Taxidermy and the Tenacious Writer

I’ve caught some unexpected writing time. Trevor’s driving down to Eugene to go squirrel hunting with a friend. He calls it entertainment. I call it sad. Poor squirrels.

I didn’t tell him this, but when I was very little, my dad went squirrel hunting. My parents were still together, so I was under five years old. Anyway, my father killed a squirrel, and was so proud, that he decided he wanted to have it stuffed.

Now, my father and I have this in common. When we get an idea in our heads, we pursue it until we achieve it. I consider it a great trait, but to others it can be… exhausting.

Anyway, my dad either never found an affordable taxidermy joint, or he forgot the idea until he saw the squirrel again, which lived in a gallon ziploc bag in our freezer. My mother would gripe to herself, and since I was her shadow I heard every word, every time she reached into the freezer. Once, when my mother opened the freezer, the squirrel fell out, as things in a full freezer are likely to do. But to my tiny, over-active mind, that lifeless, frozen squirrel was trying to get me.

I don’t think I’ve ever told Trevor this story, but I swear, if he brings a dead squirrel into the house, I might scream.

Anyway, he’s driving south now, weaving his way through the UofO traffic, and I find myself with a couple hours alone. Well, not quite. I’m sitting in my Starbucks, as usual. I’m debating how to spend my time this afternoon. 

The writing has been going well. The ramp up time is slow, but once I hit stride the words come smoothly, and the chapters fly by. But, I only have about two hours, and I hate being interrupted mid-marathon. 

I haven’t edited a chapter in a while, and I have quite a few people who are eager to read it. Though the more I edit the less eager I am to give it to them. In the year since I finished ‘Vessels’ my writing has grown incredibly. By the end ‘Cards’ was world’s away from ‘Vessels’. And what I’m writing now makes ‘Vessels’ seem lifeless.

But, I’m tenacious, remember? I’m not giving up on ‘Vessels’. It’s my first novel; it was always going to be rough. And it’s the first novel I’ve ever edited, so it probably won’t be good either. But, I refuse to just go through the motions. I’m going to do a good job, the best I know how, on that book. I’m going to edit, and I’m going to email 2nd drafts to willing readers. And I’ll take their feedback and work on more drafts, until it’s the best possible version of itself.

Because I’m tenacious. And determined. And the only way to really learn a thing is by doing.

‘Jordinn’s Story’, as I’m calling it, has me really excited. So far, my novels tend to be straightforward. The plot and the characters is what drives my writing. World-building is there, but I definitely consider it my weakest work. Sure, I can write setting and scenery, but that’s not really world-building. My books have hints of culture, but no real sense. There’s very little politics, or economics, and no religion to speak of.

Until now.

This book has social structures, government, and religion. Right now they’re a little vague. The book is only starting, and it’s the first of a planned trilogy. By the end of this book, so much will be changed. But, the fact that these cultural  elements are already there has me giddy. It means I can only build on them, can only flesh them out and make them better.

And that’s something to be excited about.

My iced coffee is gone, and I can feel my brain waking up, and spiraling into thoughts of writing. That’s my cue to sign off. 

Have a great weekend, Blogland. I’ll see you Monday.



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