Contrary to my roundabout thinking that I didn’t get any, or enough, work done last week, I’m making some damn fine progress. Cutting less. Massaging more. Spending my time reading over scene by detailed chatty-chat scene and asking, “why are you here?” and “what do you have to do with the central, and driving, purpose in telling this story?” When I’m working, when I’m dug in, buried in the story, I feel like I have a soul like Solomon, divided dead down the center: Side A is digging and questioning and searching, and Side B is distant, looking at my story (my real, live story) through the longest possible lens, cold as fucking ice cubes in a frosted metal tray.
Remember how hard it was to get those ice cubes out? Sometimes I feel like that’s how the story is coming out of me, cracked and divided into neat squares.
I still have the stack of books about stepfamilies on my desk, but they’re like one brick in a giant, not-so-sturdy wall. I stare for minutes at the them, scan their spines, note my lime green Post It flags — look here! — waving at me from the deckled edges of stiff, not-much-read, pages. And think. And try to dismiss. And don’t. I have dogs to walk. Supper to think about. Books to read. Running to run. I have my noise-cancelling headphones. I have my noise-canceling headphones to shut out the constant presence of leaf-blowers around the neighborhood. When did we all decide, as humans I mean, that we can’t bear the nagging presence of fallen leaves?