A couple years ago, Joanna Rose and Stevan Allred reviewed some of my stories and offered practical direction and some needed encouragement. Given my own evaluation, I discourage myself to the extreme. I told them, "I quit every day."
Joanna gave me advice from Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird: write it "one bird at a time."
I am stuck in the third and final section of my novel, baffled by some plot movement and my inability to get what is in my head out on paper. This one has been going around and around for the past month. With my August deadline just ahead, frustration is my muse.
Outside the open window, three Mourning doves chase each other to and from the corners of the yard and up to the rooftop. A competitive threesome. For territory? Mating ritual? Play? The whirring mutter of their wings reminds me of old-school sci-fi alien spaceships. Earlier, a black-headed Junco fed seed from the patio to a peeping juvenile. And the brilliant yellow goldfinches have been all day on the thistle feeder, undisturbed even by the antics of the doves.
A light rain begins. Silver drops collect and hang from the branches of the rhododendron. I am content to make another loop through this chapter. One page. One raindrop. One bird at a time.