my favorite part of the day

young person, folded up, arms around legs, maybe dreaming -- bubbles lifting up from their head...The garbage trucks agitated the puppy this morning, so she’s sitting with me in the office this morning, gnawing on a rope bone, being generally excellent. I hear little bitey sounds, the scratch of her claws against my bag.

Here’s what’s true: it’s still painful every time the alarm goes off at 4am. I have to pull myself up, drag the body away from sleep and dreams. There’s a snap, and I’m sitting up, pulling on a sweater, walking into the kitchen to light the burner for teawater. And then I’m in front of the computer (no candle, no notebook, not right now) and the illumination from the screen is way too bright for human eyes. I yawn, stretch, rub the sleep away from my face over and over. Why am I doing this? I open the document for this long story, and read through yesterday’s writing, or last week’s, finding where I’m going to touch in today, and suddenly I’m with these women who I’m coming to adore, I’m getting to spend part of my morning learning more of their story — the truth is that this is my favorite part of the day, this deep dark writing time, this morning imaginary, this tea-lined playhouse.

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My question for the day is this: How do you lift out and shape a 10-15 page (double-spaced) excerpt from a 122 page (single-spaced) first draft thing, when those 10-15 pages are going to go to one of your writing idols and 13 writing peers? Wish me luck with this.

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A prompt for today at 6:24 am. What about your favorite part of the day, or your character’s? Take 10 minutes, give me the smells and the textures of this part of your/their day.

Or, here’s a second for today. I’m pulling it from Trauma Stewardship, a quote from a community activist in New Orleans after Katrina: One step, one foot in front of the other: That’s how we’re going to do it. Copy that phase into your notebook and begin there — notice what associations or paths arise for you as you read that line. What does it mean for you or your character? What’s getting done there? Follow your writing wherever it seems to want to go.

Thank you for your deep persistence, for the ways you attend to what’s calling you. Thank you for your words, always always.

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