process

If you've ever finished a big project of whatever sort, one that took months or years, and required a kind of intensity and focus that left you feeling hulled out at the end of each day, you know something of what I'm feeling after sending my new memoir, the story I call Bless the Birds off to my agent last Monday.

#amwriting: Yesterday at about four o'clock, I read the last sentence of what I think is the final draft of my memoir-in-progress, Bless the Birds. Okay, final except for the subtitle, and that I'm still tinkering with.

#amwriting, as the Twitter tag labels the act of creating story from a blank page. Yesterday, nearly eleven weeks after I began this deep revision of my memoir, Bless the Birds, I wrote an entirely new ending for the book. One that fittingly circles around to the place where the story begins.

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.  —Buddhist saying

 

Yellow pear tomatoes, round red stupice, and oblong Pompeii romas, all from plants I grew with my own hands, thanks to Renee's Garden Seeds. Yellow pear tomatoes, round red Stupice, and oblong Pompeii romas, all from plants I grew with my own hands, thanks to
The sunset tonight when I started writing this blog post reminded me of the way we often begin a piece, tentatively, scribbling. The sunset tonight when I started writing this blog post--a scribbled beginning.

Whoever said writing is 90 percent revising had it right.

That's where I am with Bless the Birds. Revising. Oddly, I don't mind it. It's not easy, but I find each pass through the story satisfying. As I dig deeper and refine, I learn more too.

wind clangs rusty tin/ winter seeps into abandoned house/ dust dances wind clangs rusty tin/ winter sneaks into abandoned house/ dust dances
Joyful Journey in the quiet before dawn. Joyful Journey in the quiet before dawn.
My office with the desk Richard built to fit into the bay of windows overlooking the kitchen garden, town and the mountains.