Thursday, January 21, 2010

in search of merriment

What a gorgeous day! Snow weights the pine branches like those in my childhood paint-by-number paintings. Blue sky stretches over forest, field and pond. I walk. It’s a feel-good day. In my window, sunlight powers the gears of my new rainbow maker. They rotate the crystals, and light flashes, separating into all its colors.

What we need is a solar cell for writing. Input a manuscript and see it instantly separated into its parts. No, I don’t mean the readability programs that leave no room for creative expression. What I want is a device that tells me where the plot is weak, what sensory details I’ve neglected to use, which character needs more development. If there is anything like that out there, maybe I wouldn’t trust it. Back to the shrunken manuscript and trying to channel Gertrude Stein – “In the midst of writing there is merriment.”


  1. I think the best solar cells for writing are our own intuition and that of other writers that we trust. As for the merriment, I find it during those longed for delightful bursts where the words go directly to my fingers and onto the page. It's magic!

  2. I agree, Karin. My intuition works so much better on short pieces, though! Critique groups seem to function well with shorter pieces, too. It's hard to find willing readers for a novel,don't you think? Maybe some groups have a procedure for novel-reading. I'd be interested. A good question for the list-serve!


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