Cruising to the end of August (yikes!) and the past weeks’ break from writing has really resulted in a strong return of creativity. I’m psyched to get back to work on the novel draft, have been beating back other ideas that want to take over my life, and got a little more world-building on a future project done, which seems to be solving a lot of my project-starting anxiety (which plagued this current novel draft, too).
This week I’m working on: I’ve got an idea for a new book (of course!) that is trying to eat my brain alive, and the characters have been talking like mad, but I’m not going to have time or focus to write a new rough draft over the next few months, but I don’t want to lose the thread on this. So this week, I’m going to indulge in writing (as much as I can, or as far as I can get until I hit a plot hole) a summary draft of the new story to see if it’s got the steam it’ll need to come together later.
This week, I’m inspired by: I’ve been going completely mad with pen-and-ink illustrators (with watercolor) from my childhood lately. Quentin Blake, Edward Gorey, Garth Williams, Bill Peet, Gordon Browne, and especially John R. Neill’s Oz Books illustrations. I’ve been doing lots of little sketches of eyes and noses (noses, especially, and all their various suggestions of shape and size seem especially challenging to me).
Reading-wise, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh has continued to be absolutely eye-opening. It seems like there’s this pervading myth that great artists (and writers) are somehow born knowing they’re destined for greatness, which is how they keep stubbornly pursuing their art in the face of failure after failure. But Van Gogh’s letters are so…normal. That he tried and failed at a number of careers before he finally settled on painting (and had to live off his parents and his brother’s generosity, crushed by debt and career uncertainty and obsessive ambition) somehow seems very familiar in post-2008 US youth culture. It’s resonant in a way I hadn’t anticipated, but am pleasantly surprised by.
Also just picked up Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest series (another mad favorite of my childhood) from Thrifbooks, which is becoming my book-addiction dealer… I also picked up a set of the 1999 release of The Prydain Chronicles from them, too, to replace my awful, awful mass-market paperback versions (*brain melts with childhood rage at Disney cover of The Black Cauldron*). I need to make a plan to re-read all my favorite YA-ish fantasy books in some reasonable time-frame…Maybe a goal to start in September…
What action do I need to take this week? I do need to print out the novel rough draft and see how big it’s going to be and whether or not the binder I already have is going to work for it. And see if I’ve even got enough ink in the printer to print it… And then if I can finish a book or two between now and Friday, that’d be great, too. :)