Saturday, December 3, 2016

Writing the Apocalypse, Reading the Artistic Vision

Yesterday morning, I had a good writing morning, although I didn't actually write more than a few sentences.  My writing approach has changed, at least for fiction, and I'm trying to trust that it all works in the end, as it has been doing for over a year now.  I write a bit, process for days or a week, write a bit more, wait to receive more information, and so on.  This week has been a week of receiving lots of information about the character of my latest short story, along with ideas about how to use it.  I'm hopeful that I'll soon have time to write it all out.

As I was at spin class, I thought, wait, in October, I was thinking about a different story--oh no, I've lost it!  Something about an animation instructor, something about All Saints day, something about hospice chaplains and some sort of death that I hadn't fully figured out.  I got to the office and decided to read through my October posts on this blog.  Would I have written something that might trigger a memory?

Hurrah!  I did in this post--thank you October Kristin!  I read the post, and it all came back.

I spent much of yesterday immersed in a different writing task:  I've been writing up minutes of all of our accreditation document editing meetings.  Even though I was recycling chunks of writing, it still took time--along with the collating, along with the hole punching, along with the putting into binders.

It was the first time in what feels like weeks that I've had a bit of discretionary time in terms of administrator tasks--there's still much to be done, but it was good to have a day of deadlines met before moving on to the next set of deadlines that I bet are coming next week.

In the evening, I had some time to read.  I started with the Bruce Springsteen book that I've been reading for a few weeks.  And then, I did something I haven't been brave enough to do since the election:  I picked up Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower.  In the book, I had written about the prescience of The Handmaid's Tale, He, She, and It, and the Butler book--Republican plans fully realized.

Are we standing at the precipice now?  In the Butler book, I had written a reference to the Contract with America--a huge agenda push that I barely remember now.  Will I feel the same way in 20 years about the fears we've had with a Trump presidency?

In 20 years, I'll be 71--that seems astonishing.  And yet, it seems like just yesterday that I settled in to read Parable of the Sower--which I consumed in one huge gulp--I had to know what would happen.  And that was over 20 years ago.

Last night, I flipped through the book, read a few passages, and returned to the Springsteen book.  I was at the part just before the finishing of Born to Run album.  It's interesting to read the book, knowing how it all turns out--reading the book reveals how much might have never happened if different artistic choices were made, if Springsteen had listened to one person's advice over another's.

I fell into a sleep of strange dreams, where I was writing accreditation documents and adjunct teacher Bruce Springsteen came to fill out some forms.  Today may seem just as surreal--it's a holiday motorcycle ride to support the POAT (Police Officers Assistance Trust) fund; it raises money, which helps officers and their families who need help for various reasons.  I like riding in a big group, especially with the police going along to stop traffic and give us the right of way.

I think the last time I was on the bike was for the May ride.  Today seems just as balmy--not exactly Christmasy, but I wouldn't be on a bike if it was cold.

We may end the day with a Candy Cane parade at the beach--or we may fall exhausted into bed early.  Here's hoping for good days for us all to give us sweet dreams tonight.

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