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Turning on the high beams

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

E.L. Doctorow

Yes, yes! So true! Words of comfort and wisdom.




What if the car you’re driving has only one radio station? And the DJ keeps up a steady monologue of Scooby Doo minutiae and sports speculation? The only time the station goes quiet is when the DJ falls asleep.

And what if the car you’re driving keeps stopping at places like:
the grocery store
the drugstore
the drycleaners
the party store
the bank
etc. … places that are not very exciting, but can’t be avoided for long.

And what if the car you’re driving stalls for many hours each day in the parking lot of a tall building downtown, and won’t start again until you’ve served your time inside the tall building?

And what if your husband keeps sliding over to sit next to you, and finally you think that he deserves a little attention, so you pull off onto a secluded dirt road and climb in the backseat with him for awhile?

And what if one (or more) friends is going through a really tough time, and you feel like you can’t just grab a burger from the drive-through for them … and that even though you know can’t do much to help, you can park long enough to bake a pumpkin pie for them?

And what if one of your tires is kind of wobbly and feels like it’s going to spin right off the wheel at some point, and the only thing that helps is to stop driving for awhile and recline your seat with a good book?

All of those stops are necessary, some are even enjoyable. But they make for a long trip.

You can still get there in the end.

But it will take longer than you like. It’s an amazing journey and you love the driving itself.

Yet you can’t help feeling impatient.

Comments

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peacebound
Oct. 20th, 2005 01:27 pm (UTC)
Detours are okay (especially ones with pumpkin pies :)

It's the dead ends that we need to avoid.

Love this post.
lkmadigan
Oct. 20th, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

I will picture my car driving down your Focus Road.
peacebound
Oct. 20th, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. I'd love the company :o)
beachalatte
Oct. 20th, 2005 11:48 pm (UTC)
this is why I try to make sure my lights stay hallogen :)
susanwrites
Oct. 22nd, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
Lovely posts. Remember that it's all those detours that enrich our writing too.
lkmadigan
Oct. 22nd, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I do forget that sometimes. It's good to be reminded.

As a matter of fact, while out running detour-ish errands this morning, my son and I stopped for donuts. We stood in line behind three fascinating young girls. Fascinating to me, anyway. They were either three very young hookers in need of donuts after getting off work, or three scantily-clad high school girls just waking up after a wild night out in their mini skirts and high heels.

I have already written up details about them ... I have an itch to put them in my WIP!
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