Friday, June 18, 2010

Weaving with Words

The writing process can be described in many ways. In a recent conversation my friend, Erin, described a project she’s working on as being akin to piecing together a quilt. I have similar thoughts about my own process, having referred to it in the past as the making of a tapestry. Quilting, stitching or weaving, for myself, ideas unravel as I apply my fingers to the keyboard, flipping out skeins of text across the screen until I stop, hitting the end. 
Then I begin reading the sentences, picking out threads of colour; writing words down, thinking, reworking sentences until I am left with a mess of short sentences and paragraphs to sort through and combine. Which thoughts are best; how can I weave them together to create a complete picture?
Tangents grow and my mind, embroidering a million possibilities, focal points of colour, texture and feeling. If the old man really could encase his memories in glass would he be able to hold onto them. Or would it make them unattainable; something seen but unable to be grasped to recollection? 
Which idea will work better? I have to decide, thread it through and smooth out the kinks, trimming ragged edges and adding polish; fine points of colour, detail and sound woven together so invitingly it holds the reader’s eye up right to the last syllable. 


  1. I believe it could be both, one after another: First the encased objects will help the old man to hold on to his most precious memories. And for a while he will be happy again. But all the clever tricks we can invent to lure fate have two faces, and can turn around in an unexpected way. They may have their own price.
    So as the illness proceeds, the marble-maker might forget the original incidents represented by the paperweights, one by one. And having to look at them then, as the symbols of his frozen memory, captured and dead like mummies, might hurt him even more...

    I wonder what you have made of it by now...? Brilliant idea this, anyway!

  2. Actually in my short I used both, but I wasn't sure if it worked as the two ideas are opposite, but it seems to, I think. I'm still deciding if I'm going to make it into a longer piece or not. Your totally right about the 2 faces - there is a plus and negative to the idea of encasing his memories and I'm not sure which would be better as both prices seem to be high.