I’ve been trying to tighten the plot of my novel in the saggy spot between pages 200 and 300. More dialogue, I tell myself! More sex! Better sex! Worse sex! Okay, no sex! Cut! Cut! Cut!
Nothing is working and I’m worn out from the effort of trying to tighten a novel while juggling various other activities. Writing fiction these days feels like bailing out a floundering love affair, and I’m all the more desperate because it used to be so much fun.
Furthermore, it’s Mercury retrograde which I’m told is to be followed by a Monster Moon. And my computer has died so I’m working on a notebook whose keyboard sometimes rearranges itself as if the machine has had it’s own little version of a stroke.
And I should feel lucky to have such minor problems, etc.
By 9 p.m. I’m good for little other than watching DVDs, so have been happy to have Season Two of Game of Thrones to make me forget my troubles. And forget them I did, the other night. I found the actress who will would be ideal for Rebecca, my statuesque protagonist, in the movie version of my novel! She is the majestic Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth in the series.
It was, I thought, a sign that my novel would not only lose its sag, it would get published and eventually made into a film.
And while Brienne fought off some invaders, I fell into a debate with myself. Well I shouldn’t dignify it with the term ‘debate’. It was more like the kind of waffling I used to do in my head when I was single and lonely and met someone I knew was completely unsuitable but convinced myself I should get involved anyway just because it wasn’t good to make a habit of expecting the worst.
Brienne presented a kind of flickering hope that was interesting mostly because it demonstrated how discouraged I have been feeling about the whole Quixotic enterprise of writing. This poor, sagging novel has so many life threatening dangers to go through. Finding a publisher, having the publisher stay in business long enough for it to get out, struggling for whatever scraps of attention I’m able to garner for it. To name a few.
Imagine what would happen if all the barriers just disappeared and the resources just materialized. What if the appearance of Gwendoline Christie on our living room wall meant that this quest to complete my work must inevitably succeed. Disappointments in both love and art have put me on guard against that kind of thinking. Brutal realism has served me better in both areas of my life.
But I sure would like Brienne to travel beside me for a while.
In case you haven’t met her: