Sunshine and Through lines

The rain that caused major flooding throughout Northern Maine stopped Monday morning and we have had two straight days of Sun. I do not live in Northern Maine and I send my good wishes through cyber space to those who are dealing with loss in this difficult time. To those who might want to donate you can follow this link to the Pinetree Red Cross.

Rain and reading go well together. I love to curl up in my living room next to a good light. We even have some new chairs. I’ve been reading The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, by Michael Chabon.  We took this on for my bookclub last month but I missed the meeting and have renewed the book twice. The book is 400 pages long and takes on a noir murder mystery, a love story, an alternative history that requires creating a believable Sitka, Alaska populated by Jews resettled in 1941, and a new Messiah.  The writing is so poetic that I tend to reread the paragraphs to take in the strings of metaphors. This is definitely me reading as a writer. Another observation. Grown-up books have so much back story. Most of my children’s writing friends know the backstory of their characters. They create journals for their characters, pictures, notes, maps, but they don’t include it all in the book. Chabon gives you everything. I look forward to this book as a movie. The Coen brothers are working on it but I don’t think there is a release date.

Sunshine brings me back to work on my own writing. Huge thanks to my writing buddy Katie who helped me plot out the ending of my novel. I’d like to say that was all I needed to get me chugging along the first draft track. But I also looked to Nancy Lamb’s, Crafting Stories for Children. Her chapter on the mid-story crisis, was quite helpful and made me refocus on the through-line of the book. This made me think of my main character and his concrete and abstract wants. I feel that these are not clear in my book, probably because they are not clear to me. More on this when I revise. For now, I’m plugging away at getting the first draft done.

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