Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pickled Green Tomatoes

I headed out to Joshua Tree for the long weekend with the intention of resting, reading, and writing. I've been a big fan of the place the last few years, as passing by the strange trees always makes me feel like I'm entering an alien world that keeps my normal routine at bay so that I can be creative.

Red, Peanut, and I arrived at night, so on this particular trip I didn't see the tree upon entering, and maybe that's why I ended up doing more resting and less reading and writing than I had intended.

We also stumbled upon a farmer's market and met a woman who had some of the most unusual preserves I have ever seen.

(And, thankfully, we saw several Joshua Trees the rest of the weekend.)

I have been sticking to my daily challenge of writing 1,000 words a day, and over the weekend I wrote about 6,000 words. I'm hoping I can stay steady until I have so much momentum behind me that I won't be able to stop even if I wanted to.

I've reached the middle section of the book, where the mystery of the sister soul has been revealed and one of the main characters travels to purgatory to try and put things back in order. I'm excited about this section because of the contrast the setting has to the rest of the story, which takes place in and around Los Angeles and the Little Tokyo area. I'm trying to create a serene place, full of white plains and softness; at the same time it's a brutal place, as souls discover that they've died and have to move on. I can feel Thornton Wilder's Our Town influencing my conception of the afterlife. Most of the souls have no drive, and resisting that suck is part of the character's challenge.

"This place doesn't welcome the living," Shige said. "Resist the temptation to stop."

What's Peanut eating? Little bits of filet mignon, hot dog, and chicken.


  1. You know, I have never seen Our Town. I just finished watching the Wonder Years show and rode the nostalgic wave of it all the way to my childhood. In one of the episodes they put on the play of Our Town and it really made me want to read the play, if not see it somewhere, at least.

    I really love drafting now that I know I can keep up with 2,000 words every two days. Sometimes I even do more, but it's nice when I can't make it to 1,000 words a day, but can do more the next day. Then I feel like I'm still hitting my goal. I hope you keep up with yours! I think it's great you're writing so much these days. :)

    1. Michelle,
      Our Town is a great play. It's timeless in many ways. Seeing it performed is great too. The last two times I saw the play, they were directed (or possibly produced) by David Cromer, who won a MacArthur "Genius" Grant. It totally blew me away. It's hard to describe, but he does something really surprising near the end that just flooded me with emotion. His play, and Angelin Preljocaj's ballets have been the most wonderful things I've seen in the last few years.

  2. Sounds fascinating. I'm usually stuck at the middle of my novels/stories. The Joshua Tree actually sounds inspirational, as it survives in a desolate, harsh environment but can grow to over 49 feet of endurance. So many environmental factors influence its journey; just as characters influence the landscape of a plot concept.

    Love the quoted text.

    I'm partial to fried, not pickled, green tomatoes. Peanut has a higher taste in cuisine than you Davin.


    1. Hi Donna,

      The Joshua Trees have inspired me and U2, so they must be doing something right! ;) I tend to be attracted to new foods. The pickled green tomatoes were something I'd never tried before, and they looked to curious stacked, as they were, in their little jar. They were quite tasty. I've never had a taste for filet mignon, on the other hand.