Monday, October 3, 2011
My book proposal is DONE!
The book, Tired of Having the Same Old Argument, is born. Its infant stage, a book proposal, is DONE!
This week it will take its first step, out of my hands and into the world. Into the literary world of agents, and then publishers, and then book stores, book mailers, and finally it will find its new homes, with readers who will translate the pictograms in black and white first back into sound, and then thought and then finally, back into understanding - my understanding about love and marriage - and the cycle will be complete.
This kind of writing, trying to hand what I understand to another is new to me. It’s not at all like the poetry or self-reflective prose I’ve written for years in writing groups. Those groups let me form words in the moment and pin them down like butterflies, and then just admire the natural beauty of it all.
This writing is more like stone sculpture. Elise and I went to the Accademia Gallery in Florence that has some of Michelangelo’s unfinished work. You can still see the huge stone block and the heavy hammer blows he used to cut away what was not wanted. In some cases, his chisel made it all the way in to where the hand or an elbow should be and unable to resist it, he changed to a lighter hammer and a smaller chisel, and he carved not just flesh, but veins beneath the skin appear. So incongruous a quarter inch from rough hewn stone, and yet so completely convincing you can see the pulse if you stare.
Writing non-fiction seems just like that to me. You block out ideas, hammer them down to the paper, and from time to time, polish some perfect moment right down to the pulsing life of your original thought.
Then the polishing begins. Chipping away the not-quite-right, turning a sentence around and round until the words recede and the living meaning is all that can be seen.
After months of polishing, the few chapters I have finished say as close to exactly what I wanted to say as I can imagine. I’m sure the reader will agree. I can feel it.
The question is: will those employed in the business of publishing, agree?