As I mentioned last week, I'm taking a non-fiction class on writing personal essays, so I'm a little bit swamped with
Hmm, what's that? I can't tag myself in a blog hop? Oh well. Too late now!
1. Fiction: Despite some people's doubts, I really am still working on my novel. I have proof, too. Very heavy, large, and intimidating proof:
It's the big textbook-looking one, set next to a normal book for comparison purposes (which yes, is on my To Be Read list). And just so you can get the full effect, here's a cropped side view (and no, I don't have abnormally giant hands. It really is that big):
I felt the need to show you these pictures, you see, to validate the rather extreme feelings of intimidation and dread that strike me whenever I open this damn tome and start reading. It's a tad bit overwhelming. Unfortunately, it's also necessary, because I have no freaking idea what I'm doing with my South American lifetime yet, and I need as much information as I can get.
I, erm, haven't gotten very far yet. Ahem. I might still be skimming through the Introduction. In my defense, it's 26 pages long.
2. Non-Fiction: This is actually going surprisingly well. I'm afraid to post about it, because I am ludicrously (and yet, for a writer, typically) superstitious about talking about potential success. It's all very Jewish Shtetl Evil Eye-ish of me, but I worry that if I say things are good, they will suddenly take a turn for the very much worse.
I'm going to get over that, though, and say that my hope that writing personal essays would come naturally to me is so far turning out to be true. This is really early to be saying it (cough Evil Eye cough), since I have yet to move past the rough draft stage of anything, but thus far the stories are pouring out of me quickly and easily. I've twice written an entire rough draft of a 2,000-ish word essay (yup, still having brevity problems) in a couple of hours. A couple of hours. Which is NOT NORMAL for me.
This is in stark contrast to my pace when I'm writing fiction. I'm sure that's at least partially because I plot and research and character-develop everything to death in my novels, which I don't have to do for non-fiction. That is a pleasure.
(And no, pantsers, that doesn't mean I'm suddenly joining your team.)
I can't post any snippets from those rough drafts yet, because of many, many reasons, but I can post a little snippety thing I wrote for my homework this week. The assignment was to write an "Apology Epistle", based on this gorgeous little piece, beginning with the words "I'm sorry." It was supposed to be about 250 words, and guess what??? Mine clocks in at 257. Score one point for brevity!!!
Here it is. Feedback is welcome, but be very gentle, please - this is definitely a rough draft.
I’m sorry I didn't go out with you that night. I can imagine so clearly how it would have been: the snow sparkling in starlight, the brilliant white hiding the gray, the yellow, the black: the true character of the city, which we all saw bared for the first time that night, still cloaked in darkness and flecks of light. Walking home through the naked streets, laughing past the shadows in the corners, their menace unnoticed and ignored. The air like knives on our wine-protected skin, their blades unfelt until. Until. Then the figures like more shadows coalescing into a gang of teenagers, staining the white sparkling night, demanding with clumsy gestures our wallets, our money, our phones. Refusal, laughter; their faces so young and so foolish; our minds still shielded in warmth and soaked in booze; then the dark sinking chasm of the gun.I imagine that I would have stopped you. I would have taken your arm, looked in your eyes, and the question hovering on your lips would have fallen, unvoiced, to the filthy snow. Then we would have lost wallets, money, phones; gained bruises and cuts and yes, the gash under Ethan’s eye; but we would have walked away uncaring because we would also have your life.Instead, I stayed home, and worked on the play I was writing for you and with you and because of you, and slept with innocence through the terrible night and awoke to a gray dawn, still unaware, still thinking I had nothing to be sorry for.