Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And so we begin again


The book
Originally uploaded by norvegal

"The only real thing to leave in the world is one's spirit . . . the leavings of me, murking up the atmosphere, smogging the air, sprinkling a sort of mist over things so perhaps they will twinkle a bit."
- M.F.K. Fisher

And so we begin again, as I attempt to sprinkle just a little more mist over things so perhaps they will twinkle a bit.

Books are strange creatures. They begin as an idea in one's mind. If you're lucky, someone agrees that it's a good idea and supports you in turning it into a book. Someone like, say, a publisher.

They give you constraints (writers need deadlines), they help you focus and fine-tune the idea, and then they send you off into your quiet corner to slowly, patiently, painstakingly transform this idea into a manuscript. You may talk to a lot of people, you may read a lot of other people's thoughts on the topic, you may take in a lot of input and information from a variety of sources, but at the end of the day, most of what writing entails is sitting still, staring at a screen, and thinking.

To the casual observer, we're just daydreaming. But in reality our little minds are furiously churning through a swirling mass of thoughts, trying into transform them into something cohesive, clear, and useful to a reader we hope exists. Doubts intrude upon the process with the annoying frequency of telemarketers. We toil for quite a long time in this scary yet exciting place of creation and the unknown. Sometimes we don't even know for sure what this book's title will be, what the book will look like, or how our publisher will choose to market it. We just don't know.

And yet we keep plowing straight ahead, because that's what writers do, holding worry in one hand and faith in the other.

Now the manuscript is in the fine hands of my publisher, where it shall undoubtedly undergo many more transformations over the next eight to ten months before it goes to the printer. And then comes the terrifying and exhilarating moment when a thick FedEx envelope arrives and I know it's all real.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, I thank you for celebrating this small milestone with me.

13 comments:

Jane said...

ou are amazing. I'm raising a cup of tea to you, dear Clara!

Jane said...

I kept that Y for myself, apparently!

Emily said...

Congatulations on finishing another book! I met you at Rhinebeck last year where I picked up your first(?) book and can't wait for another one as that one was lovely! Good luck!

purlewe said...

congrats dear Clara! I am also raising a cuppa to you!

Kris said...

Congratulations Clara! I so loved your first book - can't wait for this one to come out!

gwtreece said...

Congrats on the new book.

Linda said...

Congratulations! It's going to be a long winter, spring and summer waiting for your next masterpiece!

Adrienne said...

Congrats! It's nice to have your brain back, isn't it?

CPAKnit said...

You put out a wonderful knitting book the first time. I bet this one will be even better! Trust in your own instincts, they are very good ones. Hopefully this book will be out by the 2009 retreat, when I WILL BE THERE!

Martha said...

Miz Clara,

Much luck as you wait for the "new version" of your book. Look forward to the purchase of a copy.

Congrats, honey. Cheers to you.

XOXO

Marg in Mirror said...

Bravo for completing another manuscript! Looking forward to what follows...

Blessings,

L.C.L. said...

Clara,

Your post is worthy of being printed, it's lovely! Congrats and I will wait patiently (ahem) for your new book as I thoroughly enjoy your first one.

Sue said...

You know I can feel yer pain, right? Can't wait to read it. Am dog earing your first book here in OK.