Beginning the Battle

I finally clear my plate enough to begin editing the book, which I have left myself approximately three weeks to do. This, of course, is hardly enough time but I am determined to submit by the June 1st deadline. There is no entry fee and the pool is limited to North and South Carolina writers. The worst they can say is “No.”

But I begin with the first chapter, “Sometimes a Dot on the Map” (as in, the “small town” nearest my cabin is sometimes a dot on the map – and sometimes not) and am easily dismayed. By the time I’m through it, I don’t believe in the book anymore.

How, precisely, did I think this would work? On what premise did I think I could hook my readers? I try to remember Kathy Hauswirth’s insistence on mothering and writing and how she pushed through and got a book published. I remember how Britt told me that out of all the big projects this is the one that is the most important to finish. I remember how Tammy told me, having read most of the drafts, that she’s certain people will get hooked on it.

Why do we read about other people’s lives? What compels us to turn the page? I write from the heart. I try not to slander. I offer a certain perspective. I attempt to shape my view of reality with the words I publish. All of this was more adequately summed up in my Freewill Astrology Horoscope that Tom read to me today at the coffeehouse:

Your meditation for the week comes from playwright Bertolt Brecht. “Art is not a mirror held up to reality,” he said, “but a hammer with which to shape it.” This is an excellent idea to keep in mind even if you’re not a writer, painter, dancer, filmmaker, actor, or musician. What it means is that you now have the duty and opportunity to fully unleash the creator in you. Don’t be satisfied with the world the way it is; don’t sit back and complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo. Instead, stir up your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life. Then rebuild everything you see so that it’s in greater harmony with the laws of love.

Let this persevere through the book. Let the book become real in the hands of others. Let my pulse be felt through every page.

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