Tuesday, July 24, 2007
PROGRESS REPORT #3 "Fire in the Heaven" !!
"The splendor of a great man lights up the heavens."
I Ching Hexagram 14
This was the hexagram I got this morning when I threw the old Chinese coins to see what advice the I Ching had for me when I'd asked "What do I need to do to keep the inspiration going?" Well, of course, the "fire in the heaven" of Hex. 14 certainly must have meant Alexander. Who else?
And then, when I read the Tao Te Ching this is what it had to say:
"Governing a large country
is like frying a small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking." Tao Te Ching 60
I think this means, I should look at "Shadow of the Lion" as a "large country" and don't worry about nit-picking ("poking" at it). Just keep on writing. Worry about the small things like editing ("nit-picking") when its all done. Keep on going. I'm almost there!
I've actually been feeling pretty inspired and in spite of having a couple of other things on my agenda last weekend I have progressed, almost finished another chapter segment, and managing to write several hours a day (sometimes up to six). Last night I workshopped the entire segment of the 'dangerous dialogues' and got very good critiques from my group, so that was quite a relief as I was uncertain if the point of view worked. So now I will carry on. And soon I will post a blog on "Questions" as in the questions Iskander is going to ask after overhearing the conversation between his grandmother and mother.
It's been a busy weekend. The rain kept falling almost non-stop. And I kept wishing I was still in Greece (frying in the heat-wave is better than drowning in the deluge). Anyway, the Summer Dreams Literary Festival was in the Park on Saturday and it managed to stop raining for part of the afternoon. I had the job of hosting the kid's stage for two of the children's acts but only six kids were in the audience and unfortunately a nearby craft table was a huge distraction. Then I went to set up my Travel Memoirs workshop but, as I expected, only one person showed up. (Actually two other women came but wanted to go for lunch first and didn't return.) So it was a bit of a bust but the one-on-one was a good run-through for the new 'course' which I will include in my night school classes from now on.
Sunday I had friends over for a Greek dinner. Lots of fun. And we watched the DVD of Haris Alexiou's concert at Lykebettos recorded last September along with two really hunky-dory male singers, Sokrates Malamas and Alkinoos Ioannidis. I swear that Malamas looks exactly like General Perdikkas in my novel. At least, exactly the way I had described the General who took over Alexander's army after he died. Yum! (No wonder I cried when I had assassinate the guy!) I once saw Perdikkas working in the post office up in northern Greece in Asprovalta. I bought a lot of stamps that summer when I was camping there. (check out their websites and you can catch some videos of Ioannidis on YouTube. All of them really talented singers/song writers.
I should write a blog on visualizing your characters one of these days. I do that a lot. I have almost my entire novel cast with real-life people I have seen (most of them in Greece, but some elsewhere such as in the movies.) You listen to Greek women speaking in those deep, sultry voices of theirs and you will 'hear' Olympias.
Today there finally WAS 'fire in the heaven". I think it's the sun! I worked all morning on notes for the editing and new chapter segment and then took myself out for a long walk. I'm having lower back problems again, brought on by sitting to long at the computer. And now the entire city is on strike so all the swimming pools are closed as well as other services. (It will be a stinky city in a short time as the garbage isn't being collected either.) I guess I'll start swimming at the beach though the water isn't so warm as the Aegean Sea. Because I need my swims. And should make more effort to get the bike on the road a couple of times a week too. Today I walked (briskly) for about an hour, just around the neighbourhood, on the streets that run port-side where there are a couple of sweet little parks ("meditation parks") where you can sit and watch the freighters and tug-boats. Very pleasant. Then I came home down the shaded back-streets where the old houses reminded me of when I was a teen-ager living in this area.
Nothing like a good hit of nostalgia!
Okay...it's time to go do those changes and additions I made note of this morning. I'll be back real soon!
"Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day."
William James 1842 - 1910 "The Principles of Psychology" 1890 ch 4