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This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day


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 novelI 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):
  1. 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?
  2. 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.)
  3. What stories would Alice not want people to know about herself?  What stories would she tell? 
  4. What's in the way of my writing today?  What's in the way of Alice's thinking--according to me?  
Notes #5-40 have been removed to protect the author. I think they reveal too much about the novel; I sure do have a sense of accomplishment!  It is now 11:58-12 noon on Labor Day, and I am ready to put this away until tomorrow.  



3 comments:

  1. i like where you thought process in your notes are heading..i like too the willingness to step out of the bounds...and test the places you may not be willing to go..

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  2. YAY! I am thrilled to see you are proceeding with this work. Good for you! It is too easy to get bogged down in what has already been written. I have a completed memoir (since 2001) about my son's and my journey together through his schizophrenia. But every time I try to go back and edit it, I get bogged immediately. It apparently is resistant to being changed, yet I know it definitely must be given a severe edit. Very hard to edit one's own, easier to just keep things as they came out originally.......but this is the book I need to Do Something About and soon. You inspire and encourage me. Keep at it!

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  3. liked the way you put the thoughts here......you will come up winning....

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