You know how people always wish you a happy and healthy new year? Well, apparently the healthy part only extends so far. Because the last week of December (i.e. last week) my mother got a stomach virus, and then unselfishly gave it to me.
Not that I wish to complain (well, no more than normal), but two of the four pounds I lost from the virus have found their way back. The other two are no doubt hovering in the wings.
Up until last week, I'd been busily writing Hart, my working title for the book which I can't say I'm working on, because what I've been doing hardly constitutes work. I write whenever I feel like and whatever I feel like. I've written about 150 pages, but I've yet to write the beginning, the ending, and a certain amount of middle. Instead I write whatever brilliant idea for the book (if it can be called a book, seeing as it doesn't have a beginning)I've come up with that morning. And then whatever I put down that day requires me to rewrite things I've already written, since this is all being done in gleeful incoherence.
I've never written a book like this before and I can certainly understand why.
But between looking after my mother and looking after myself (Scooter fended for himself), I didn't do any writing or rewriting. Instead I pondered what I had written and asked myself, more than once, what the heck was I thinking.
I mean, I knew what I was thinking. I was thinking it was a lot of fun to write something that no one had any expectations of, not even me. Without a beginning (although I know what happens in the beginning) or ending (although I know what happens in the ending). It's been play writing, rather than work writing.
But when I write like that, I start to think there's no top I can't go over. Hart is kind of a gothic psychological romantic horror novel (if William S. Hart ever knew how I borrowed his name for this thing, he'd turn over in his grave, which would not be all that inappropriate), and when I write gothic psychological romantic horror novels (which I never have before), I tend to get a bit carried away. Or a lot carried away.
Then I tell myself it's fine to get carried away because there's no point writing an understated gothic psychological romantic horror novel. That would be like a kitten only being a little bit cute (an analogy Scooter just provided me with).
Still, I'm enough of a professional to know that no matter how much fun a gothic psychological romantic horror novel might be to write or even read, there ought to be some level of sanity to it. Let alone a beginning and an end.
So yesterday, I worked out an approach that allows me to keep much of what I've already written (albeit with polishing and rewriting and the suchlike) and tell the story I plan on telling but clearing out some of the excess. In honor of my insight I wrote out a new outline. The phrases that have little dashes after them indicate sections I've already written.
Now it's true I could be writing some more of Hart today instead of redecorating my blog (doesn't it look pretty), and maybe I will later. Tomorrow, I'm planning on seeing Black Swan (which should feed all my gothic psychological romantic horror instincts quite nicely) and Wednesday is being devoted to mother obligations. So I have a few days to rethink my rethoughts before writing (dare I even say it) the beginning of the book. Or cleaning my apartment.
Whichever seems less like work is much more likely to get done!