Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gettin' My Juju On

My second novel is simmering, polite way to say it's not going anywhere fast. And, last week was tough – feel like I’m writing in cold blood. Participating in a writer's "blast-out" workshop that uses pre-planning and weekly word goals to get to a crappy first draft that can then be bitch slapped into a finished book. But, the idea of having plotted out scenes, obstacles and (turning points) beats, takes some of the spontaneity and fun out of writing, like there’s no room to roam creatively and the story feels flat.

But then, the plan keeps me from veering off course. I would love to jump into online research, take my characters all over the place, places that probably won’t advance the story and that will end up costing me months of extra work. Problem is: I hate handcuffs.

Got down about 1,700 words last week, about half of chapter 3. I’d hoped to complete the chapter this week and, instead, find myself falling further behind my goal of 4,000 words a week. Right now the word count is about 9,000 words. I look forward to working with the other writers this week, hope they will nudge me to produce.

I’m on the road Monday and Tuesday, story and photo assignment in beautiful (?) Visalia, commercial bare root nursery that, among other things, grows jujube trees for orchard production. Jujube fruit is a red date popular in China, eaten dried or candied, sometimes used for making wine. The fruit is also used in Asian medicine to relieve stress.

Farmers are increasingly planting the trees as demand for the fruit grows. The tree specimens I’ll be looking at will be stick-like with a few scrawny leaves. Temps in the field – 105, ridin’ tractors, eatin’ dust, talkin’ dirt. Can't wait to get out with the farmers, the best people on earth. I’ll do my best to catch up with my fiction goal later in the week. (Famous last words!) Meanwhile I'll work on getting my on juju on.

Photo courtesy of Edible Landscaping