Dialogue With a Daughter

For perhaps two weeks now, I have been working, in the desultory way that I generally work, on the tale about Benedict. I am going so slowly on this that I am being forced to acknowledge that I’m just lazy. No wonder the literary agents stay away from me: they must sniff that mañana-minded attitude, clearly not the sort of “writer” one could actually expect anything from.

Lazy bee that I be, I do buzz about the keyboard every evening, forcing myself to add something, even a couple of sentences, even if they aren’t good sentences. I console myself with the idea that the bad sentences can either be changed later, or revisited later with a more positive outlook, to pat them on the head and leave them as they are.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, what I am writing is indeed a new book, but so far I have no desire to accept this. I’m not in a position to write a book. I’m unemployed. I’m looking for work. I’m…I’m…I’m the tragic object of a lack of focus. How could I commit to writing a book? I already have books no one wants. And yet, every evening, there I am, adding on to it.

I’m on chapter two, and I’ve just begun a section in which Benedict is talking to his daughter on the phone. I like dialogue, and perhaps sometimes I have too much of it, but it enthuses me. The characters open their mouths and say things and sometimes it’s a surprise. Though I don’t really know where this story is going, I like the idea of an interaction between father and daughter, and I seem to be leaning toward making her a bit snappy, a sort of younger version of her father. So I think I will bring her to spend time with him, and they will do something together, which will give me a chance to play with an interaction. What will they do? In chapter one, Benedict went into the past and came back, and I wonder if I can make something out of this. Rather, I wonder if I can make something out of this that isn’t going to turn out completely stupid. That is always a troubling possibility, one that stands in front of me often, saying “take your hands off that keyboard”. So if Benedict and his daughter begin to travel together into the past, where can that go? But before they get started, I think she needs to try to convince him to let her get a tattoo, even though she is only 15. Her name is Miranda Maria, but she has recently decided to call herself Miramar.

Or I am I just embarrassing myself to admit how I’m going about this? Do other writers sometimes write this way, rushing (or in my case walking slowly) into the dark? Man, this writing business. Maybe it’s just a way to look dumb in front of other people.

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Filed under Giving Birth to a Book (That's Why I'm Screaming)

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