Now that I have parsed out most of my writing and reading into chapter categories, I am now beginning the rather overwhelming task of organizing each chapter into some sort of cohesive whole. It's daunting and exciting all at the same time. Throughout this process, I've had in the back of my mind something than Anne Lamott wrote in her book about writing, Bird by Bird. She had a novel that she had been working on for a long time, and it didn't seem to have the right feel or flow. She finally dedicated a weekend to organizing it, then cut every paragraph a part, with scissors, and literally reassembled the novel on the floor, moving one paragraph from the back towards the front, some from the middle towards the end, and so on. I feel that's what I'm doing right now. I've spent the past couple of hours labeling and tagging every paragraph in my notebook, and when I'm done, I'm going to literally cut them out, and put them back together. I'll then know what's there, and what's lacking, and begin working on fine tuning this particular chapter.
I have a sense of urgency, since I have some exciting possibilities of meeting some individuals who I believe can give me great insight into my book, as well as helping me find a publisher. This will be taking place at a conference this July, and I hope to have at least two chapters written in a fairly polished form, as well as a complete outline of the rest of the book, with excerpts. It's daunting, but I've been blessed with five weeks off from work. There's a lot of time to write in five weeks time!
Some of that time, however, will be spent in Minnesota, learning how to build a wood fired brick oven. I leave on Thursday for my trip, and can't wait! This is what I call a vacation! I found a very cool one room cabin to stay in, within walking distance of Lake Superior, and it's only $60 a night, since it's still somewhat in the off season. I hope to do some reading and writing in the cabin when I'm not busy mortaring bricks, stirring concrete and having fun building a brick oven with some other passionate foodies like myself. I'll be posting pics of the progress too, if I can find some wifi up there that's easy to get to.