Monday, January 19, 2009

sleepy book thoughts

Whew. Sleepy. Today I resolved a chapter that has been giving me trouble for a week or so, and I am able to move beyond it and into the rest of the story. YAY!!! Glory glory! And I love it, there are so many things I love about this story. I know enough about it to move forward, but not everything about it. I have a sense of possibilities, not a concrete roadmap straight through to The End. For now, it's enough.

Some writers like to map everything out in a very precise way. Others start with only a hint or a character, a wisp, and go forth boldly into the total unknown. I guess that my way is somewhere in between. I have to have a strong sense of story, but not a total outline. I have to have more than a wisp. When I have a wisp and it's an intriguing wisp, I don't just start writing a novel. I start brainstorming the hell out of that wisp until it is a substantial thing, enough to build something on. I am not brave enough to build on a wisp. For now, anyway.

It's good to be in the midst of a vibrant, pulsing story that daily sets my mind on fire. Very very good. And tiring.

Tired brain.

Today I learned -- and checked with my sister the herpetologist, to confirm that it is true -- that snakes get peevish before they shed their skin. Beware of peevish snakes.

I also, when googling gorilla teeth, came upon this wonderful site, Gorilla Doctors, which is what it sounds like. A group of Western and African veterinarians in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda (the very small range of the Mountain Gorilla) who work to protect this severely endangered species from, among other things, fatal human-spread contagions. There are only 740 of these animals remaining in the world. 740. When I was a kid and dreamed of being a veterinarian, these were the kind of dreams I had. I love reading about people doing this marvelous work.

Oh, and to everyone in the entire world:
HAPPY INAUGURATION DAY! A new era dawns, and I am full of hope.


tanita✿davis said...

My snake -- who is a sweet, sweet thing and currently residing in a 7th and 8th grade science classroom whilst I'm in the UK -- hasn't got an aggressive bone in his body, but when he's shedding, he can't actually see very well -- his eyes have like a blue scaly thing over them, and so he will bump his nose into my hand -- in case I'm a mouse -- if I reach into his tank. He can't smell/see all that well, but even blind and peevish, he's never struck me with fangs. Ever.

Suddenly I really miss my baby.

Oh, and Happy Inauguration to you, too!

Tricia said...

A wonderful book came out a few years ago called Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Apes. It's part of the Scientists in the Field series and offers a wonderful profile of the work these folks do.

Glad to hear the story is moving forward!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

it is a happy day

Stephanie Perkins said...

Happy Inauguration Day!

740? How terrible. I knew the numbers were shocking, but I didn't know they were under a thousand. I used to want to work with Jane Goodall and her famous chimps.

Still do, actually.

The tired brain is such a good sign you're on to something special :)

Katie Anderson said...

Yes - great day (it even snowed here in Mississippi which literally NEVER happens.... weird, huh?)

And I was refreshed to hear about how you go about working on a new idea. My first (wicked cool) novel came to me as a big almost fully formed idea... but now I am having trouble with number 2 cuz it's only a wisp. So, I feel like you have given me permission to put the pen down for a week and just brainstorm - which is what I felt like doing anyway.

thanks man!

Amber said...

Just checking in with you.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you love your story. I've been sleepy lately too. It couldn't have anything to do with my writing after my kiddiwinks are asleep at night. It must be something else.

Anonymous said...

"Beware of peevish snakes." Ha!