Sunday, October 28, 2007

Too Long Gone

Finished the food essay yesterday. Plan to submit it to a St. Louis foodie magazine on Monday, my first such submission anywhere. Wish me luck.

Writing the piece has been a blessing, no matter what happens. I read the call for submissions on a Missouri Writer's web site and spent a couple days writing bits and pieces that eventually led me to a unifying theme. From there, ideas presented themselves, night and day, until the best ones bobbed to the surface.

I wrote two thirds of the piece like reeling in sunfish. Then, right on cue, the story cut my line and swam away. I kept casting but nothing bit. For a day or so, it looked like the piece would die from a lack of oxygen, be thrown onto the compost heap of unfinished projects in my hard drive.

But, no. On Thursday, my laptop and I went into the weeds. I wrote and rejected bits and pieces for a middle, the same way I do for beginnings. The ending had come in the original burst. The way to get there eluded me.

Know what? I found it, the path, the way, the connection. Writing along, talking about lettuce greens, something picked up my story and delivered it, full circle, to the end without me even noticing. I actually gasped when I recognized what happened: Like any of the big ones, it snuck up on me.

That feeling, the one where dots are being connected without conscious thought, that's the reason I keep writing. When it's gone too long, I miss it.


Mystic Wing said...

If it's one of the pieces I think it is, it's indeed fine writing, from one of Missouri's finest.

Deb said...

Congratulations, Jerri! Be sure to let us know when your piece is published - I know it will be.

This is one of the best descriptions I've read of what happens when we get out of our own way and let the story come. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Suzy said...

I'm with Deb and of course Mr. MM-

Love when those fucking dots connect!!!

Love you..


Carrie Wilson Link said...

Know EXACTLY what you're talking about - so well said! Tell us when we can read your published article - I can't wait!

kario said...

If they don't publish it, they are nuts. I love it and I haven't even read it. There's something to be said for having a beautiful process.