. The rest of the week, I took some much needed time off and read. Summer is a wonderful thing!


Lisa said...

Summertime changes the cadence of all our days, and although the sitzfleisch seems to be suffering a little, the creativity is flowing. Whether it's during the time spent dead-heading the annuals, walking the dog or making a salad, the work goes on and the stories and characters continue to develop. I'm finding the time spent just thinking is highly underrated.

I'm going to have to check out Free Food for Millionaires now. I keep hearing wonderful things about it. Have a wonderful weekend all.

Maddy said...

I think we're all pretty topsy turvy at the moment or at least that's my excuse for my glazed expression.
Cheers dears

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Lisa, you're so right. I hope you like the book.

McEwen, I always think of Tom Perrotta's Little Children when I see you there. Yes, topsy-turvy about explains it. Whatever happened to "summer vacation?"