pictured someone asking me how long it took to write the novel and thought “five, ten years?” — can’t even pinpoint anymore when I started working on it or what mattered. I am finally starting to see characters as characters, though. After it sitting since January– terrifyingly– I finished teaching and took a quick trip to see family, then an even quicker trip to see three people: a powerful scholar I admire who is not at my school, a famous poet I admire who is not at my school, and an architect-academic friend my age– okay shut up younger than me– who basically just became a father and is so levelheaded about doing his thing baby is “just another layer”– so calming to be around, him and his wife–
I spent an afternoon in my medium-fancy hotel writing out the plot/story of the book without looking even at the TOC. I came home and woke at the time I like and went into my study and now it’s two good days in a row. Plus, I bought my first art– a sculpture and a painting– and they are both now in the house. And now what I didn’t know about paragraphing is feels easy and true. I had not assumed the way paragraphs would work and so did not put very many into the first drafts. I wanted to work via collage without making the college-elements the basis for fragment. I wanted them smooth in the text, layers of consciousness. But too often it was illegible. I now have hope that I understand where to paragraph by actual units of thought– i.e. from the characters– and that that causes the paragraphs — and space-breaks– which make it possible to eat one after another that include the exhaustively layered layers. Happy, happy girl. Write that and fear I’m set up for a fall, now but fuckit.