Well, for once, I feel like I’m going into the confessional with no sins to report. I have written every day this week – Monday through Friday – and I’ve produced well over 25 pages of new work. Woo hoo!
I’ve also worked up an essay that begins like this:
Over and over on that Sunday morning, Mrs. Miller dragged the horsehair brush through Maryâ€™s thick, blond curls. Mary jerked her head upright after each stroke, a tiny rebellion.
Her mom picked out the perfect outfit for a six-year-old â€“ a powder blue dress with white ribbon at the collar and waist and black patent leather slippers over white bobby socks. I watched, and the crunching pulls of the brush reminded me of pine needles crackling beneath my feet, a sound that usually calmed me with quiet.
Mrs. Miller drew Maryâ€™s hair into a tight ponytail â€“ each tug pulling back the corners of her blue eyes so that she looked Chinese to me â€“ and tied off the smooth, gathered bunch with an elastic band adorned by two pale blue marbles. I heard the beads smack Maryâ€™s skull when her mom released them.
Hopefully, it will soon be published, and if you want, you can read the whole thing.
But today, I’m cutting short the writing stuff and heading out to spend good time with friends. Natalie Goldberg’s advice from Old Friend From Far Away that I read today said:
“Don’t be hard on yourself. That makes your writing tight. Allow the luxury of time, dreaming out the window, a little noddle walk through a dime store, then like a female lion after her prey, go directly into teh animal art of pen across paper. . . . I write a chpater and then go to the nursery to pick up zinnias for the garden. I write another chapter and go home and make soup. I know more but I don’t push it because there are things I don’t know that I want to come to me. I’m calling up understanding beyond myself. If I get too determined, too linear, I’ll miss the tugs of intuition at the periphery of my perceptions, the things I don’t want to say, the things I have never said, these things that enrich the writing.” (p. 186-187)
So I’m off to think about what I don’t know. Happy Fourth of July, all!