The good news is that I get to work with Lisa Moore in October. The wee confession is that I’m not working toward the November 30 deadline anymore.
Let me explain.
From October 22-27, I’ll be attending the Piper’s Frith writer’s workshop organized by the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s being held at Kilmory Resort in Swift Current, NL. So not only do I get to have a week in a resort, but I’ve just learned that my mentor will be Lisa Moore. Yes, the same Lisa Moore who has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize (February (2010) and twice for the Giller Prize (Open (2002), Alligator (2005)).
So between Ed and Lisa, my entire book will be reviewed and critiqued by award-winning novelists.
Takes a minute for that sentence to sink in, doesn’t it?
This is truly a glorious opportunity for me, and I want to make sure I take time to consider each of their suggestions. I may still make the November 30 deadline for the Percy Janes First Novel Award, but it’s not my raison d’être anymore. And if I don’t make it this year, there’s always next year. This whole experience is teaching me a lot about the creative process, my writing style and what it takes to pen a great book. Not a good book – a great book. In my opinion, time is a key ingredient.
For whatever reason, ideas need to swirl around in my head for a little while before they mature from ok, to good, to really cool. I like to think it’s a bit like ageing wine. Even if you start with the best grapes in the world, if you rush the process or uncork the bottle too soon, you’ll get vinegar.
I’ve reached the point in this book where it feels like the story already exists somewhere – in the air maybe, or a parallel universe – and my job is to catch it and write it down. It almost feels like someone is granting me access to it – the implied responsibility being that I must record the whole story, and not just what I can divine by November 30.
It’s kinda cool and spooky all at the same time.
So I’m still forging full steam ahead on the book. Still plugging in crazy long days and all that jazz. But I’m not stressing about the self-imposed deadline of November 30. I’d rather produce a polished book in January than a mostly-done book in November. I think my readers would prefer that too.
Here’s a clip of Lisa Moore talking about the writing process: