VCCA, Day 2: Fumbling Around

I’m calling today a transition day. Very little sleep last night followed by a barely caffeinated breakfast did not a productive morning make. Add to that the fact that I’m still feeling like this project is unwieldy, and you can begin to imagine me pacing around my studio, leafing through books, applying lip balm…anything to avoid the screen.

So I called Paul who coached me to freewrite and see what happens. A brilliant idea, and why didn’t I, the writer, remember that?

What I ended up with was a couple of pages of meta: why am I trying to write this memoir in the first place? Do I agree with SB that the things needs a large narrative arc? What if it doesn’t? Hers is only one voice, albeit the voice of the industry. I met another writer of essays today who is having a similar problem. Talking with her helped.

My studio has a gigantic cork board across one wall–something I have always wished for but never implemented in my own writing space. I remembered a writer I met at MacD who used a similar space to story board (is that the correct name?) her memoir. She used post-its, pictures, scraps of notes and made a timeline of events and events spinning off of events. I tried it–June of 1991 on one end and August of 1992 on the other. The last year of his life. If there is a chronology to be made, this is it.

But I still don’t know.

This afternoon I left campus and went in search of snacks and real coffee for the long solitary days. I’m not feeling especially social just yet. I think the quiet is right for now.

I think this is a good structure to the day: breakfast at 8, studio from 9-12, lunch, rest (studio has a bed that squeaks not at all so I will be camping there from now on), then back to the residence hall to shower before dinner. Skype with the kids (went better tonight), then blog post and checking e-mail. Then back to the studio for the night.

I’m waiting to see the sun go down on the mountain first. I’m told I have an especially nice view of it from where I’m sitting.

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