Friday, August 28, 2015
For me, today—more accurately, Sunday—marks the last day of summer. Sure, Labor Day doesn’t arrive until September 7, and the fall equinox a full two weeks after that. But Sunday ushers in the end of my summer writing vacation, and the month that follows promises more projects to complete than time to complete them. Unless I can clear the decks for another week in late October/early November, I will be back to weekend-only writing until the winter holidays roll around.
Naturally, worse fates exist than having too much work. And weekend writing can be fun, too. But this last vacation week of the summer has a special charm, not least because I have finally closed in on the ending of The Swan Princess, a destination I have spent much of the last year fearing that I would never reach. I wouldn’t call the monstrosity that clogs up my Storyist file a first draft, more like beta version 0.5. The thing has the grace of an untended rosebush, with thorny branches entangling in every direction, long twigs of abandoned plot points sticking out, flowers in every stage of growth and disintegration, and nasty blank spots indicating points of view that appear far too late in the tale for a well-constructed novel. The minute I type “THE END,” I have to return to the beginning and haul out the pruning shears.
But literary pruning adapts itself well to weekend writing, and with five other novels under my belt, I feel confident that I can impose the structure needed to straighten out this tangled mess. And that will really be something worth celebrating.
But for the moment, please excuse the short post as I rush back to the Russian North. With the end of summer so close, I don’t want to waste a minute of these last writing days!
The image of the pier comes from Pixabay, a site for free, professional-quality photographs, vectors, and illustrations run out of Germany. If you have ten acceptable photographs to upload, you can avoid the ads, but the standards are high: the site rejected six of my best offerings. But even if your skills with the camera are as pathetic as mine, the site is worth a look.