It is Labor Day, the first Monday morning of September 2012, at 10 AM.
This is the day I had promised myself that I would pull out the unfinished pages of my novel to add a short chapter 8. And I want to, very much. But I am not surprised that I am procrastinating today. Traditionally, work starts for me the day after Labor Day when I return to school along with every other student and teacher I know. During the last several years I spent this day showing up at a labor march and then putting some thought into transporting plants, plans, and decor into my high school English classroom in the center of Philadelphia.
But this year, the unfinished novel--along with this blog, my poetry blog and continued healing--is my work. I am not going to school for the first time in 55 years. My relatively stress-free home is my new work environment. I am not driving into "the city" and may actually add a few years on the life of my car by using it much less frequently. I am not smoking cigarettes either--not since February--which may add a few years onto my own life. I had to completely cut the expense of cigarettes--more than $100 a month--in order to retire early on disability compensation. I have gained weight, but the increased self-confidence I feel is worth it. I figure that if I can break an addiction after 43 years, I can do many more things than I dreamed of in my philosophy.
This weekend I attended a Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center workshop called "What is Your Story?" about finding and expressing personal truths through oral and written story. There--in addition to completing the joyous tasks of each day--I took notes on Alice in Wonder, the working title of my novel. I need a new beginning place so I will not get bogged down reading over and over what I have already written. I've changed in the 2 years since I wrote the original 5 chapters and in the one year since I wrote chapters 6 and 7. Last year I discovered I still enjoyed the story. This year I realized--during an interview of me on the Poets United blog--that I would finish it come Hell or high water.
It's 10:50 AM on Labor Day, and I am writing while skimming my weekend notes! Here are the notes--in sequential order--that I took about Alice in Wonder (working Title):
- Retain physical sensations various thoughts bring to mind: including where different parts of my story reside in Chakras and, for example, twitch the left shoulder, restrict breath, cramp the fingers on my right hand and begin a burning in my stomach. What is that? What brings tears?
- Remember that I have permission to write anything I want. Look even where I tell myself I cannot go. (Next to this I wrote: Can I? I am trembling.)
- What stories would Alice not want people to know about herself? What stories would she tell?
- What's in the way of my writing today? What's in the way of Alice's thinking--according to me?