Stuff, confusion and timelessness

My apologies … I posted something here (about the king swimming with his mother) that was intended for my 17th century research blog. No doubt you were puzzled!

And no doubt, too, you can relate to that feeling of not having enough time, of being pressed, of being overwhelmed by To Do’s.


Which is why I especially liked this quote from William Faulkner on the opening page of Susan Minot‘s amazing (amazing!) novel Evening:

I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it.

At the same time, going through stuff, I came upon a postcard of a painting I’ve long cherished. I can’t find the image on the Net: imagine a Paul Klee-like mosaic of pastel tiles. The painting, by William T. Wiley, is titled: “I Wish I Could Have Known Earlier That You Have All the Time You’ll Ever Need Right Up to the Day You Die.”

I Wish I Could Have Known Earlier That You Have All the Time You'll Ever Need Right Up to the Day You Die

I love the painting, but I’m nuts about the title. For decades I had that postcard—which was sent to me by a relative in 1971 (!)—pinned above my desk, and every time I looked at it, I thought of those words. I’ve retrieved it from my pile of stuff: it’s back up on the wall.

Page 323: mild panic over finishing before the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (October 9), but a good day, nonetheless. I’m increasing my daily word count and putting in longer hours. It’s important, I think, to bring the momentum of immersion through to the end … if I can.

(So much for my thoughts on timelessness.)

P.S. The post on the King has been deleted.

Lauren B. Davis’s excellent essay on rewriting

Lauren Davis

I’m keeping to my writing schedule, although I continue to feel a bit lost. Middles!

When I finished today, I puttered: rearranging my books, entering titles into my bibliography, putting articles in binders. Getting books up off the floor. (I’ve a long way to go on this.) I like order in my spaces—which helps explain why I’ve been a little frantic.

I’m also trying to organize the blogs I’d like to read, and so finally tackled setting up Google Reader. In doing so today, I read writer Lauren B. Davis‘s excellent blog post on rewriting: The death of my darlings. I highly recommend it.

I loved her Chekhov quote, his advice on description:

“very brief and relevant . . . one ought to seize upon the little particulars, grouping them in such a way that, in reading, when you shut your eyes, you get a picture.”


I’m reading Evening by Susan Minot. She writes beautifully spare descriptions.