Monday, March 3, 2008
For the past five weeks I've been immersed in the life of a woman coming to terms with the twists and turns and vagaries of her life. At times, she's felt like a pinball, simply trying to brace herself for the next blow before it smacked into her. She had thought for years, things were following a certain path, that her choices were leading her in a specific way, that she was in control, and that she was happy.
What did John Lennon say? Life's what happens while you're making other plans.
Well, that's what happened to Kate and to me.
I'd thought I had her figured out. I'd believed I knew her. I'd been sure I could tell her story. And, I'd been so busy being right I didn't take the time to listen, to really get to know her. Kind of like when a friend needs to talk and I am too quick with advice or counsel. I get so busy helping I forget to hear what she's really saying or asking for.
Well, in the past five weeks I finally let myself meet her. I finally quit my yapping long enough to listen. To discover. To toss out all the clutter that got in the way.
And, I let myself find Kate. And in the process I learned so much about myself as a writer. It was all pretty cool.
So, my manuscript--re-visioned, revised, rewritten--is back on my agent's desk. Did I get it right? I'll find out soon. It certainly feels as though I did. But if it isn't there just yet, I know to trust Kate to show me her world. And she trusts me enough now to let me into her heart. She knows I'll listen before I start writing.
In the meantime, I intend to get caught up with my blog posts. I've also got a project waiting for me on the dining room table involving lots of frames and even more family photos. I've got a stack of new recipes to try. And I've got a whole new set of characters whispering to me, wanting to let me into their lives, their fears, their hearts. And this time, I've promised to listen more carefully than I did with Kate.
P.S. I also have a new blog post up at the group blog I belong to. It's not about writing, but if you have kids applying to colleges, you might want to check it out.