Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Word On Writing

I know I said this blog would mainly be on writing, and while I've enjoyed indulging in my own musing, I do wish to say that I'm getting that "itch" again. For a while after the miscarriage, I just didn't feel like writing, and then things started happening with the move. Now I'm bogged down in boxes, but I've got that itch. My brilliant friend who I was counting on for help has gotten too busy to finish reading the novel at this time, so I've got to bare down and get through the editing myself. She did give me 75 pages worth of good notes to get started on. My plan, which of course I can't enact until after the move, is to first read those notes, then reprint the novel, divided by chapters. Then I plan to do a plot sketch on each chapter, to get a better look at the overall plot. I already know the ending is rushed, so the final chapter or two need to get beefed up some. Then, still looking at it chapter by chapter, I will examine the characters and their dialogue. Are they real? Is the dialogue believable? There's a women who pops up near the beginning who I either need to get rid of completely, or tie in later on. Then on to the details! I'm hoping that a chapter-by-chapter break down will make the manuscript more accessible for editing. At least I now have the enthusiasm for the work, now I just need the time...hopefully within the next month or so, once we're settled in...

So that's where I am writing-wise. I'm also plotting the next one some, and working on characters for it...

The Last Trip

Yesterday was my own "walk down memory lane" so to speak. I went to Cherokee sink with Marquesas and Shelley. It was so different from five years ago, no longer as wild and uncivilized. I taught a good friend to swim there, and we went four or more times a week, very early before the sun was up. On those morning it had the feel of an undiscovered paradise, and it felt like it was mine, all mine. Yesterday there were boardwalks and a diving platform, an area had been fenced off, and there were signs about no food. So different. We sat on our blanket, and ate our donuts in defiance, and talking about how different all our lives were. As usual, I was the first (and as it happened, the only) to climb down into the water. As I swam my traditional lap across, I didn't get the usual feeling of power and control, instead I felt small and alone. I've become too grown up, my last shreds of fearlessness have faded. I thought about Faiyaz, and Anjali, and the morning they were having without me. I thought about our move, and how sad it was that even though I hadn't come here in years, I soon wouldn't be able to come again. Swimming back to the rock where Marquesas and Shelley sat, I tried to think of how many times we had come here together, and found them too numerous to recall. I want to go to all my old haunts, to Five Holes, and to Blue Springs, and the Swanee river in Madison, I want to camp at St. George again, I want to relive all of those memories before I'm too far away to do so. I know that, somewhere in Virginia, there's a lake or pond or something where I will one day go with Anjali, and teach her to swim, and that will be her special place. I know there are beaches up there, and state parks, and lots of adventures just waiting for my family. I know that those memories will be just as dear, or more so, and they'll be our memories. I know this is right for our family, but at the same time I find myself clinging to here. The days are counting down, and I've got to let go...just like I let go of the rocks yesterday, and let my body slip into the water despite it's morning chill.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Planning the Move

This past weekend we made the long drive up to Virginia and DC once more in search of a rental house. Anjali was remarkably good for a two year old trapped in a car for fourteen hours. We looked at six houses in one afternoon, Anjali trooping through each of them, dragging her Dora bag filled with books. It is impossible to find a single level house in Virginia, but Anjali did well on the stairs. She's learning to be careful, and tried to hold on to handrails as much as possible. We found a three-level townhouse in Woodbridge that we liked, and found out earlier today that we've been approved for it! It's white with red shutters, and has a great kitchen. The yard is a little small, but it backs to a big common area that's really nice. I think we're really going to enjoy living there. We'll have a lot more space than we do now. The commute for Faiyaz will be a little longer than we'd hope for, but other than that it's a great area. So here's hoping for a smooth move! I've got to get more boxes and do more packing.

We spent the weekend with Faiyaz's cousin who is going to George Washington University in DC. Parking was ridiculous, and I think I gained three pounds eating out, but it was a really nice visit. We took a nice walk along the Potomac river on this sidewalk right on the edge with huge gnarled trees overshadowing it, some of their branched only inches from our heads. It was the perfect day to be walking in DC; sunny, breezy, and lacking the full heat of midsummer. I could picture us there on a Saturday, strolling along, pausing to sit on the benched or run up the hill through the trees...a very pretty picture. We also took Anjali to the National Zoo, but of course by then she was too tired to enjoy it for long, so we only stayed about two hours. We saw the elephants, hippos, cheetahs, pandas, and apes before leaving. Then we found this great Indian restaurant with food mild enough for me! Besides the insane amount of driving and the sleep deprivation, a very good trip.