Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Book I'm Not Writing, Rachel 2

Tango Dress

It is amazing how much time I spend thinking about a story I am not writing. It is even more amazing how anxious it makes me when I consider how lazy I am (a true novelist would perhaps look forward to figuring out such details as a story's time period and accompanying artifacts, would look forward to finding the answers to questions such as, "How do you, in fact, make a shoe?").

I do not want to answer these questions or dig for the details I would need. I remind myself that it's okay. I am not writing this story.

Still. This particular character has been hanging out in my head for a good seven years. When I first met her, she was strolling in the park, walking a dog. She looks the same. She is just as lovely and wears the same grey shoes. She is not nearly as bold. Her name is the same, and her Jewish heritage has traveled with her, but she is hanging out with sparrows instead of Golden Retrievers.

She is still meeting an Italian man, but he was much older before and rather talkative and married to... well, the same woman he will be married to here... except this wife is younger and I think she might even dance the Tango. Or something like that. Unfortunately, that is a detail I may have to put in and then take out when I discover the story's time period.

But that should be okay, right? Because how much work can it be to revise a story you aren't even writing?


Part One, if you haven't read it yet.

Pigeons were cooing just outside the window, and one appeared to be nesting in the geranium box. The geraniums should have been red this year. Last year she’d planted pink, and the year before a brilliant purple. But this year it was time again for red. Instead, a pigeon was staking her claim, making a place for little ones where the geraniums should be blooming.

A hand crossed Rachel's forehead and slipped a lock of silver hair behind her ear. It was Francis.

“Fifth Saturday, remember?” she said to him.

“I remember, Nana.”

Rachel lapsed into silence. The pigeons were still cooing and the sky was that kind of blue that makes you wonder if the whole world is floating in a universe of water.

A voice came from the other side of the room, “What’s she talking about, Frankie?”

“Oh, the fifth Saturday. That was the day she met my mother.”

“She loved your mother, yeah?”

Adored her. Not like how it was with my father. I think he scared her with his quiet ways. But my mom. Maria! They were like a tree and its shadow; one moved and the other bent to follow. You don't come by a friendship like that more than once in a lifetime.”

It was true, thought Rachel. She and Maria had met on the fifth Saturday.


Do you have a story you aren't writing? Add your link below and link back here from your post. Thanks! :)

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Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

I would indeed like to read more of this story you are not writing. Lots more.


8:57 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Damoff said...

I always say poets make the best novelists. I think it's because they see the world through a different lens, and they love and respect words for their music as much as their meaning. I look forward to reading more of the story you're not writing.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Getting caught up in the details of how to make shoes would keep you from writing the story you're not writing (see Steven Pressfield on these matters) . . . or maybe you're just going for a very economical non-written novel. The virtual works, too!

11:36 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Ah, too many stories I am not writing! Right now I'm not writing the story about eating my lunch while here at the hospital and how I am overjoyed that the filters are letting me visit blogs today! Yay!

Your storytelling is exquisite. I'm loving this un-story.

12:22 PM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

Echoing here ... lovely unwriting ...

12:24 PM  
Blogger Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

I like this: a Story we are not writing.

Yours is lovely -- the realest kind.

I may have to start not writing a story too :)

Love to you, LL

10:46 AM  
Blogger RissaRoo said...

Oh! Thank you for more of the Story You're Not Writing! I love it. And now I am even more curious than I was before! I love: "Instead, a pigeon was staking her claim, making a place for little ones where the geraniums should be blooming." I love how that whole passage tells you so much about your character, in so few words. I can't wait to read more, much more I hope!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

you are delightful, you know it?

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a great lead for writing, LL... inspiring, even when 'not written'

4:02 PM  

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