July 25, 2011


A long story came into my head, and for a year I wrote it down. And then I stopped. My perfectionism had tied me on a short leash, and I finally went around the pole enough times that the slack was gone.

What unwound me was a writing instructor whose message is “just keep writing.” You don’t have to write the story in order—just write the quilt square that comes to you today, and assemble the pieces of the quilt later. Write. Write!

California poppies

California poppies near Huckleberry Botanic Preserve in Oakland

In other words, to actually complete a first draft of my novel, I will have to…write.

I went for a walk to think about one of my storylines, and I found a place away from people so I could dictate a scene into my voicemail. Transcribing it later, I heard birds chirping and wind whooshing past the phone.

I also used my phone to take a few photos. What I like about this one is the order and sharpness that coexist with the messiness and the lack of focus. That’s my process!

The suffix “-iferous” means producing or bearing, so here’s a new word: noveliferous. It sounds a little bit like a medical condition; maybe a nauseating one that makes you crazy. Perfect.