Hello, dear reader. How are you doing?
It's been on my mind lately to come here for the sole purpose of excusing myself for not being here, but Izzy said I'm always announcing blog breaks and it depressed me to acknowledge the truth of her words.
There's something about such excuses of absence which bothers me...they seem self important, a tad pathetic, and probably unnecessary.
I suspect everyone who visits Tollipop has, by this point, figured out it's not a daily blog, as much as I wish it was. And I doubt blog etiquette, if there is such a thing, requires one to announce writing breaks...yet when I miss a few days I get anxious, picturing you sitting at some table in the woods, wondering where I am.
So from now on I'll stop making these disclaimers...at least until I start worrying about someone feeling abandoned again.
At any rate, you'd think I'd be finished with the first revision of my novel but as it happens, I'm not.
I am, however, in the final chapter!
I was listening to a podcast from The New Yorker yesterday while on my way to pick up Izzy, a conversation with the writer Joyce Carol Oates, who said (in effect) pure inspiration rarely comes with the initial writing of a piece, but generally manifests iftself through the process of revision.
I was very encouraged to hear that.
It made me wonder what one of Charles Portis's original drafts might look like. Or Tobias Wolff's. Or Donna Tartt's, whose latest novel I don't dare read at the moment in case I derail altogether.
And while the process of revision is seemingly endless, I've sort of promised myself when I reach the end of this first time through, I'm going to ask a few friends if they'll read it for me and give me their general reaction. The thought dangles in front of me like some sort of prize, like an acknowledgement this isn't all confined to my imagination but that there really is an actual story to share.
It makes me shiver and smile.
Of course, there's always the possibility it won't be well received and this story may never be more real or resonant than what exists inside my head. I'm not pessimistic, but I'm also not delusional.
I can only keep fussing over these words and trying to coax from them the inspiration I know they're capable of revealing.
Finally, and most interesting of all, Sherlock molted during the night!
This is how I found him first thing in the morning, something about it so poignant, fascinating, and joyous to behold.