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a fizzle on Friday

After that rant yesterday, I began work on an essay that was half done, and sat for six hours rewriting, shaping, adding, moving a line from here to there.  The deadline for the CBC Literary Competition is tomorrow; I’ve entered before, though not for a few years, and have been shortlisted three times.  A deadline is a very good thing for a freelance writer.  So I wrote and rewrote till after midnight (taking a break for Jon Stewart), felt good about the work, printed it and went to bed.

Reread it first thing this morning.  It doesn’t work.  Way too big, once again – I cannot resist the panoramic sweep, the vast vista, rather than the small, telling moment that, explored in detail, actually means much more.  I am cramming in one of the huge stories of my life; the reader is exhausted by far too big a story to fit into a 2500 word essay.  And other stories I’ve considered for the competition are too small.  If you’re entering a competition, you have to choose a  story that fits the allotted word count.
So is that six hours – plus the many other hours spent getting the piece underway – wasted? Well, for this year’s competition, yes.  For my life as a writer, not at all.  I’ve got the basis of a much bigger piece and have learned yet again to slow down, shrink the scope, focus.  And all that work with words is pure pleasure.  What else would I have done with my evening?  Well, if someone had given me a ticket, I could have seen Prokofiev’s War and Peace at the Canadian Opera, that would have been a great use of my time.  I could have gone for a long walk or visited a friend.  Instead I wove words.  The tapestry isn’t ready for viewing yet.  But it will be. 
Today is bright and not so cold, so I’ll go out and get my face in the sun.  And then I’ll sit down with the bloody thing and start again.  Or maybe start another.  Back to the loom.   



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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