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a note from the author June 30, 2006

Posted by jeanne in Author's Note, Characters, construction news, Creative Writing, original fiction, Plotting, reading club.

i don’t really have anything to post today. i’ve been doing other things, and my eyes are sore and sticky. there’s dust and mosquitoes in the air for the first time in ages. before the record rain of june ’06, atlanta had been having quite the hot spell, and i’ve had to surrepticiously water my plants because of the water restrictions, especially the new ones out the back, now that i’ve discovered i have actual half-day sun conditions there.

see, last year and the year before i never went down the back in the summer, and never went back there in the winter. the mosquitoes were horrible because of all the kudzu in the vacant lot, and the standing water of Lake Name along the alley, the north end of our properties.

but this year, i’ve spent a lot of time looking out my back windows and prowling around my back yard because of this construction thing going on behind me, and i just happened to notice that the area right up against the back of the house, facing north tho it does, gets several hours of dappled sun in the morning, and the eastern end gets from 9 to noon. we’re in georgia –  that’s worth a full day of new england sunshine. better yet, the northeast end of the yard, under my pecan trees way down the back, gets almost 6 hours a day.

visions of meadows of wildflowers, a stand of fruit trees, a bank of roses floated thru my head. a fishpond.

i sat and watched the sun’s pattern move across the back yard

i drew diagrams and flip charts

i used bricks, raked up gravel, dead leaves to outline the trees’ drip line, the topo line, the sun line thru time. i wanted to get out there with surveyor-orange spray paint, but estrained myself.

the reason i’m not working on the blog today is a good excuse. the noise and smell from the construction equipment has me really light headed and jumpy, and i got an email this morning asking about where somebody could see more of my artwork, and i thought about it for awhile, and then decided to go to all the trouble of resurrecting my old website, stored on a disk for years now. from way back when i had a day job. so that people could at least see my paintings.

but the free geocities website i have now wouldn’t let me upload my old site, so i had to go to all the trouble of recreating it. which i have now done, after a fashion. i need to get more pictures, for one thing, and it would be nice if they didn’t have to be so small. i kind of like looking over 25 years of work. i was quite fond of most of these paintings while i was doing them.

so, a bunch of them are now out there if you’d like to look at them. 

another reason i’m not working on this blog today is that i’m having all sorts of questions and issues with various issues.

like asking myself if it’s worth it. can i make an interesting story out of a bunch of crazy role models and inspirations? can i weave that many characters together and be coherent? i tend to ramble, and what i’m proposing requires the pacing of a comedian.

other questions, like how to actually structure it. the construction process itself is like a character, how do i weave it in? do i limit mention of the construction incidents to inset quotes at the beginning of each chapter? do i interrupt the text for news bulletins? or do i detail the intricacies of playing with building blocks in a sandbox?

it’s got to be boring, doing what they’re doing. there’s a guy out there right now going up and back, raking the dirt ramp smooth in his bulldozer. up and back. up. back. what is he thinking in there?

i’m having a hell of a lot of fun developing the characters. i’ve got three strong women, and they just fit right on in without any coaxing to a maiden, mom, crome trinity. cool as shit, the way this happens. you pick a character out of the blue, or one occurs to you. you think you’re making them up, but they end up being archetypes every time.

astrology really does work. so do tea leaves and palm reading and runes and the i-ching and the damned ouija board.

and the reason all these things work is because life is a metaphor. we only understand an approximation of what’s really going on, what’s really real, and we certainly don’t understand what god could be up to.

and since we can only try to understand, can only grasp a portion of it all, then what we can express is reduced to simple words and nursery-rhyme tunes. we cna only express the glory of god’s universe in approximations, in metaphors, in what it’s not.

anyway. what this has to do with character development. let me think about that for a moment. it’s all a bunch of nonsense is what i think at the moment. it’s 5 o’clock and i’m going to take pictures of the site, eat dinner, watch a movie with my honey, and go to bed.




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