|Illustration by M. Kelly|
On Christmas Eve, with very little time, I tried to write a follow-up story with the characters introduced at Halloween of 2015. I had pleasing photos for illustration, showing dolls by artist Sandy Mastroni which had inspired the original piece. I had a blurry idea of the shape I wanted the story to take, elements I wanted to include. After a couple hours it was as weighty as an anchor and all I could do was put it aside until either the story or I managed to lighten up. Still waiting.
On FB today, a friend mentioned the challenge of naming characters in fiction, with useful suggestions added to the comment thread, reminding me I have novel-length work just sitting there. That seems to leave me adding Fiction Reworking to my list of Stuff I Would Like to Turn Into Habit. I've discussed the Chair Yoga, plus working with hand weights, plus Art Every Day or So Help Me. Then there's the fact of a daily nap not being an option but a necessity. All this may require me to become more serious about time, about where the boundaries are. Seeing things blocked out, in my planner, for instance, is not my norm. As with time generally, I tolerate, actually welcome, its fluid aspects as I experience them. But I doubt that sort of relationship gets books written.
So. There IS no reason why there can't be fiction. I assume if there can be little fiction, there might be big fiction. What was unthinkable yesterday becomes a possibility today. The universe as I have come to know it is fluent in encouragement. It rubs its galactic palms together at the thought of surprising us with our own most deeply held desires, seeming to wander, whistling, through the neighborhood as we write an episode here, a chapter there, thinking of them as short-short stories. As we humans tend to be greater than the sum of our parts, perhaps the same is true of building a novel using the model of the Add-A-Pearl necklace.
It is a daunting word, novel. For now, I may speak of my Add-A-Pearl necklace. We will know what I mean.