Thursday, August 2, 2012

Last Day

Phil?
I've finished all the writing and revising on Blossoms & Blood. In a bit, I'm heading out to the Woodstock Public Library for one final day of any incidental fine-tuning that I can still find to do (the endnotes, for example, could probably use one more glance, among other items). Basically, I'm not trying to complete any specific task so much as I just want one more day to make sure everything feels right.

Around the fall of 2010, as I first began to hit writer's block about a third of the way through the first draft of Blossoms & Blood, I realized I needed to do something different in my writing routine to keep me engaged. I decided to drive out to Woodstock (about 35-40m from my home) and work somewhere there. This isn't as strange as it may sound--I often seek out new writing environments, though usually not that far--once I started to get bored with the usual locations.

Why the secluded country town of Woodstock, Illinois? Well, for one, its where Groundhog Day was shot (nope, not in PA), and so I was somewhat familiar with the area already. I suppose the metaphor there is obvious enough. For another, it was just far enough away that I could clear my head of other stuff during the drive, without feeling exhausted by the ride in the process, and show up ready to write. Then, isolated in the middle of McHenry County without distraction, I was able to pump out a fairly productive 6-8 hours of work, before driving back. I certainly didn't drive out there every day, or even every week--just when I needed the change of scenery.

So, anyway, a lot of Fridays in Woodstock spent on Blossoms & Blood in months and years past as I worked my way over that hump from idea to manuscript. So, it seems appropriate to return one final time. I don't know that I would have gotten through the book without the Woodstock Public Library.

Manuscript, images and captions off to UT tomorrow.

js

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