Thursday, May 26, 2011


I took today as a random vacation day, so I am home from work.

This morning I got up early and opened the window in the bedroom so I could hear the birds singing and the splashy fountain in the little pond behind our condo.  We are not very far from a busy street so traffic noise could be heard occasionally, but it was relaxing; and I finally slogged to the end of The Land Of Painted Caves, the new book by Jean Auel.  Boy, that was a job.  I loved The Clan Of The Cave Bear when I read it as a teenager, and have read every book in the series.  I'd heard that this book may be the last, so I got it from the library (which helpfully gave me a deadline).  Maybe some authors who write series struggle with whether to include a buttload of backstory in case the reader has never read the previous books, or to plow ahead and assume the reader knows the score.  Jean Auel seems not to have struggled, but to have thrown herself with gusto into re-writing large chunks of every single previous book.  Overall, I'd have to say I enjoyed this book, but I sure would have enjoyed it more if it had not been bogged down with what must have been 300+ pages of backstory I already knew.  Gads.  Honestly, I skimmed the crap out of that 750-page sucker and it still took forever to get through.

I ran errands (including taking that book back to the library, only two days after it was due) and am now trying to make bread using my neighbor's recipe.  I've tried it twice before, once over-kneading and once not using water hot enough to activate the yeast.  Hopefully today I will get it right, finally!  I am going to keep trying until I get that perfect fluffy deliciousness from my childhood.

I am also taking today to try to get a bit more centered about my writing.  Ideas about what should happen and who the characters are keep crowding into my head, and they are not all fitting together.  Which direction should I take?  My original idea was to write the kind of book I loved to read when I was young, witty and real and full of flawed characters that try their best.  Now I am starting to see another possibility, much more painful but probably more true.

You know what?  I just realized that the second option is scary.  I am scared of it.

Oh hell, that means it's almost certainly the right direction to take.