Monday, September 3, 2018

The Writing Fire Blossoms

I finished the first draft of Chapter 15 on Saturday. It's still feeling blah, but, hey, I'm getting through the first draft and that's exciting. Now there's just the last day -- Niagara Falls and the dash for home.

Couch/meditation time is often when I get those revelations and the words just pour. Saturday evening, I wanted to organize all those notes I’d written during the inflow of words flowed the past couple of nights, but I couldn't figure out how to start. Somehow this type of organization messes up my brain and sets me to spinning. What categories/headings do I need? 

I keep thinking about the question "Who am I on the leaving and who am I on the return" I used on the first book. Somehow it feels important. Maybe this is that recurring theme I need ... but if there's a question, shouldn't I there be an answer? I'm not sure I have one even after the three long trips. Perhaps the changes are so subtle I don't recognize them. Maybe there needs to be more trips before I can put it into words. Like learning by repetition. I have to keep challenging myself with the traveling until I "get it." I dunno. Maybe there's no real answer ... yet. But, like I said, it feels important. I'm missing something here. It will come.

The hardest part right now about the chapters is my faulty memory and lack of fully writing while traveling. Heck, it's been over 3 1/2 years since the 2015 trip and 2 years to this week since the Wichita trip. And if I'm having trouble remembering Wichita ... still, I'll get these done and feel good about it.

As for some of the repetition, I can use that as a learning experience/education in becoming more comfortable driving through cities and in heavy traffic. I can talk about how repetition helps us learn. The more I get to do it, the more comfortable I will be ... maybe, ha-ha. I don't know, maybe I really don't ever want to get over my fear of big cities. Perhaps that's something to admit, too. Maybe.

I'm still struggling with the outline concept, especially at this time. The first draft is done on the 2015 trip, and one more chapter and the epilogue will finish the first draft for Wichita. I do want some semblance and organization of all the side notes so I know where and how to put in that info. Those thoughts/ideas coming through and are important. 

Yesterday, when I settled down to work on the book, I found a bit of an outline in a template folder listing the parts of a book and some general notes of how to put a book together. I took all those "revelations" and thoughts from the past couple days about writing travel memoirs and I put many of those in that outline format. Ones that didn't seem to fit there, I made a page in outline form for general notes. 

Most of all this are reminders of what I need to be aware of when traveling and writing. And yes, I do need reminders. Sometimes I get so caught up in the moment that I forget to fully observe. Or I think I can research the details later. However, researching later doesn't capture the emotion of the moment and I need both.

I printed the pages. I'm back to feeling the need to have hard copies. I'm more apt to open a binder and read over the notes, then peruse a myriad of documents on the computer for info. If I put together a binder of how and what to write, to remind myself what to look for and pay attention to ... this could help me when I settle into a hotel room at night to write about the day (when I do the next trip).

I had a blog writing on the last travel day, but then I found that was only the run home and not about Niagara Falls. Day 16 will be in two parts; the tour of the falls and that petrifying dash for home. So, I had to start the beginning of that day from scratch. My journal isn't as detailed as I'd like. And I have sooo many pictures of the falls to go through!

The excitement continues on getting the current book done. There's still so much to do, though. I want to go on another trip, but I won't until these two books are done and ready for publishing.

Today I plan on gathering info online about the falls and the actual places I visited for the "just-the-facts" history sections. There's a lot to cover about the falls. I don't know if I'll finish the full chapter today.

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