Sunday, May 8, 2011

Quick Jots

I completed a rough sketch of the three acts of The Gravediggers, and have been working hard at just writing, and not thinking too much.  Thinking too much, researching too much--such things are purposeful distractions and resistances.  So I've just been writing--chapters, fragments, sketches, etc.  But you need to structure all that sometime, so that's what I've done today, after celebrating Mother's Day with my better half and her mother.

I started reading Geraldine Brooks's Year of Wonders, about Eyam and the Plague.  I wanted to see what she famously did there, so I didn't do badly what she's already done so well.  The writing is exceptional, though a little Hallmark Hall of Fame for me.  But she deserves her accolades, and her work with the Wall Street Journal certainly earned her the Pulitzer.

I've surprised myself by not downloading and using the Dragon voice software.  So far, haven't needed it.  But I know where in this work, and in other things, I will.

I've tidied up the office a bit, bringing some stuff to redeem at Newbury Comics (for $12, not bad) and brought the rest to Salvation Army.  I've decided to bring many of my books to my workplace and store them there, sort of start a decent-sized library.  That'll clear up a lot of space in the office, as will donating the bed.

Writers write.  So far I'm still plugging away.  This work hasn't been as easy as Cursing the Darkness was.  Then again, none of them have been since.  But I'm told they're much better.

"Hurly Gurdy Man" sounds creepy as hell to me.  I can't use it in the book, of course, but it always brings up dark images for me that will go into the book.  Hard to believe it's a flower power song.  I like the verse that George Harrison supposedly offered, which were never put into the official song:

When the truth gets buried deep
Beneath a thousand years sleep
Time demands a turnaround
And once again the truth is found...

Now that ain't flower power.  Another stanza that isn't, that is in the song:

Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity

'Tis then when the hurdy gurdy man
Comes singing songs of love
Then when the hurdy gurdy man
Comes singing songs of love...

My question is this: When we're at our weakest, our most defenseless, how do we know those "songs" are truly of love?  What if the hurdy gurdy man was as Hamlet's thought of his father's ghost, a demon in disguise, using our sadness against us to damn us?

That's a writer's mind at work.  Yup, that's how I roll.


  1. Really good thoughts to ponder. Mind-numbing activities are great... I think and analyze way too much. Also, might I suggest March by Geraldine Brooks. One of my faves!

  2. Tonya, thanks for the book suggestion. I actually just bought March at a library book sale and it's on my list of things to read. Brooks is an incredibly talented writer, especially when it comes to the Voice of her main character and the humanity she gives to them. Her journalism, at a quick glance, was exceptional, too.