salt mine

I’m in the salt mine these days.

Not that I’m complaining. How lucky am I to have the luxury to spend hours toiling in the underground caves of my own mind.

But this stage is an odd one. Both exciting and irritating. It’s like having a compulsion: the novel simply will not let me go.

This morning, I was up at 4:30 re-writing a chapter. Then, upon waking at nine (after a cup of coffee and some sun-lamp therapy at 6, with J., before tumbling back into sleep), I revised another one, then another one.

When I took Mowat for a walk after that, the words kept coming so I had to work to memorize them until I could get home and jot the phrases down.

There are bits and pieces floating in my head like dust in sunlight, and I spend a lot of time just trying to catch them, stick them onto a page for later use. Images I want to include, fragments of information that need to be delivered earlier to the reader.

It is exciting, this part of the process. It’s like a Jello salad, when you open the fridge and find that it’s starting to set, the fruit hovering there, those tangerine lobes and wedges of pineapple.

So, this is where I’m at these days: dreaming of tropical fruit during day after day (after day) of dull sky (well, yesterday we had a couple hours of sun). The river is nearly frozen. I’ve got a chili in the slow-cooker. I’m taking a break now to do some knitting.

Then back to the novel, that hot, humid summer-time, my characters, my world.

Salt mine photo by Cristian Bortes