The Price of Salt

Ten days after my twenty-fifth birthday—Thursday, July 18, 2009—I woke up early and headed to work as usual.  I expected it to be just another day in a string of extremely long summer days—I run the aquatics portion of our summer camp and typically my days are thirteen hours long at this time of year.  Being halfway through the season I was understandably exhausted.  I remember throwing my hands in the air sometime around noon and telling my boss I was preemptively taking the following day off.  I needed a break for my mental health.

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The Holiday Hurdle and Thankful

If I’m being perfectly honest it doesn’t feel like I had a very productive week.  I guess the key word there is feel because the evidence suggests otherwise.  I finished writing Chapter Thirteen and I’ve been busy doing a further revision of Chapter Twelve which is now done.  There were some plot elements and a little bit of backstory I needed to retrofit in order to move ahead with Chapter Fourteen.  I’ve done a lot of thinking about my characters—Meredith in particular—and I think there is some really great stuff coming up.  Well, maybe not great for Ryan, but great for the story.  So yeah, I guess actually I did get a lot done, its just not as much as I’d have liked.  I wanted to be done with Chapter Fourteen already.  I suppose I was looking for quantitative progress when really most of what I’ve gotten is qualitative.  Thats better in the end, but right now I’m all about number of words on the page, so it doesn’t feel like much.

• • •

A Blank Page

This morning I am excited.  I’m excited and somewhat over-caffeinated and thats alright.  The three cups of coffee I’ve already downed are just helping to further fuel this maddening energy.  I feel as though I could burst, but I don’t want anything to quell it—this feeling of potential and possibility.  Finally, finally I am sitting down to a blank page.  My revision of Chapter Twelve is done and I’ve skimmed through the first two-thousand words of Chapter Thirteen that I wrote over two years ago.  Everything I put down from this point forward is totally and entirely new.

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Passing Time

Perhaps my greatest frustration as a writer comes from the handling of passing time.  While things like dialogue come very naturally to me there is absolutely nothing natural about my handling of jumps from one period of time to another.  It is something that I truly loathe and as much as I work on a passage it never seems anything more than clumsy.  This is a problem I’m dealing with a lot in these early chapters of Metamorphosis.  Chapter Eight saw a bumbling transition from mid March to the end of April, and Chapter Nine took us all the way to Memorial Day weekend.  These were very necessary jumps forward but they were unpleasant to write, and even worse to revise.

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Forging Connections and the Perils of Serialization

I have this feeling that I am treading water in calm seas just ahead of a storm.  I can see the dark clouds on the horizon and they’re moving in fast.  I’m an excellent swimmer, so I’m not worried that I’ll drown, but I still don’t relish the idea of staying afloat on top of the coming, monstrous swells.  I know I’m going to swallow a lot of water, and I know I’m going to have to fight—

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