Thursday, August 15, 2013

Facing an Unpleasant Memory and Using It

Tough day of writing Wednesday. Managed to pound out 1,003 words, so I hit my mark, but after days of doubling that it felt like running through molasses.

If I had to guess, it would be the subject matter. They're trapped in a cave, trying to find their way out. I kept flashing to my Boy Scout Days, when our troop took the guided wild tour of Cumberland Caverns in Tennessee and slept in the cave. There's nothing darker than cave dark, let me tell you. The wild tour took about an hour through narrow tunnels, or through slits in the rock where you had to brace arms and feet against opposite sides of a narrow passage and cross through a crevice that narrowed down to nothing below you. You had no light except your flashlight, which suddenly looked pretty feeble, I'll tell you. There were probably 100 kids on the tour, and at one point while I was crawling through an opening maybe three feet high, the line stopped. Just stopped. I couldn't go forward, couldn't go back. It was scary for a minute until we started moving again.

I won't say I'm claustrophobic, but I don't think anyone likes to be confined, in a tight place. Trapped, even if not really, and only for moment. And I had to write through that memory of panic and use a little of it.

But it sure slowed me down. Also the various work and family chores that always come up through the course of the day. But I'm not blaming that, that's just a thing called life. I'm putting the blame on some uncomfortable memories that I hope help the story.

Having that target – 1,000 words every day – and deadline also helped. Can't afford to slow down now. I couldn't let myself quit until I hit the target.

Today should be easier. They just got out of the cave. It feels lighter, freer, just writing those words. Now all they have to do is defeat the pirates, evade the Spanish Garda Costa, find the treasure and get off the island. Piece of cake.

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