Wednesday, September 3, 2008

for two weeks now I have thought I was on the verge of being done with the rough draft, but each day it takes more time, and more words. I am so close, but not there yet.
And once again I am ending the day by saying to myself "tomorrow, tomorrow is the day you finish."

Then of course it is on to editing. I imagine editing has a different energy to it. I hope to soon find out.


Vesper said...

You will be there, Taff, you will be.
But you know what the advice is, when you finish the first draft leave it for a while, then go back to it so that you can see it with fresh eyes.

Good luck!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

You're just about there, Taff. And yes, energy has a very different energy about it.
And Vesper's advice is spot on - so give yourself a break after you've got that first draft done.

Taffiny said...


Thanks. I don't know if I can leave it right away, I think I will do the first attempt at an edit (nothing drastic) then put it aside for a bit. (Actually I am interested in reading it now, as it has been so long, it has broken down into parts, and I want to have some sense of how it feels, to go with it from start to finish)


Thanks for being encouraging.

What sort of time frame I wonder? I will read it through first, but after that, I should find out how long to wait, as I will either rush ahead too soon, or wander off too long.

Michael August said...

I'm curious, what is this book that your blog and your concern is dedicated to? I'm only too sure that you've talked about this before, but there seems to be two years worth of posts on here and I wouldn't know just where to find it.

I'm a writer as well and in the process of forming my first book, and I know that it can help just to take a step back, here and then, and say what it is that you really mean to create, especially after you've gone in deep and produced so much.

Taffiny said...

Michael August,

Usually my blog is about a little bit more than just my ongoing attempt to finish writing a story, but lately, it it true, that is pretty much all one can find here, because I am trying so hard to pull all of my energies together and finally finsish it.

I started this story, Echo, over 10 years ago, but would write only whenever stuff came to me. I was easily intimidated, so whenever I didn't know what the heck I was doing I would stop. (So I was mostly stopped.) This past year I have begun to make it a priority to get this thing done. I still often have no idea what the heck I am doing, but now I just keep writing anyway.

Telling people what it is about makes me nervous, as I feel silly trying to explain it, knowing how foolish it sounds to devote so much time (and emotional struggle) to trying to write such a story. But you did ask so....
It is the story of an emotionally shut down person, Mikiyoshi (who happens to be male and Japanese, in Japan. This feature of the story causes me no end of research trouble). We find out what happened that closed him, and over time we watch events unfold that help to re-open him. The story is told from the point of view of a Japanese bobtail cat, Koji (which was totally the cat's idea not mine, I tried to get rid of him soooo many times, but he insisted till he convinced me, that he is the most important character of all, the true main character). The garden that the man is trying to create is the backdrop. The story has more metaphors than my yard has ants. But just like with the ants, I didn't invite them in, just every time I turn over a rock there they are.
Really it is a story about trying to make peace with death, and thus with life. To be able to live fully while knowing loss can not be avoided (is rather woven into existence on earth. Someday we all die, so either you bury those you love, or they bury you), but to risk loving and being loved anyway. I think it would be regarded as a fairytale by those who are not me.

I hope all is going well, and continues to go well, with your writing. And book formation.

What do I hope to create? Something beautiful, a poem, a song. Something meaningful, that resonates. Something that entertains, a worthwhile journey to take.
I don't know if this particular story will have value to anyone, other than myself, but it is where I begin, and I have found that I need to go through it, and find its conclusion, before I can walk anywhere else.
The story doesn't sound like much when I try to explain it simply and succinctly, yet pieces of my soul are scattered, along with the flower petals that bloom and fall, throughout it. It is sort of a ridiculous tale, but it is also my heart. A bit of fallen star to put in my pocket. And when I am done writing it, then perhaps I can go on and try and write the next story, the one that maybe other people will "get". I am afriad though that I am too sentimental to ever be palatable. I only like grapefruit dipped in sugar.

strugglingwriter said...

I hope you find out too :)

Taffiny said...


Seriously, can I still be so close and yet so far?

Thanks for the encouragement.

I wonder what all of you are up to. Maybe I should let myself go visiting before I am "all done", as it seems that is quite a different time frame from the one I imagined.

Michael August said...

What you say of your book intrigues me and I bet it would be one of those that afforded me valuable insight, and perhaps a few delights too.

At first I would say that choosing a context that you know little about, not knowing your own experience myself, will make it difficult to translate the full array of cultural nuance. But what does one need to know most to write a story about people but people and their living. You can do that as long as you're one of those and you've done some of the latter. And then, if a cat is providing narration, well that's interesting, and it should resolve the need for the literalism demanding all the superficial details we're familiar with in our own societies. Also, a cat's detached perspective of the strange life of humanity may be not unlike how we are led to view ourselves, once in a while, or all the time. It should work.

I hope your efforts prevail. The surest way to fail is to quit, and if you've gone 10 years, you'll keep going. I want you to be able to tell us what its like being a struggling, published writer.

Taffiny said...

Michael August,

For a while I thought I couldn't do it because of the difficulties of respresenting a culture not my own, then I realized that I am not trying to present/explain a culture, but tell an individual's story. (So I reached the same conclusion you did on the matter, and decided to just move forward and do that) :)

The cat telling the story does change what is of interest and what isn't (as you say, making it easier for me to avoid things I do not know enough about).

I came across a Japanese story, about 3 years ago, with a cat as narrator. I believe it discusses society and humanity in Japan, and was written long ago. I assume it is both philosophical and political. I haven't read it so I don't know. Perhaps it would be of interest to you (but of course I can't recall what the name of it is).

The cat in my story is all emotions, and devotion, he feels what the main human character can not. Which is why he is needed, the man would tell us a different tale, one without heart, one avoiding seeing. And omniscient without the presence of I, doesn't feel right to me here, seeming too distant no matter how deeply in it can see....

Thanks. I hope so. I would love to be able to tell you what it is like to be a struggling published writer. At any rate, having started working on this story so long ago, I will consider it an accomplishment just to finish writing it.