Crystallizing

I can certainly tell that Entangled LEREs was the first book written in the Incomplete States series. (Back then, the working title was The Long Summer.) I’m a third of the way through it in the initial editing and revising process, and I’ve deleted four chapters. Those chapters, written while I was exploring and developing the novel’s concept, no longer fit the overall story arc. To keep them in would be indulging myself.

So, off they went. The muse(s) didn’t argue at all, so I must have made the right decisions. Still, I saved each chapter intact as a file, with a note about where they came from, and updated the Editing Checklist to show what I did, and why.

The chapters were fascinating remnants of the genesis of the initial concept and the finalized concept. I remembered struggling daily as I wrote, trying to decide, what is this novel about? As the finalized concept crystallized, one novel became two novels, and then burgeoned into a series. Characters and their tales, plot twists and settings all arose. I didn’t include everything; sometimes I knew that what I was writing was writing to think, exercises to help me understand what I was learning and where I was going. They were saved, too, just in case I later veered.

In point of fact, the largest document of the twenty-five documents (including the four books) I created while developing this series is the document called “Circle (working doc)”. At five hundred pages, it’s one hundred ten thousand words and seventy-nine chapters. Some of the chapters made their way into the beta version of the four books. Many have notes about my intentions when they were written about where they should be in the narrative. Several of the chapters were written as snapshots of action, outcomes, or discussions between characters to help me understand the story arc but included information that I felt shouldn’t be ‘given’ to the reader.

They might still end up in the final first draft of the four books. I don’t know, and won’t know until I’ve completed this phase of editing and revision.

That’s what it’s all about.

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Tick

It seemed like a tick. It’d been Monday and now it was Saturday. May was beginning but now September was being celebrated. He’d just turned sixteen, and now he was sixty-two. 1968 became 1978, and 1998 became 2018.

Just a tick. He’d been beginning, and now he considered the ending.

The Lesson

His backpack seems light. Walking along, he thinks, what did he forget? In a flash, he concludes, OMG, I forgot the power brick. As he walks, he considers options and decides, just stay off the net, edit, and work as long as possible before the power is gone.

It’s a downer because he was looking forward to the work session. Now it was all changed.

But unpacking, everything is there. He’d forgotten nothing. It would be business as usual.

Sipping his coffee, he thinks, I put all that energy into worrying about a possibility that didn’t come to be, a possibility based on a false perception.

There must be a lesson there, he decides, and then goes to work.

Today’s Theme Music

Today’s song, “Nowhere Man,” by the Beatles, came out in 1965. I vividly remember carrying a small transistor radio (with a nine volt battery) and listening to this song early one summer afternoon, singing along with it as I walked along Laketon Road in Wilkinsburg, Pa. The lyrics were simple but seemed powerful to me.

It must have been in 1966, and I was ten when I was doing that. Fifty-two years later, I’m walking along A Street in Ashland, Or., singing it to myself in an early late summer morning. It still seems like simple but powerful song.

 

The Sneeze

It was an expulsion from his mouth and nose, a rejection of foreign bodies irritating his systems,

And a trigger for the cat to leap up from deep sleep and scurry from the noisy monster (who is usually quiet and friendly, especially when he has food or treats) into another room’s safety,

And a cue for the dog to say, “Hello!” (woof),

And a signal for annoyance to fly through his wife’s expression as she says, “That’s one.”

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