"Fool!" said my Muse to me. "look in thy heart, and write."
Sir Philip Sidney 1554 - 1586 "Astrophel and Stella" (1591)
I'm pleased with myself today because I finally conjured the Muse and managed ten pages of writing on the novel. There comes a time when the procrastination has to end and it's time to get down to business. This was the day. I had no more reason not to begin. I've finished the retyping, read over the previously written chapter segments, spent several hours preparing the notes for the travel memoir workshop I'm instructing this weekend for the Summer Dreams Literary Festival, and I finally convinced myself it wasn't necessary to check my e-mail a dozen times a morning.
I had several pages of previously written scenes for Shadow, it was all in random order so it required a bit of thought and lots of cut-and-paste. Yesterday I spent some time just thinking about how to start this next chapter segment. As usual, my best tactic is to browse through my notes, write some ideas down, and from there the words just start flowing.
Time went by quickly once I got in front of the computer. I even forgot to stop and eat my lunch and didn't notice this until it was mid-afternoon. By the time I had finished, I had ten pages written. Then I ate my lunch/dinner and decided I better get some physical exercise.
So I took the bike out for a little spin.
I'm such a sissy bike rider these days. I used to ride a lot but in the last couple of years I quit. Now I want to get more practice so I gain some confidence. It's like writing. The more you do the better you get at it.
Tonight I looked over what I'd written today and decided where I needed to edit or add things. In all, it looks pretty good and I'm pleased, for a first draft, how well it turned out.
The scene is a pretty meaty dialogue between the two women, Olympias and Roxana, as overheard by the child, Alexander's son Iskander (Alexander IV). I wasn't sure it this point of view would work, but it seems to be alright. The dialogue is revealing and somewhat shocking, especially what is understood by the child. I'm really into these women now. They are fun to work with. What a pair! Maybe once I've fine-tuned it I'll post a bit of their conversation.
Tomorrow I'll try to finish this chapter segment. I have the next few chapters already planned with some notes made previously. If I can stay on track I might get most of this novel finished by the end of summer. There's really not that much more to write and I'm anxious to wrap it up.
"On a dark theme I trace verses full of light, touching all the Muses' charm."
Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus) 99 - 55 BC De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) l. 993