What am I working on? This week I have been continuing to work on part two of my magic realism story about Lodie the Elf. Part one ended where Lodie realizes his sneaky detour has caused him to be stranded. Part two explores the funeral home in more detail and also will introduce the funeral director Arterius Medelson. What I originally anticipated to be a short story is becoming much more detailed and involved than I planned. I can definitely foresee a part three and possibly a part four before the work is finished. We'll see what becomes of the final product. I have also been doing some creative journaling, which seems to serve two beneficial functions in my life: a creative outlet and a much more economical form of therapy.
How do I feel about the process? I'm feeling good about it this week. I have made writing each day a priority and so my mind feels more stimulated creatively than before. I look forward to little opportunities throughout the day to get back at it and have been even more anxious than usual to tuck my children into bed at the end of the evening so I can settle into my writing space with a generous glass of wine (or two). I did have to set aside my magic realism story yesterday as the ever-growing length began to feel a bit overwhelming. I plan to revisit it today though.
What am I currently reading? I spent a good chunk of the afternoon catching up on Stephen King's On Writing. Reading through the memoir part of his book has been an easy read and also inspiring. Extrapolating simple memories and expanding upon them seems like a great way to refine writing skills.
On a side note, I've actually always felt a kinship with Stephen King, though, save for my current assigned reading, I have never actually read any of his books. Let me explain why...
I was born in Eastern Maine. As one might expect, I remember nothing of my diaper days. We moved to Tucson, Arizona the summer before my second birthday and traded our snowsuits for suntan lotion. I do, however, have two associations about my early years in this part of the world: Big Hunk candy bars and Stephen King.
First, the candy. Have you ever had this culinary delight? It's eight-inches of chewy delicious nougat scattered with roasted peanuts. Nowadays, you might be able to find it on the bottom shelf of the candy aisle at your local 7-11, but if you happened to be in the Labor and Delivery wing of Eastern Maine Medical Center in mid-September, 1981, you likely would've been handed one by my dad. Apparently this was a hippie's alternative to the traditional passing out of cigars at the birth of a new baby. I had no choice in the matter...I was destined to be a fan of the Big Hunk.
Second, the King. Bangor (pronounced Bang-GER, not Bang-GOR, by the locals) isn't know for much, but it is home to one of the most famous contemporary authors. Stephen King's large residence sat a couple blocks down the street from my own humble abode. I grew up hearing about the black, spiked wrought iron fence that surrounded his property and how his gate was a large spider web with metal spiders guarding the entrance. I didn't remember ever seeing it and as I said, I wasn't particularly a literary fan, but I felt connected to him none-the-less.
I guess in a very strange, roundabout way, Stephen King has been an influence in my life since the beginning. Just not in the way one would assume. While honeymooning back east in 2004, I finally saw for myself the infamous spider gate and felt like I had accomplished a small but significant life goal. It is neat that King's influence is now finally affecting my creative process. This seems like a more normal association.