Posts Tagged With: writing

Here’s What’s Going On


Three Years With the Cs has been pretty inactive for most of this year. I wanted to tell followers what’s been going on, and what I would like to have happen up ahead.

Last year was an in incredibly productive flurry of activity. I had been planning on putting together a Backcountry memoir for years. I would write some stories here and there, but it was mostly talk and precious little work.

In April of 2014, right at the beginning of the new Backcountry season, I had a great idea. I had my Backcountry journal. I would transcribe entries from the journal to post on this blog on the same date it was actually written in 1987. Then I could fill in between journal entries with other stories as they were brought up by the journal entries. This idea took off. I had deadlines to meet if I wanted a piece included around the date that it actually had occurred. I have to admit that feedback from readers also encouraged me to keep writing. This kept me quite productive through September.

Then the season ended.

I didn’t have these journal-entry deadlines any more. I had gathered a lot stories from a Backcountry season. There are around 50,000 words here. This sounds great, and it is, but right now they are 50,000 words arranged in a spattering of related short, short stories. The next step is to arrange them together into one coherent narrative. To use a trail crew analogy…I’ve pissanted a lot of rocks down here to the work site. Now I have to figure out how to lay them together. I have to admit to some delays as I try to figure out the best way to arrange these pieces, and exactly how to fit them together.

Then there is the technical issue with the blog itself.

When I set the blog up, it looked great, and I had positive feedback on the appearance. However, it has one potentially fatal flaw.

I wanted people to be able to start reading from the beginning of the season and follow through to the end. As you can tell, the current structure does not allow that. I need to figure out a way for people to start at the beginning, not the end, and I need to find a way for it to stay that way. Right now, Three Years With the Cs lacks coherence.

So that’s where we’ve been. Here’s where I need to go:

  • Figure out the narrative structure
  • Make the blog more navigable

In the meantime, as I work those out, I think I can keep posting other stories from my three years with the Cs. I would also like to post reviews for books that I think Backcountry-followers might enjoy.

Until next time…hike fast!

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The Feral Animal

Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, wrote an accurate description of what it is like for an author to get back to a writing that has been paused.

A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild stage overnight. It is barely domesticated, a mustang on which you one day fastened a halter, but which now you cannot catch. It is a lion you cage in your study. As the work grows, it gets harder to control; it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, “Simba!

Annie Dillard
The Writing Life

Yeah! That’s exactly what it’s like!

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I’m Back

Yeah…it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. I had some personal issues come up that interfered with writing. Once those cleared up, I had a hard time sitting myself down to write. I finally figured out why. We are at the end of the season! All I have left to cover in the chronology here is the last weekend. I hated to see the season come to an end…and I’m not comfortable now about writing about the end of that marvelous summer.

Then I realized…it’s not quite the end. After I write about this last weekend, I have to go back and catch up on that time in April at the beginning of the season that I had missed when I started this project. And then…I have to go back and flesh all of this out into a book.

The work is not even nearly done!

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