does not describe me fully
it is where to start
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The End! Of the First Draft, Anyway
Finally, the first draft of my novel is done. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end, characters who love and argue and grow, and conflicts with at least a promise of resolution. Most importantly, it has given me the structure with which to evaluate this project in a holistic way. Who knows? The final version might be 33% smaller. That last chapter I decided wasn’t necessary might be essential after all. And the beginning? Well, the beginning, that cemetery of new novels, it may prove not to be the right place to start. Or, smile, it might all be just fine.
That’s all stuff for me to look at later. I want to savor for now the sense of accomplishment I have. What an exhilarating feeling! I finished my new novel. For the first time in almost a year, I don’t have the threat of not finishing lurking in the shadows. I can take a break from my self-imposed homework assignment without fearing that I will never be able to write, "The End." Yes, I am giving myself a vacation for a while before I start striking out sentences and replacing verbs and eliminating passive voice and this’s and that’s and, well, you get the picture.
For now, I’ll just lift my glass and say, “Attagirl!”
My writing frequently explores multicultural themes. Born in Puerto Rico, I moved at a young age to the U.S., where my parents became Pentecostal ministers. Early immersion in Latino and religious cultures preceded later experiences as a businesswoman, a White House Fellow, and life aboard a trawler cruising from Martha’s Vineyard to South America. These sometimes incompatible worlds have given me a respectful outlook toward differing points of view. My short stories, poems, and essays reflect my own inclusive, yet sharply defined, journey across cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. I recently published Peace on the Journey, a poetry collection which explores the theme of renewal in the face of adversity.
The defining image of this blog is a waterfall. Its inspiration comes from a scene in one of my novels in which the infant protagonist escapes her mother’s attention and wanders off to a nearby waterfall. While there, she experiences a mysterious sense of wellbeing, which she yearns to replicate for the rest of her life.
"I have made love to my writing and am now in the afterglow."
"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
About his fictional town Macondo, widely acknowledged to be inspired by his real home town of Aracataca, Colombia. “Macondo is not so much a place as it is a state of mind.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers fear."
"The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing."
Blaise Pascal, Pensées
"There is vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and, because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly... to keep the channel open."