What a week. I run into a wall in my story, slam right into it, knock myself out, and lie on the ground feeling sorry for myself for several days. Why do I do this for a living? Why is it so hard at times? What am I going to do if I can’t come up with a solution?
I lose myself in the Democratic Convention: Will Hiliary acquiesce gracefully? (More than gracefully–magnificently–and I love the orange pantsuit and sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit.) Will Bill come through? (Not only does he come through, but he encapsulates the issues before the American people neatly and succinctly and into perfect sound bites.) Will Obama’s speech be all it has to be? (It’s more so. He’s the most inspiring orator I’ve heard since Martin Luther King or John Kennedy.) I overdose on research: rereading two entire biographies of Louis XIV and of his mother. Just so I don’t have to look at how painful it is to be stopped in my tracks by the story I’m writing.
Annie Dilliard says that when such happens there’s a crack in your story, and you have to go back and reexamine the structure. I do so, not willingly, but I see a possibility for finishing the story off, not the way I expected, but the way the story has shaped itself intrinsically, organically. There’s a writer’s idea of a story, and then there’s the story. I always forget that.
I pick myself back up only to find McCain has nominated a woman, and not only a woman, but a hell of a woman, a pistol packing mama-governor of five who is evangelical and a beauty queen and the mother of a Down’s Syndrome child. What drama. I can’t surpass real life. And Hurricane Gustav is out in the Gulf, at this moment ignoring my Gulf home city, but not New Orleans. So I’ll sit myself in the chair tomorrow thankful that the storm is bypassing me, but praying for the folks on the Louisiana coast and watching McCain behave gracefully under this pressure and seeing where this force of nature will decide to land itself and what will be destroyed as a result. It makes my 17th century politics look like nothing and puts my personal angst in true perspective in this big old world….nothing, just nothing.