Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Writing with the Sphinx

The last two days, the morning sunlight has shone on our garden sphinx, turning her stoney countenance rosey. When it happened yesterday, I looked up from writing and it seemed as if a person in an Egyptian headdress crouched amidst the squill and Portuguese laurels.

I almost went out in my bathrobe with a camera. But then I decided that I would consine the vision to memory. I have pictures of the sphinx already, and they never quite turn out the way I see them in my mind's eye. Besides, sometimes Mark accuses me of living behind a camera.

And, if I was photographing the sphinx, I wouldn't be writing, which was the reason I was stumbling about before dawn in the first place.

This morning the rising sun performed its magic again. This time I noticed the cherry blossoms scattered on the lawn. I almost photographed her again. But as the shone moved and highlighted different features, I looked up at her between working on the current short story. Which was stubbornly being difficult.

The characters did something unexpected and threw my outline out, which meant I had to stop writing and try to follow where they were going. I've gotten into a bad habit of editing in my head while I write, which slows down the transcription process. And when the characters take an unexpected turn, it slows the word count further. I know several folks who just write whatever comes out and then go back and edit and revise later; supposedly this is faster than dealing with the word buffer in my head.

And now the Day Jobbe calls...
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