|Sarah and me with one huggable Paul Hankins who snuck in - |
okay, maybe not snuck - last spring. :)
It's FRIDAY FEEDBACK, and you know what that means?! (If you don't, go HERE).
Today, I'm lucky to have Sarah Darer Littman*
("Want To Go Private?") with me for two (well really, a dozen) reasons.
First, I love and adore her, and second (omg, omg!) she did ALL the hard blog post work for me today!
Especially, with our Teachers Write! Virtual Progress Pool Party Chat & Read Aloud all day tomorrow (are you signed up?!**), and my Frankie revisions due date looming just around the summery corner, I am so grateful for that.
Speaking of which, you won't likely see me back here in the comments until Saturday or even Sunday. . .
|that looks about right. . . grrr.|
So, without further ado (though maybe with some minor chiming in by me -- hey, it's my blog, you know the drill), HEEEEERE's Sarah!
(er, that is a Johnny Carson intro, not a Shining One!):
Hello Teachers Write Campers! I hope you are enjoying your summer and writing, writing, writing!
I should probably say something profound and inspirational, but I'm a Jewish mother, so first I'm going to nag you and kvetch about my health a little. Campers, make sure you are writing in an ergonomic position. I have learned about this the hard way. Two years ago I had to have surgery for tennis elbow that was triggered by tennis but aggravated by laptop work in a non-ergonomic position. These days I'm dealing with a really delightful combo of tendonitis and the beginning of carpal tunnel. So take it from Mama Littman (as I'm known amongst my daughter's friends): Look after your health while you write. Otherwise you end up taking pills for inflammation that upset your stomach and then you can't drink ICED COFFEE, the Heaven sent nectar of the writer. This is not good. Take it from me.
My friend Irene posted this cartoon on my Facebook recently and asked me if it was true for me:
I told her I can go through all of those emotions several times in the course of a day. That's why I've become a firm believer in Anne Lamott's concept of a "shitty first draft", as elaborated in BIRD BY BIRD - one of the best books on writing. I try to write my first drafts as fast as possible, to try and trick my inner crazy lady. On the days when I feel like what I've written is total drek, I just repeat: "It's just a first draft. Revision is where the magic happens."
(me: hah! Inner Crazy Lady! I think I house a couple of those! In fact, anyone watching me on my private [stupid, ridiculous, inane] private facebook page this month would have seen these highs & lows of "I'm brilliant!"/"I suck!" played out in my status updates right before their very eyes!)
With that in mind, I give you the opening of a WIP that had a title but now doesn't. The previous title made my agent think of a bodice ripper. She had a point.
(me: it's not a boddice ripper, but it is a pulse pounder! Thanks for sharing, Sarah!)
My lips move but nothing comes out. I'm shouting but nobody hears me. The Humvee keeps speeding towards the hidden IED. My blood is racing; my heart feels like it's going to break through my rib cage. I try screaming but it's as if someone has reached into my throat and torn out my vocal chords, leaving me helpless to save them. My mouth is still open, rounded in a pained, soundless scream when the weight of the Humvee triggers the IED in a fiery explosion. Metal, glass, and body parts go flying.They're dead, and it's all my fault.
I'm woken up by the sound of my own sobbing, the pillowcase soaked with tears. It's three twenty-three, according to the alarm clock. Mid morning in Iraq. Mom could be out on a mission. What if it's not a dream? What if she's really going down the road in a Hummer toward danger, and I could have saved her, somehow?
Stop it, Madison!
I stare up into the darkness, taking deep breaths, willing my heart to slow its frantic cadence.
It’s just a dream. She’s safe.
The words are my mantra, the charm I use to dispel the hazy remnants of the same dream I've been having every few weeks since my mother deployed ten months ago.
- Sarah (& gae)
*p.s. for more about Sarah, find her on facebook and twitter @sarahdarerlitt!
** If you're not signed up, it may not be too late for you to pop in for a session. Follow me on Spreecast and go to the fb events page and I'll let you in!