Sunday, February 04, 2007

Three Thousand Words

I wrote 3000 words on Troubled Waters today. This is the three thousand words I tried to write last week before winding up with the stomach flu for three days. (Yes, I know that's a common complaint this winter--it's what you get when you work with kids for a living--especially this year). Last week I exactly accomplished 500 words before giving up and going to bed. It's at 70,000 words and still seven or eight thousand from a first draft-type ending. This is before I add the villain's POV. It's taking far longer to end this thing than I thought it would and the word count is higher than I expected at this point. I'm not complaining, just surprised and I'm pleased with today's work. It was one of those stretches where the characters and the dialogue were alive and the writing was easy.

As for Pattiann Rogers' book--"Generations", I think my favorite so far is one entitled "Oh Mother Oh Father (I Dream We Are Cats Beneath Falling Leaves in an Autumn Wind)" Interestingly, in searching around for an online cut and paste, I see that Howard Miller has already quoted it here: . I am especially fond of the sonics in the first strophe and the ending is satisfying (Even the warriors among us are satisfied without murder over and over again). I read aloud to my husband quite a bit and, like me, he's impressed with her work, though he commented that she often ends on more of a philosophical note than he cares for, sometimes coming off as a little over the top, as though she's trying a little too hard to make it stick. I think he may have a point, but I'll decide that after I've read a little more. I am about half-way through the volume at this point. Somewhere in this mess is a freshly arrived collection of her work as well (Amazon is a lovely place to pick up used volumes of poetry), but I can't seem to find it.

As we finished the thirteenth book in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" over a month ago, I've been looking for something else to read to the younger boys. Tonight I picked up a book to read entitled, "Peter Pan in Scarlet" by Geraldine McCaughrean and read the the first chapter while standing in the store. I was pleased to find the writing at least above average:
Mr. John remembered the evening when a boy dressed in a suit of leaves had flown into his life and taught him, too, to fly. He remembered leaping from the open bedroom window and that first heart-stopping moment when night had caught him in its open palm. He remembered dipping and soaring through the black sky, blipped by bats, nipped by the frost, keeping tight hold of his umbrella.... Oh, how brave he had been in those days! Mr. John gave a start as Mrs. Wendy dropped a sugar lump into his cup with a pair of silver tongs: his thoughts had been up among the moonbeams.

The boys were immediately transfixed and I liked the writing. Hopefully it will mean a month or two of companionable evenings, discussions and "Oh Mom. Please--just one more chapter?" I've missed that.

Back to work tomorrow. I really hate Mondays. I think I'm becoming like the little kid in the sotry who wished that every day would be Christmas. Would it be wrong to pray for more ice and snow at this point?

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