Scattered, but in a good way

June 12, 2011 @ 7:40 pm | Filed under:

Maybe it’s because I’m in the preoccupied, immersive stage of writing a novel, or maybe it’s because our Shakespeare Club performance is less than a week away, but I seem to be in work-in-progress mode with everything, including writing blog posts and reading books. I have more than half a dozen newish posts sitting in drafts awaiting a bit more brain. They’ll come along eventually. As for reading, I’m still doing that thing where I read bits of many books and have trouble committing to one book in particular. I like all the books I’m reading right now. I like them all too much and can’t seem to settle down and choose between them.

Sooner or later, one of them will grab me by the throat and insist on being finished—probably while the pasta water boils over, or the bread burns.

This happens to me sometimes, this inability to settle down with just one book. I understand the pattern by now and know it has more to do with my mind churning with words and ideas than being a reflection on the books I’m reading—it isn’t that they aren’t gripping, it’s just that my mind is working overtime.

Mental restlessness has its perks; I’ve made a serious dent in the pile of boxes in our garage. Today I found some dishes we’ve been missing since we moved into this place 4 1/2 years ago, and a bunch of pictures I used as reference and inspiration for the Charlotte books, and some rare and highly awesome cassette recordings of my favorite college band. (I married the drummer.)

And my garden is virtually weed-free. I haven’t weeded on purpose; it just keeps happening while I’m lost in my head.

This afternoon Scott and I sat in the sunshine with Rilla curled between us like a cat, and I wrote—out loud—another episode in a little series of early readers I’ve been working on. Rilla helped. There was a delicious moment when I was trying out a line, rethinking, tinkering aloud, and Rilla said, “Yes. Let’s go with that.”

Perhaps we will.

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Avatar

    sarah says:

    Rilla ♥

    I am in a similar headspace – preoccupied, immersed (Lily is currently preparing dinner because otherwise it probably won’t get done) and yesterday I got my entire garden weeded, swept, and tidied because of it. I went out for a breath of fresh air and … well … things happened.

  2. Avatar

    You know who says:

    Dave & the Felchers? That was your favorite band?

  3. Avatar

    tanita says:

    Aww, I wish I had a little assistant — or a big one. At this point, I’ve just sent off ONE to the copy editor, and I can’t figure out what we’ll go with for the last one. ::sigh::

  4. Avatar

    MelanieB says:

    My poor garden is languishing this year. Nursing newborns and healthy gardens don’t seem to work for me. I keep passing the beds and glancing at the weeds and thinking: I really need to do something about that. But it never happens. Oh well. Maybe next summer I’ll have better luck. Sounds like a delightful scattered productive state of mind. And Rilla… too cute!

  5. Avatar

    Melissa Wiley says:

    Tanita, I love to hear about your books moving along…can’t wait to read this one. And I’m curious to know if we have the same editor at Knopf! 🙂

    Sarah, I’ve so enjoyed your recent posts about writing. I love your lyrical prose.

    Melanie, I ignored my garden all last summer—I don’t know why! No new baby excuse, even.

  6. Avatar

    Jessica says:

    “This afternoon Scott and I sat in the sunshine with Rilla curled between us like a cat…”


    “There was a delicious moment when I was trying out a line, rethinking, tinkering aloud, and Rilla said, ‘Yes. Let’s go with that.'”

    Also LOVE. That girl…