Ring the bells that still can ring...

Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything --
That's how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen

It has been a lovely few days.

The photo shoot on Thursday was an absolute hoot, thanks to my photographer, Jensen Hande, who has a great personality and knows just how to coax out my inner warrior and my inner wimp. (Not that the wimp took much coaxing.) Hopefully I'll have some pics to share soon to show you what I mean!

On Friday I went to the sea. I don't do this too much in the summer, because it's too hot and crowded. But Friday was stormy and cool (a relative term here), and well, I just felt like it, so I went. It's a 20 mile drive, and parts of that drive are icky and never to be attempted during rush hour, but other parts are beautiful with tall bridges that shoot you off into the sky, and water water everywhere, and big boats. I LOVE big boats.

And when I got to the sea, there was a rainbow!

I had a wonderful walk and sang at the top of my lungs and when it rained I went inside and ate a sandwich and read some Rumer Godden. Then the sun set, and I drove home across sparkling water and the sparkling city. At home, I sat down with a cup of tea, and wrote and wrote until 6 am.

Saturday afternoon I woke up writing. I'm trying to write this new scene for Book 3 that's a conversation between two characters in the back garden, and I've been mulling over this scene from the beginning, which means that there are post-it notes and grocery receipts scattered all over the house on which are written Very Important Points Which I Must Not Forget. I spent some time assembling the notes, and was justifiably puzzled by some of them. One said, "The revelation MUST be chilling." Seems like good advice, but it'd be more useful if I had the slightest idea what the revelation was. There's a revelation? Sigh... Another note, with asterisks marking its importance, said, "coming unhinged, going balmy, going round the bend." ?? Another said in all caps, "HOW DO HENS SLEEP?" and another said, "How long b4 back on feet if stabbed in gut?" And a third: "cy is cracked b42c4G but not [illegible] 4Bb." ????


Anyway, I wrote many, many pages, about half of which I crossed out, but that's okay, that's what this book seems to be like -- I write the wrong thing about 5 times, and that brings me around to the right thing. I hope?


On Sunday I listened to NPR for ages, and then I puttered, and then I had a lovely dinner with Joe. And then I came home, watched some of the best swimming ever swum, and got back to writing. This novel is either about nothing or about too many things. This novel is quite possibly going to be the one that proves I cannot write a book. But! I push on! Nothing can stop me! If I go down, I will go down screaming!

It was also a weekend of wonderful birthday greetings from my family and friends, who rock my socks. This included some astonishing music from my sister Dac, whose code name, I've decided, is Apocalyptica. Here's an excerpt from her note accompanying the music: "Apocalyptica is a Finnish heavy metal band. They are three classically trained cellists and one drummer. They tend to play with their shirts off. Their first CD was entirely Metallica covers, and it was called Plays Metallica by Four Cellos. I'm going to see them in Hartford in September!"

Are you beginning to see why I had such a marvelous weekend?

I'll close this long and erratic post with some life instructions from Martha Graham, paraphrased by Ursula Nordstrom, and found by me in the intro to the book Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

Have a good year, everyone!


Anonymous said…
Apocalyptica is freaking awesome. I think they've kind of moved away from the purity of their first album as they've added things like more sound processing and a drummer, but I keep thinking I should start taking cello lessons and they're the major reason why.
Amanda said…
matthew and i love apocalytica, too! if you liked them, you might like rasputina, too.
NoGrandmother said…
So how long IS it before one is back on one's feet after a stab wound to the gut?

I had major abdominal surgery once (NB to Universe: please make that ONLY once), and those mean jerks made me get up on the second day and walk to the end of the hallway and back.

It was about 50 feet. It took more than half an hour. But then I got morphine!
R Williams said…
I believe that hens sleep on top of their eggs with their heads sort of tucked into their wings. They don't really change much from when they're awake.
redpop said…
stumbled on your site after reading about graceling. always entertaining. keep the channel open is a long time favorite quote of mine that i thought was from the dancer m. graham....i wonder if she was quoting ursula...off to research that....
Kristin Cashore said…
Owlet, I'll let you know as soon as I ask my uncle, who's an expert on such things. :o) And, ugh. That does not sound as if it was pleasant!

Who knew I was the last person on earth to hear of Apocalyptica? :o)

Renie, actually, I'm pretty sure Ursula borrowed it from Martha. Good catch! And my bad for not giving MG credit....
Kristin Cashore said…
Renie, PS -- oh dear, I just looked at your own blog, and saw the MG quote -- I had no idea UN had borrowed it so closely! I'm going to go back and edit my post, to give credit where credit is due.
Unknown said…
This was the perfect post for me today. I feel the same way about rewriting everything as you do--I've totally rewritten huge chunks of my WIP. And the poem was just lovely. Thank you so much!

PS--I posted a link to this from my blog, hope you don't mind :) It was just too perfect not to share.
Kristin Cashore said…
Beth, thanks for linking to me! And good luck with your own writing. I recommend ice cream to keep up your strength. (At least, I'm eating some right now, and I think it's helping....) :o)
Corey Wright said…
As an aspiring writer myself (for young adult fantasy/sci-fi), I just wanted to say that I find your blog incredibly encouraging.

I struggle on a daily basis with my own plot lines, and making sense of my own mess of notes, and it's so reassuring to see someone who is where I want to go with my writing doing the same things I do, and feeling the same way about the process that I do at times.

I'm bookmarking this for sure! And I can't wait for Graceling! (I was something on Amazon.com, that's how I found my way here).
redpop said…
hey! thanks for following up. i didn't expect that. thank you.
Kristin Cashore said…
Renie, I couldn't bear to have cited the wrong person! :o) Thank you for bringing it up.

And Corey, I completely understand. I also find it immensely comforting to realize that other writers go through all the same frustrations and insecurities -- no matter how "successful" they are. We are all normal. :o) I wish you the best of luck, and happy writing!

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