An Idea on Process

This is what it is like for me on this Thursday morning sitting and waiting around–without coffee–for my 930am class:

I have come to the idea that I my process is so completely erratic and unpredictable and I wonder if I can sustain a long narrative without forgetting beginning points and narrative threads. Here I find myself on Ch 20 of the Cornbread Project and in the middle of teaching 6 classes–yes, 6 classes–and I find myself forgetting what the intro and 1st chapter were about. I find myself rereading not for proofing but for characters names and threads–consistencies in the narrative. I thought I was like Ray Carver in his book of essays Fires–I thought I didn’t have the head for longer narrative and that my sensibilities leaned towards the sprint.

And I have never been one like Stephen King who condones and offers sitting and writing for hours on end every day of the week sequestered away so one can write. But today and only today as I think about photocopies and page numbers and discussion points/ideas and logisitical bologna, well today I feel that I could almost walk away and be satisfied simply to have 5 consecutive hours or so to sit and write and finish the damn manuscript as I do have some substantive thought on plot and direction for characters. I mean I have these imaginary and partly real people in my laptop and I want to finish their stories. As I get older the more and more I understand in writing and in myself the more I wish I could be like some tenured people here and ‘not come in on thursdays’!


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john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois.

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