Some Days, It Works

garage plot

Some days – many days – this writing gig drives me a little starkers. There’s so much to wrestle, so many plot lines and characters and reactions to sort through, so many other writing-related things demanding attention (Facebook! Blog! Twitter! Newsletter! Website!), that I feel like a frog hopping from lily pad to lily pad. If I’m lucky, I don’t sink.

Today wasn’t like that.

Today, I didn’t plan on getting much (if anything) done. It was Yom Kippur, the girls & the husband were home, and I figured the day would be spent keeping people fed (okay, not Hubs – he was fasting) and entertained and out of my hair. Also, I had a dentist appointment.

But the dentist took much less time than I had planned. (I was in and out in 25 minutes, and that included going back and asking them to add the Mensch to a Yuletide cleaning appointment.) I got home in time to help Tsarina pick up toys from the driveway, then Hubs took the girls on an adventure. They were bookending their synagogue service with other activities. They would be gone for hours.

And there I was, with an empty blue-sky afternoon and a stack of index cards – the seeds od scenes from the book in progress – just waiting to be put in order.

I set up a tray table in the driveway. I made myself an iced latte. I loaded up on tape and stickers and blank index cards. And then I put my garage door to the best use ever, and laid out my book. Yep. On the garage door.

I’ve done this before and I love it. It’s fresh air and a giant blank space and the chance to talk to neighbors as they walk past. It’s hashing out my plot with chipmunks. It’s explaining to curious kids that I’m figuring out how best to tell a story. It’s the chance to step way back and squint at my cards and see – really SEE – where I need to add and where I must delete.

It is, in a nutshell, my favorite part of plotting a book.

And it makes this writing gig a total joy – if only for a day.