A World of Speculation

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 2003, it’s Regina Carter on iTunes tonight, and Mocha is off elsewhere. But I had intended to write at least every day or two and now it’s been almost two weeks.

So, Jan, where’ve you been all this time?

Thanks for asking. I’ve made progress on my novel, Ghost Songs of Oregon City. I’m ordering the scenes so that I’ll know what to write. I actually wrote the first scene, just felt like it, and it feels like it’s good. I know, it needs work, and when I come back to it, I’ll have a better idea of what that work should be. But for now, just knowing when and what happens will b a big help.

Today I drafted an order of discovery for the ghosts. That was an area where I’ve been casting around in the swamp. But when I lay out the discoveries, think of a scene in which the discoveries can take place, figure out whether they’re spring, summer, fall or winter discoveries, and build to a climax of mystery and fear, well, now they’re falling into place.

Rollo May’s The Courage to Create has been a big help in this. He talks about the necessity of dry, uninspired work, followed by periods of rest when the unconscious can burble along on the problem. Then the breakthrough comes.

I’m tempted to think that because the book is going slowly, because I’m bogging down, it’s not working at all. Wrong. May says, and my experience confirms, that flogging it is the only way to get to that creative breakthrough.

Out for now.