Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

My favorite commercial is one that has been running for a couple of years, at the end of August-beginning of September, in which a father is shown scooting up and down the aisles of a big-box office supplies store on a shopping cart, while that old Andy Williams Christmas song plays. Behind him, like tiny refugees from a funeral march, are a boy and girl. It's the back to school season.

What this means, of course, is that Christmas break, as lovely as it was, is over, and I'm back to work on the book. For me, the first few days after a break are always frustrating, filled with moments of lovely inspiration and moments of slogginess, where my brain appears to need to have its synapses cleaned. I spend a good deal of time staring out windows. On the other hand, sometimes a break will give me fresh eyes to see what should not be there, or what I omitted in the first pass. Given that this particular book has been very recalcitrant (no fewer than five starts--two of them well over a hundred pages!) fresh eyes are very useful.

Off to find a window to stare out of...

5 Comments:

Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Ever since you posted this, I've had the song stuck in my head. But I have to say, it's a very pleasant earworm, as earworms go.

How goes the writing?

12:11 PM  
Blogger LauraJMixon said...

I know exactly what you mean, Madeleine -- I'm in rather the same boat with my latest book. Though I finally seem to be picking up some momentum, after several days of fits and starts.

I have confidence you'll get into a good groove soon. In the meantime, strength to your writing arm and hang in there.

Btw, I've really been enjoying your posts, and I'm glad you started a blog. And, what Maureen said about the earworm...you fiend!


-l.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

When I was working at Tor, Claire Eddy and I would meet in the hallway every morning to synchronize our earworms; we both had tiny children, which meant we both saw a certain amount of early morning Sesame Street, and would check to find out which song had worked its way into our heads. I can still sing any number of them (I kinda miss Sesame Street some mornings).

Laura! Lovely to see your phosphors! Drop by any time!

Mad

2:14 PM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

I am usually quite vulnerable to earworms, but am missing this one. I think low-grade frustration (kids home sick the first two days of the new week, and school weather closings the next two) and low-grade pain (convalesence is slow) are keeping the beasts at bay.

Are you retyping printout into a new file, Mad?

5:34 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Yes, Greg. New files, one per chapter. Even the appearence of activity makes me feel useful.

7:48 AM  

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