A Writer’s Journal: 2 days
Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 7:00 a.m.
I am writing a book about time travel — matching time. I thought it would be important to add in time and date stamps throughout the book.
I had included some inferences, but I also want to be sure that the timeline is consistent.
I had started to add in dates and specific times and I’m using Heading 3 as a way to track those.
In Word, if you use headings, then the Navigation bar on the left size shows you where you are. This can also be used as a link to that specific place in the manuscript. Very handy.
I’m not sure that I will keep these in the final draft, but at this point, I think that it’s a good way to see the progress.
As the book goes along, near the end, time speeds up.
Instead of having dates with spans of days, even months, as happened earlier in the book, the times will be minutes — maybe even seconds.
Again, I don’t know if this will remain in the final draft, but it’s good for me to see right now.
I changed some of the first page, first paragraph. Instead of having Sam say she’s saving for a house, she has saved a small nest egg. I thought that was brilliant as birds are such an important part of the story.
Well, the battery is running low. Made it. Plugged in again.
Got to say — I love this story.
Working through it makes me feel like a writer. I love this story. I think it’s cute.
Is the protagonist strong enough? Does she change?
Sometimes change is not huge and profound. Sometimes change is subtle.
When I first start a writing session, I always do the Power Pose. Amy Cuddy wrote the book ‘presence’ about this phenomenon and how 2 minutes of standing erect with arms thrust up in a victory position changes the chemistry in our bodies and make us more confident, more risk taking, more powerful.
I also know that other studies have disproven this, but I don’t really care.
We all have rituals that we follow when we do things. Even if the ritual is to brush your teech before you go to bed, you still do it.
So for me, the Power Pose is part of my writing ritual. My habit.
It is a trigger for my body and my mind to get into writing mode.
Other triggers — music.
Today, I didn’t put on my usual playlist.
Instead, I wanted to hear the music around me.
When I first was setting up in my outdoor office, I noticed a woodpecker. He/she had just landed on a dead tree in my neighbor’s yard. Immediately, they hit the tree with that rat-a-tat-tat! I looked up and I could see this rather large black bird.
It hopped to the other side of the tree and it never did hit the tree again with that machine gun rhythm, but is did knock the tree a few times.
I stood up. I focused my camera. I took a couple still shots. I had zoomed in the fullest amount. But you know how that pixelates the image.
Then I slowly walked closer and turned the camera to slo-mo. I thought, ‘This would be crazy to see a woodpecker doing their woodpecker-thing in slow motion.
Turns out the camera is limited to just 3X zoom in this function. Plus the silly woodpecker didn’t peck. Instead, it flew away.
When will it return to that dead tree? I mean, even from my vantage point, I can see that there are many holes in the tree. It’s clearly been drilled before.
But it didn’t return during my 90 minute session today.
Is that the way with woodpeckers? They start on something and then move on?
I don’t know.
Is that the way with me? Do I start something and then give it up and move on?
Yesterday, I listened to Wayne Dyer. A 60s, 70s, maybe 80s pop psychologist who I remember first being on the Mike Douglas Show. I think he had just published his breakout book “Your Erroneous Zones”?
He’s got such an easy way with him. He tells great stories. There’s so much that I can learn from him.
BUT perhaps there’s already so much that I have ALREADY learned from him that I incorporate in my writing — in my LIFE.
I remember I used to listen to his cassette tapes that I’d borrow from the library. Put the cassette in my Walkman and walk around the yard.
He told a story about going to a retreat in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Immediately, my ears perked up.
Deepak Chopra had a retreat here, so close to my own home, and one that Wayne Dyer was retreating at!
Dyer talked about this pond. It was winter. It was frozen, and he wanted to skate on it. But he didn’t have any skates. But he put out his intention and he found the perfect skates.
He wrote about another time when he was called up to change a lightbulb that his daughter had broken — the metal part stuck in the socket. “He who writes the checks” is how he referred to himself. And he went for a run and he found a brand new pair of plyers at the end of his driveway. He also said that he knew enough about home repair that he turned off the circuit to the power before he attempted to use the plyers on the broken bulb. The audience chuckled.
The point is that his stories have been percolating in my brain for decades now.
My intention — I am a writer. I am a successful writer. I am a mentor. I am a well-paid mentor. I am making a difference in people’s lives.
Dyer said “It’s on its way.” All things exist. Focus on the intention. Focus on the thing as if it is. Right now.
I’ve already done so many pieces of this puzzle.
Just open the door.
My book is about Time Travel. My time is now.
If you’re reading this, you time is now, too.
I’m reminded of the words of the Kalidasa.
I paraphrase: Look to this day. For it is life. For tomorrow is but a dream. And yesterday is but a memory. But today, well lived, makes every tomorrow a dream of hope and every yesterday a memory of happiness.
Be well, my friend.
Monday, July 27, 2020 at 7:00 a.m.
Pre-writing session: free write about chapter order.
I am struggling with the opening of the novel- Matching Time.
Maybe that’s the issue right there. The time sequence. I want this novel to be in chronological order, but maybe that’s not important. Maybe that’s something to play with.
I had started the novel with Sam and Katte — in Sam’s kitchen — talking about Katte’s problem with Barney. Ad then, Sam fixes the problem.
Is the chapter with Sam and Estelle even necessary?
Tha’ts the question that I’m struggling with.
I like things in the chapter. So — go through and pick out those little Easter eggs and then see where else they can fit.
Be brave. Confident. Courageous.