Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Who needs November? January is the Real Novel-Writing Marathon Month

January is marathon month.

I'm not talking about running. I have no motivation to run lately: four miles max for long runs, if you're being generous. Probably you shouldn't be that generous. I'm not sure I ever run that far.

On my off days I watch Merlin reruns while I ride the bike trainer. Sometimes I have more off-days than on-days. Sometime I think all days should be off-days.

Running Shoes  
 Vs.       Biking Shoes

Clearly running isn't one of my New Year's resolutions. I run when I feel like it. That keeps it fun. And I believe in doing what the season calls for. In December it calls for good food and family get-togethers, and, of course, gaining weight. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the extra five.
Family get-together  2014 

And right now the season seems to be calling for a marathon write.

So I write. All morning long. All afternoon. All evening.

Because it's dark and cold outside. The air looks like poop. Most of the Christmas lights are turned off and everything's hunkered down and closed up. A bulldozer dug up a piece of my usual mountain trail a couple of months ago and it's ugly now without snow to cover it.  It hasn't snowed in over a month and everything's gone brownish.

I'm not depressed about it. Not yet. Depressing is for February.

But in January you need a warm place to go inside your head. Also, when you sign up for a writing intensive at SCBWI New York in February--attempting to balance the evils of that month--and have to bring a polished, complete version of your novel with you, you know you've got some work to do between now and then.

Forget National Novel-Writing Month of November.  November is crazy and busy. January is slow, with hot chocolate and day-dreams. So I hereby declare January Marathon Writing Month. Join me if you like. Come over and we'll have a write-in with Starbuck's peppermint hot cocoa and butter cookies, which you can run off (and I'll bike off in front of Merlin episodes). Or we can do a virtual write-share on the One-Page-a-Day Blog.  Or something.

Either way, I'll be writing my way toward February in New York, where I begin attacking the business side of the job again, after a lovely, long break focusing on nothing but creation. Until then, I'm in my head in front of my laptop.

See you again in a month.

Playing High and Dry with Sourdough

Lately I've been playing with dough. It's become a sort of a compulsion. Maybe because I'm tired of driving all the way to som...