knots and welsh rats

Byzantine, Tilings from Historical Circles

 45,913, Loose Daddy. 31,705, Sweet Taboo. The cold is still with me, but it’s become a minor imposition, ‘though it was a good excuse to not write for most of this week. It gave me time to think and I’ve solved a knot in Loose Daddy that was bothering me. I’m in the midst of a scene that has developed significance, although I didn’t know quite where it was going, I could see that it was pointing toward something. Now I know to make this scene work better, I must introduce Lucas Monroe sooner in the narrative, realizing that has dissolved the knot and given me a chance to explore another aspect of the story.

In Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters, John Steinbeck wrote to his close friend and editor Pascal Covici of what he called “Welsh rats”–those “meaningless apprehensions that come out of the ground, go nowhere, mean nothing and disappear.” Of that he said, “I should not dawdle too much today. It would be better to go directly to my work and trap my Welsh rats. Otherwise they may give me trouble.”

Each time I solve a technical issue or unkink a knotted thread in the writing, after taking days to think it out, I feel like I’ve successfully trapped a “Welsh rat.”

Thanks, Michelle. I’m just a few points shy of 100%.


3 thoughts on “knots and welsh rats

  1. Thanks for introducing Steinbeck’s journals to me. I didn’t know they existed.

    I’m so glad to hear that your feeling better. I hope the weekend will blast what’s left to smithereens. If not, you may have to bring out the big guns. Start juicing.

    I’m sending this blog to Kris. Since she lives in Wales now, I know she’ll love this.

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