My apologies for being away so long. It’s unconscionable, I know, but in the meantime I’ve published four stories, a novelette of 12,000 words and several reviews. Two more acceptances came this week and the new writing continues.
In fact, writing “in a vacuum” is on my mind. There’s a feeling in writing camps and among other frustrated scriveners that the Web interrupts their creative juices. Could I write in a digital vacuum? No, never! I can’t any longer imagine a world without Facebook, the Internet, my iPhone and Wi-Fi. I’m not a cut-and-paste writer, but there are sources that need to be looked up, facts to be checked, names and places to be verified.
I just completed a 3,000-word story in two days this week. It started when I stumbled across a person named Cameo. Great metaphorical name. What’s a cameo? Had to look it up for the tension between black and white, smooth and rough.
Then Sheryl Sandberg (Leaning Forward) intruded with the insight that likability and success are correlated for men, but inversely affect women. Okay. Good tension for a woman entering my fictional affair with a professional acquaintance.
The other main character is named Batman, like my 9th grade classmate in Pasadena. Is there really such a name? Yes, it’s Anglo-Saxon from Derbyshire and comes from bat, or boat. Thank you houseofnames.com.
I was troubled over my blah ending when my star-crossed lovers agree to see each other at the next year’s conference. Image of a library book being returned to the lover? Nah. Then it came to me: the phrase signifying epiphany: “I once was lost and now am found.” Yes! Biblical? No, it’s a lyric from “Amazing Grace.” Thank you, Google. All this research while banging out copy.
So, pooh on Yaddo and other writers’ retreats that have no Wi-Fi, little or no Internet access, that all but ban telephones. I’m wired! Junot Diaz wonders how many novels he will not have written because of his digital linkage. How about you?