Possibility Thinking: As If It Were True

Many days they have lingered around my cabin door...
Many days they have lingered around my cabin door...

It’s hard to know about chickens and eggs and their relationship to each other as cause and effect, inasmuch as they represent me and my little flock of projects.

I tend to be far to ready, my wife scolds, to display my eggs early on, not certain they will hatch but with the assumption and the experience that, if I make it known I’m roosting on a few and people come around from time to time to look for chicks, I’ll keep sitting and clucking, keeping the ideas warm, even when I acknowledge that the shells could very well just look sort of like real eggs but be hollow inside.

This idea of a novel could end up being still born. But I’m thinking, as I’ve done with a couple of past endeavors in the age of blogs, if I move ahead AS IF the outcome were a certain reality, it is more likely to become one. If I tell you my plans, I know you’ll know my intended destination and a few might have high enough expectations that you’ll look for me where I told you I hoped to be in a few months.

I don’t think I’m going to be driven to try to hatch a fully formed creature by the end of November. I think such a thing would lack some of its little fingers and toes. But I’m going to use the accountability of NaNoWriMo–and the fellow suffering–as some part of what compels me to stick with this thing until it gains enough momentum to crest the top of the curve.

At this point, with 7800 words, I’m encouraged, if not quite at that crest. I have accumulated a long and growing list of “unplaced events and story lines” so that I think 50k words will not be near enough to tell the story. And having told that story already so many times in snatches in the two books and on the blog, the threads are there to weave together without having to spin the yarn.

Is there a penalty for using too many metaphors in one blog post?

So if I disappear, you’ll know I’m off incubating. If you hear more about this project than you care to, wander off somewhere else for a while and stop back by in a few months. We’ll see where this thing goes. For any who care to stick around, your companionship has been a boon in the past. I could use the company.

Note the bookmark to my NaNoWriMo page in the right sidebar–at least for the month of November.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I read your novel excerpt and liked it very much. It is your style as always, but writing a novel will be a new venue for it, and I think, a very good one. Novel readers who don’t go for non-fiction will get a chance to read your good writing, too! I am thrilled that you are going for it in such a full-out way. That is your style, too. “Don’t Mess Around Fred.”

  2. Thanks, Kathy, for the supportive words. That kind of encouragement is not much evident these days, with nothing like the community of boosters in the blogosphere of years back. But nobody is holding a gun to my head. This need and challenge is mine alone, and I have the same compulsion about this as I had about a future blog: I know some good will come of it, I know this is what I should be doing even though I don’t know exactly why.

    Good. Coffee is ready!. Let the day begin…

  3. Fred, this is great! I read the excerpts on the linked page and they are terrific. If anyone can write a novel, you can. You write quickly and beautifully and you have great drive. I love the futuristic/science fiction aspect of this novel too. In that genre, you want to be sure to have some action, because readers will expect it. All my best!!!