Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Blogging Through Writer's Block?

I am supposed to be working on my book.

I am supposed to be writing.

Not blogging. Writing. My manuscript. Now.

I've got a deadline: the sequel to Destined to Choose is supposed to be available to the public late summer/early fall 2006. But that's not going to happen, now, is it, if I don't get the darn thing written.

Part of the problem is that I'm tackling new ground. Arik Zahav, the Israeli-born Minneapolis cop, demanded a bigger role in the second book. I relented and gave it to him, then told him that the reason he was getting a bigger role was that his wife (Rabbi Batya Zahav) was going to be stalked.

He wasn't too happy with me after that.

I've also had to get to know him better, to write his character well. This means interviews and lots of questions for local cops, which has turned out to be one of my more fun research assignments.

In response to reader requests and my own inclination toward self-challenge, the second book is written from three different perspectives: David's (as the main protagonist and title character, this was a given. It's in his contract), Batya's, and Sara's (David's wife).

Do you realize how exhausting it is to walk around in three heads other than my own? Thankfully, my children don't think it's all that weird. In fact, this conversation took place today:

Me: (talking to self, trying out dialogue, walking through a scene)
Oldest child: What, Eema?
Me: I'm just doing book work.
Oldest child: Oh. I thought you were talking to me.
Me: No, sorry. I'm talking to a couple of the people in my book.
Oldest child: Oh, okay. Friends [an unnamed imaginary group of playmates] and I talk all the time.
Me: Really? What do you talk about?
Oldest child: Um, well, right now we're talking about how I want more milk, please.

The truth is, I'm a little overwhelmed.

The aforementioned oldest child starts school for the first time in his young life on Monday.

He's ready. I'm not.

I'm layning Torah for the first time ever in October, and I'm a little nervous about that. I'm layning the maftir reading for Parshat Netzavim. Only three pasukim, but meaningful. Two of the three pasukim are quoted in the introductory pages of Destined to Choose, and play a big role in the theme of that book.

My mom may be coming out for a week-long visit the end of September. I haven't seen her in person since my dad (alav ha-shalom) passed away nearly eighteen months ago.

I have volunteer commitments with my shul, my block club, my moms' group. There is the never-ending business end of work. And the Yamim Noraim are coming up way too fast. Rosh Hashana is in early October this year, and the holidays (Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur/Sukkot/Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah) pretty much take up the entire month. G-d willing, it will be a wonderful, insightful, fun, exhausting (in a good way), rejuvenating time with shul, family, and friends.

But it also means less time, energy, and brain power to direct toward writing.

Which is why I should be writing tonight.

Not blogging. Writing. My book. The one I should have done by December.

Ha!

You know, I sometimes joke about how a few of my characters take over and occasionally write themselves, especially when they don't like how I've written them. Maybe I can use that to my advantage.

Hey David! Yoo-hoo! David? Hey, I've got a job for you...
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