Sunday, 25 July 2010

Writing with Eclairs

sunny, cloudy, sunny. temps 26

We're in Montreal. Ahh. Really more or less fled here. Felt too many hands grasping at us. Nothing hurtful - all great and understandable - but it added up to just too much stress. So we ran away to the big city. God, does it feel great. And how lucky we are to have this small bolt-hole in this great city. We met friends last night, then headed in, arriving about 9pm. Phew. You all know what it's like...when you break free of stress. Wow.

It's amazing when the least stressful thing in my life is writing the book. If I could just concentrate on that - and had no other distractions - I'd be fine. But, such is life. And most of the distractions come from a successful career. But I think I need to get better at boundaries. Saying no.

Honestly, thank God for Lise and Michael - and Marjorie, the Facebook elf! And even so, I stagger sometimes. Cn you imagine what my life would be like if I actually had to live it myself?

Michael and I had breakfast at Nick's, then back to the apartment to write. I'd hoped to finish this third draft of the book, but didn't quite manage it. Had 45 pages to do, and only managed 20 in seven hours. One scene needed to be severely edited and re-organized, and that took a great deal of time...and most of the rest of the 20 pages needed work. Not huge, but sometimes the little things take the longest...trying to find just the right connection...the turn of phrase. Taking out something that's clunky, but needing to find something subtle and suitable.

Of course, gobbling pastries did eat into some of that time. The literary life.

Now I'm hoping to finish tomorrow. It is bliss writing interruptions! If I finish tomorrow that means I can concentrate on the upcoming spca tea. It's coming together really well - thanks to a whole lot of work by a whole lot of volunteers.


Reine said...

What? You want a life? Writing about goose poop might be the way to get there then. Honk alors!

Robin Agnew said...

You are very generous with your time and of yourself - glad you have a respite.

Reine said...

BTW... Just finished another chapter in that book - sitting upright - well almost. Thanks again to you and Lise, Danny and Lucy. So go back to your eclair break, or were you breaking eclairs?


Ilonka Halsband said...

Louise, I've wondered how you cope with all you do - even knowing that you have help with some of it. I love the way you fit your fans into your daily life, but please take care of yourself (and Michael)first. Your wonderful writing comes from that.

Jodi Kaplan said...

@Reine, honk alors! LOL!

@Louise, that image of you honking back at the geese was so funny! And I'm so glad you go through the time and effort to edit (and re-edit) what you've written. I just finished one book and abandoned another (non-fiction) by authors who didn't edit. I wanted to go out and buy a whole case of blue pencils!

june said...

Congratulations on your escape. I find that Napoleons work almost as well as eclairs in fueling the writing process.

Dana said...

@Jodi, I can relate to your comment. I find I am abandoning more books than I finish and have resorted to Harper's Mag to get me through as I wait for Bury Your Dead.

Wonderful weather for Montreal. Have a lovely break, Louise.

Jill said...

Sometimes all it takes is a wonderful pastry, and all is right in the world.

Marjorie said...

What I loved most about the last post (Zoot alors)is that in reading about your experiences, I can see that Clara and Myrna and Armand and even Ruth (!) spring from your daily life as well as from your fertile imagination! What fun.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

thanks for understanding...and like you all, loved Reine's Honk Alors. someone wrote privately to point out, quite rightly, that it's not Zoot alors, but Zut alors. But now I will always think of it as honk.

Feels so good to finish this draft...and to realize that I need to not dive into the next, but concentrate on other things now. So I can do what needs to be done, and enjoy it too.

You really are lovely.