Friday, October 29, 2010

Villa Coral

Dear sisters,

My idea was to wake every morning fresh, why would I be tired, do my yoga stretches, meditate and then get to work, methodically, two hours on, short break, two more hours, break.

Instead I wake up with a thin layer of grizzle on my tongue and no desire to stretch my stiff limbs. I could use some meditation because my mind is full of words. But they are going nowhere yet. Just swirling around in my head.

A man starts to sweep the beach, yes the beach, very early outside my little villa. So, that is the sound I wake up to, that and the sea, which never stops lapping; lap, lap, lap, softly or loudly, it can be either. I heard about the tsunami in Indonesia from my friend in SF. That was the night the sea lapped very loudly outside my door.

Pink flowers hang from a bush in front of my window. I should know their name. It really is very nice here; the perfect spot to spend time on one’s writing.

When you go into the sea, did I mention it is just in front, and you have a mask with a snorkel, you will see a lot of fish in many colors swimming through the coral. Here the fish don’t linger on the ocean floor, they also like to swim at the surface too, where you are, so you swim through the blue and yellow fish, trumpet fish, and rainbow fish, that sometimes turn and swim towards you, smacking their lips and oggling their eyes, before darting off in disgust.

To make you feel better, sisters presently in deep and middle Europe, rushing towards winter, the writing is a struggle, I can’t say otherwise. My characters sprint and stop, sprint and stop.

Character = action, I write on a piece of paper, to remind myself.

I am encouraged by my “how to write fiction” book, saying that in the revision stage, it will be easier to sit for long hours. But now, I need the breaks, often, to think, and think, sometimes until I bump into a grey smoky wall, that is the end of my brain.

I am moving on, definitely, I am moving in the right direction. It is all becoming clearer, but the puzzle is not complete. What are the final obstacles my characters have to overcome? Shouldn’t my book be lighter, that being the writing style, that comes most naturally? Is it too light?

Do not think this is an introduction to giving up. It is just letting off steam (an excellent cliché, one of the many that could creep into this first draft).

When I write, I sit at a little table: there is one outside on the deck, and one inside in the room, both overlooking the sea, big bottles of air minum, that is drinking water, placed neatly in a row behind me, after drinking the last drop.

My i-tunes library is undergoing a renewed inspection. What is the best writing music?

Everyday I walk to the diving school over the beach. I walk past the pig, snuffling at the furthest reach of the rope around its neck, and the cockerels, pecking freely on the beach. I step over the ropes of the fishing boats, tugging gently towards sea. I generally go to the diving school for lunch. The food is not very good at the diving school, flies like to hover closely over the parched nasi campur, but they do have wifi: so I can hear about the tsunami in Sumatra from my friend in SF and download the article on my NY Times reader. And post this post.

Tonight my daughter and my husband (the son has other engagements) will join me for the weekend. I don’t know if that will disturb my rhythm or give it new energy, but I am looking forward to a conversation with a real person and a half.

Back next Wednesday.

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