Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bum Glue

Every time I visit the washroom for an (ahem) lengthier stay, I always like to read a little excerpt (or two!) from Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul. I just read a fun little article by Bryce Courteney, an Australian author, who touts BUM GLUE as the single most important factor in creating the Great Novel.

What's bum glue, you ask? The simple act of sticking your caboose to your desk chair (preferably with a computer in front of you) for a minimum of three hours every day. No, you're not supposed to stare out the window. No, high scores in Solitaire don't count either. WRITING ... that is the only thing that matters. At least for three hours every day, that's all that matters.

Apparently I have not been applying a liberal enough amount of bum glue to my rear end because I have been sadly lacking in the writing department lately. Look, the last time I posted here was the first of January!!! Shameful!

I have been working slowly and tediously at editing my first book, The Journey of Endings (I hate the title, but it's only a working title and it's better then calling it by, well, nothing). Editing is the worst writing job there is. At least when you're the author of the first draft, that is. Easy enough to go in there and tear up someone ELSE's writing, but darn near impossible to be critical with your own.

A lot of my problem is that I'm distracted by the other stories roaming around in my head. The ones I haven't been able to give voice to yet because I'm determined to finish The Journey first. And even worse still is the writhing green envy that lurks in my soul over my husband's newest book. Oooooh, I want a book like his!!!

And you want to know the even worst part still??!! I gave him the story. That's right. It's my story, only he's going to write it.

See, David and I have this weird symbiotic relationship thing going on in regard to our writing. With our first books, we each had the basic premise, but all the nifty details, the meat of the stories, came from our respective partner. I gave David all the great details for his first book Curiosity, and he in turn fed me the details for The Journey. And so it was with this newest book of his, only more so:

One Sunday morning David says "I'd sure like to write a book about pirates some day". Which I'm not surprised by because David has always loved pirates and in particular he's always been fascinated by Oak Island, a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia that legend says was used exclusively by pirates to hide their treasure. To which I responded "Hey, you know what would make a great story?" ... and proceeded to GIVE him said great story, and wow, it's a doozey!!! It is so good, I am just beyond myself with jealousy!

Poor David, I'm not being very gracious because a couple times he has said "You can write it, if you want!". But the truth is, I know it isn't my story. Yes, it came out of my mouth, but I swear it had not previously been in my head. I don't know I was channelling David's inner thoughts or if I am simply his Muse and this is how it works or if it was a gift from God. I don't know. All I know is, it's an amazing story that I SAID in about fifteen minutes that while I'm jealous of his opportunity to write it, I know is HIS story to tell. All I can say is, he'd better do a darn good job!!

In the meantime, I've applied some bum glue this morning and hope it is sufficient to keep me here for my allotted time. But I need a muse of my own so I think I'll visit here more often then once every six weeks to feed my own muse. Writing out my frustrations seems to be good for me because my book is calling me (finally!) so I must go. Thanks for the help!