Monday, March 21, 2011

Here we go again...

 My laptop died a few months back in a freak drowning accident involving a chimney, and, no, I don't make this stuff up! The edited manuscript of my book was irretrievable from the hard drive. This is discouraging, to say the very least but I have decided it must mean that God saw need for a lot more editing to be done on this book. Three years ago, this was fun, now it is getting difficult to remain excited about writing my story. Again.

But I am doing it, again. I have committed to write 1000 words per day, 6 days a week. I may adjust that down to 5 days a week as my schedule with church ministry becomes more demanding. I do feel more liberty to make some changes in format this time around and I suppose it is best to not think of the lost manuscript as wasted or lost time. It was a valuable experience and gave me a chance to grow in my writing style, find my voice, and work on my craft. So it is not truly a disaster but a learning process.

 I decided to share a few paragraphs of the opening of a new chapter I am working on at the moment.
Your feedback is welcome!

How I Became the Village Idiot

The weight of the baby sitting on my hip grew more uncomfortable. I turned and looked towards the path leading from the grass air strip into the jungle. I could still see the two bright heads of my son and daughter bobbing along amidst a crowd of dark haired Indians as they excitedly followed the villagers to the river bank.
My eyes returned to the child in my arms and to my oldest daughter, Jackie, as she stood loyally by my side, holding the diaper bag and other baby supplies. She was slapping at the gnats buzzing around her neck and arms, standing upon one small foot at a time so that the other was free to rub away the annoying gnats biting on her ankles. I blew light puffs of air on to my sleeping baby’s face, trying to keep the gnats from waking her.

My husband was half in, half out, of the small Cessna MAF aircraft which had brought us here. I could hear his conversation with the American missionary pilot, Steve Robinson, arranging the date for our next flight, our next contact with the outside world. He grabbed a few bulky bags from the ground and herded us to the side of the air strip as the plane taxied off to return to its base in Puerto Ayacucho. My husband never looked back at the plane, but began trotting eagerly off down the path to join the others.  With one last look, I saw the pilot dip his wings in a salutary wave.

The dirt path led us towards the rim of jungle on the bank of the Chajura River where a dugout canoe awaited us. It was surprisingly cooler, though still humid, under the jungle trees. I could hear the sound of the river, the sound of rapids above the quiet voices of the Ye’kwana Indians. I could hear my own children speaking in English to one another. The closer we came to the bank, I saw that it was muddy from a recent rain, how was I going to climb down this bank with a baby in my arms?


groovyoldlady said...

The imagery is vivid and the details inviting. I'll be SO glad when you finish and will be among the first to buy your book!

In the meantime I will be praying for the Lord's protection on your writing so it doesn't get "lost" again. I can't even begin to imagine how frustrating that was!

Rosie Cochran said...

I feel for you, Rita. I can't imagine losing a whole manuscript! Especially an already edited one! Do you have a memory stick or backup drive to save to? You need a preventative plan! :-) In the meantime, live and learn. God's still on the throne. He can give you the words to write an even better book!