Chapter Six, and Alaska sunset (at 11 p.m.)

Today was a good writing day and a much-needed one, too, since I had been in a slump, had dreaded sitting down at my desk. I’d sit there and play Spider Solitaire and wait for inspiration or clarity or even my goddamn muse, who had apparently abandoned me. Finally I’d write and oh, what dreadful writing, forced and stilted and tired, fidgety writing I call it, much like fidgety conversation, the kind we have at social gatherings to fill the uncomfortable silence of our own insecurities.

But today I sat down and my slump miraculously lifted, and I wrote and wrote and it was glorious and heady and I managed to get the first six chapters of my next novel off to my agent (though now I am fretting: Should I have rearranged the middle two sections of Chapter Six? Did Chapter Five display enough tension?). Writing is a thankless vocation, though I am thankful, yes, ever so thankful that I am able to do this simple and obstinate and godawful thing, and that some of the time I do it with joy.

Later in the evening, we took the dog for a walk on the beach at sunset, which arrived around 10:45 p.m. The air was cool and damp, the tide low, the sand wet and blended with mud from the last remaining icebergs melting against the high shoreline. We could hear the drip of water as the last of the ice melted, a steady sound that filled the background of our conversation until it almost felt like another voice, murmuring behind us. And I suppose that in a way it was.

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One thought on “Chapter Six, and Alaska sunset (at 11 p.m.)

  1. I’m so happy you had a good writing day–sounds like you earned it with the slumpy days. One of the program directors at my MFA says sometimes things don’t move forward linearly–one can feel slumped for a while and it was all happening below the surface.
    I’ve been having some bursts and starts and intense thoughts around my writing that I’d love to talk about with you when we next get together.
    A gorgeous hike out to waterfalls on a gorgeous day in GA today. But no such sunset as you had there!
    love
    Ela

    Like

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