Thursday, June 12, 2008


Shanna, an artist, created this silhouette of me and I created the background. This was a few weeks ago when I was first thinking about the novel writing challenge. I realized today that it is an accurate visual of who I am right now (including the horn at the top, which is also the curl on the top of my forehead). My head is filled with broad strokes, small moments, Irish music, the bees of my story and the somewhat neglected bees in my yard, exciting storms and passionate chemistry, too much chatter and not enough silence.

I've written ten chapters and over 18,000 words in the past 12 days but am still 2,000 words behind where I'd like to be by now. But that's O.K. While getting behind, I was discovering a wonderfully useful but horrifically true article about GMOs, about the Irish potato famine and about bees, all of which are in some way in my book. Doesn't it sound like light reading? The article is not, but I am hoping the book will be.

I met a really interesting columnist the other night at the GA Organics event. She is wonderful with words. She writes a column called woman to woman that compares a conservative woman's point of view on a topic to that of a liberal woman- the woman I met - Andrea Sarvady. We talked the other night about how unusual it is for women to get into it with other women about politics or religion. Men are much more likely, in person, to duke it out and try to convince the other guy that they are right. Women do it more anonymously I think, via blogs or email.

Lastly, I saw a film last night that was very quiet and moving called The Secret life of Words. Tim Robbins is in it and he is so different than in anything else I've ever seen him in. I liked it a lot.


Kaat said...

Ten chapters! I'm so impressed!

It took me 12 months to write 135.000 words. Now I need to write a one page query letter and a four page synopsis and I can't do it. Sigh.

Did I run out of words? I don't think so. But at some point the story just wants a rest, especially if it has been "telling itself", as they say.

You are my inspiration right now! We can do it!

Kaat said...

I forgot to say it's a beautiful image. Even with the "horn". It captures the complexity of the writing life, that is so much more for a mother (parent).

Madeline said...

Kaat, you're the one! You wrote a real book. This is just getting out a number of words by a certain date. Then, I can go back and maybe turn it into something. I can see how this last step of your's would be the hardest. Can you get a friend or editor who is more objective to write it for you?

Deanne said...

Wow! Ten chapters, at the same time as living life??! You go, girl! ;)

Rachel said...

Wow, Madeline! That is truly impressive. I am so excited for you, and the bits you have revealed about it so far have me ready to read it!

And a beautiful semi-self portrait. :)

And oh, one more thing, I ordered The Secret Life of Words right after I watched the trailer you provided. Looks like a good one.

Angie said...

Thanks for the links, Madeline. The GMO/beekeeping site was sobering, huh?

Sounds like you are plugging along on your novel - 18,000 words! Awesome job.

Heading off to read the conservative/liberal article!

Kat said...

I am most impressed with how much you are getting done...and then you come here and write something meaningful as well.

And about the politic/religion thing...I keep my opinions to myself. I seem to "click" with women who have the opposite views on those subjects...even in the blogging world. And I just cannot fathom "outing" myself.

Madeline said...

Deanne, I'm not living my normal life this month as Jesse wanted to do a bunch of camps. Gillen will be in two the next few weeks. If it was business as usual with my kids, there is no way!

Rachel, let me know if you like the movie. It takes a while to get going but hang in there. It's worth it.

Angie, yes - so sobering and I thought that it was really well written.

Kat, I hear you. No need to out yourself, and no judgments coming from here if you ever do - no matter what (I say that now, but hen you'll tell me you worship mice and I'll have something to say; )! I think we can share certain parts of ourselves with out having to share or agree on all of our parts. But I am fascinated by the differences.