Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fishing for words

I’m between book projects at the moment – something that only happens for a short time every few years. My next children’s book has been sent to the printer, and my next adult book is making its way through the review process of an academic press under the guidance of an acquisitions editor who is championing the project. Now it’s time for me to select what to work on next. The easy choice would be for me to go back to work on any number of partial manuscripts I’ve got sitting around, suffering from neglect. But I’m not doing that.

Like a wild trout lurking in the dark shadow of a cold stream, I’m detecting a new book project about to rise. Afraid to scare the elusive creature off, I’m moving slowly, reading pointed materials on the subject matter to spawn interest, delving out leaders of inspirational literature and engaging in writing exercises to sharpen my skills. I’m casting the fly line back and forth, back and forth, wooing that lurking wildness into the light.

I know it’s working, this taking things slow and letting the story rise on its own time. At first I had just a vague idea of subject matter, but that’s evolved to a rough outline in my mind, akin to that first glimpse of the full silhouette of the trout as it moves through the water. The book project has become a living being, accompanying me throughout the day. Stirred from the dark pool of back of my mind, the book has moved front and center, always with me, sharing space with all other tasks and thoughts. I’ve even started to dream about it. Soon it will emerge.

Husband Jim watches this book-fishing process with fascination, knowing that all this quiet and calm effort will soon erupt in a fury, as I begin marathon writing bouts to get the words from my head to paper, as the trout breaks the surface after my dancing fly gliding over the sparkling water. The fly rod melts away, replaced by my pen.


Cowgirl Red said...

That is a vivid image of your process, Cat. I'm waiting. Terah

Chas S. Clifton said...

"Like a wild trout lurking in the dark shadow of a cold stream, I’m detecting a new book project about to rise."

The way I read this the first time, the trout is you, lurking.

Where you put the modifying phrase in the sentence ...