Saturday, 5 March 2011

Yogurt, Dr. Freud?

rain, mild, temps plus 5

I keep thinking it's unseasonably warm, then remember we're into March...and anything can happen. March and April - real messes here in southern Canada. I remember being in the St Patrick's Day Parade, through Montreal. This was when I was a host on CBC Radio. They put us into an open car - convertible. It snowed. It always seems to snow on March 17th. The parade is famous for it. It's known as the last snow of the season.

That's a lie. We've sometimes had snowstorms (albeit rare) in May.

So at this time of year it rains, and snows, and freezing rain, and hails and sleets. But, c'est la vie.

Writing going well. Wrote 13-hundred words today and finished a chapter. I'm feeling oddly calm. Relaxed. But a reflection of not caring, but I think of feeling quite sure of the story, and enjoying where I need to take it. I'm not one of those writers who does best in pain, or anxiety, or fear.

If I'm actively fearful my writing will be terrible. I'll be trying too hard. Often trying to impress. Like trying to hit a golf ball a million miles and only end up hooking or slicing or dubbing it completely. But when I'd be relaxed and happy, my swing would be natural and the ball would sail out there. And I'd enjoy the round.

Writing is like that for me. I think about a book for months before I start. Research. Read. Sit quietly and empty my mind. Sit quietly and fill my mind. Listen to music. Read poetry.

And then, start to write.

I need to be calm and confident. And while it's difficult it can and must still be joyful. When I feel like that I'm open to the universe. Not writing to impress others. Not writing out of fear. But instead feeling confident enough to take chances. When I'm afraid I play it safe. Take no chances, go down no dead ends. I don't explore and take risks.

As a result, when I write in fear or stress when happens is OK. But OK isn't nearly good enough. It was once, many years ago. But no more. Now I need to do my best. And then try to do better. And the only way I can get there is to be filled with joy. that fuels courage. Besides, it makes the writing so much more fun.

But I did have an odd dream last night (feel free to glaze over about now). I dreamed one of the books was being made into a film. We were all getting to the set - preparing. And suddenly (can you guess?) - I realized I was supposed to write the screenplay. And I hadn't.

oh oh.

then the actor playing Gamache completely ignored me - except to ask for yogurt.

I'm frankly just grateful I kept my clothing on throughout the dream.

Perhaps I'm not quite as calm and worry-free as I think. Still, I did manage to find the yogurt.


Karen said...

So glad you are feeling calm, but that dream sounds a bit like little niggles of unrest creeping in: the naughty gremlins trying to sabotage your Karma. I am sure all us who love the solid certainty that your books will be superbly constructed and wonderful to read will be sending lots of positive encouraging thoughts your way! Enjoy St. Pat's day and be calm and well. I for one am sitting on the edge of my reading chair, waiting.....happily waiting to read more about Inspector Gamache and all the supporting cast of wonderfully real characters you create. Old friends.

Lori said...

Your dream gave me a big chuckle. Then I set off imagining what actor might play Gamache. A fun respite from a cold, rainy, icy, sleety (is there such a word?) day in a very gray and dreary Toronto.

Diane said...

How wonderful you are able to approach writing with a calm, focused mind, willing to take chances and risks. And it shows in all your glorious writing.

martha said...

Yogurt? As far as I can remember, Gamache never had yogurt. His taste in food is exquisite. Since it was the actor playing him the one who asked you for it, he was definitely a fake. Maybe that's all there is to the dream!

Brenda B. said...

But yogurt is exquisite! Or can be, at least the thick, Greek variety with nice fruit (cranberries, blueberries, bananas) and granola on top.

I love hearing about your process, and your dreams, Louise.

Wishing you many joyful days working on this next book.

Best to you and Michael,

Brenda B. in Maine

Anonymous said...

My friends and I have fun casting OURSELVES in a movie from (pick any one) of your books.

I choose to be Ruth, like ducks.

And tell Gamache I will make him yogurt, the real home made kind.

Annie in Rochester NY