Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy 5th Anniversary, Polar Bear!

Five years ago today, I wrote the last words of the very first draft of "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo". It's weird: it both feels like a lot longer and like it was yesterday.

I've spent the day working hard on Blueberry, dealing with the various issues I said "I can figure that out after the first draft" about, and I'm pretty fried, so in honour of Polar Bear, here are the very very first novel words I ever wrote. Be kind. :)

Day 1

My husband just left me.

Did you just call him a bastard?

Hey! You take that back!


Thank you!

He hasn't left me so much as left the country. He's gone to Bangladesh for a month to help build a new school and hospital. He's a carpenter, and a good one no matter what my mother says, and when the BuildAid people were looking for workers he jumped at the chance to help.

It'll be strange though, not having him here. In the three years we've been married, we haven't spent more than one night apart at a time.

I'm not supposed to phone him unless it's an emergency, because they have only one phone line in the whole camp, so I won't even get to talk to him for the next month. I can send him email, though, since the construction site has a satellite internet connection. Whatever that means. To me, it just means I can send him email.

So he'll be gone for a whole month, leaving me to my own devices. No, not that kind of device. Goodness, what kind of girl do you think I am?

The kind that's far too embarrassed to buy that kind of device, that's for sure.

Anyhow, so here I am, on my first day alone. I dropped him off at the airport this morning (really early this morning; who decides to send a plane out at five o'clock on a Saturday?) and now I'm back home, looking around the place and thinking of all the things I want to change, fix, throw out, buy, or generally make better before he comes back. It's really quite a long list.

Some of them are pretty small, I guess. "Throw out old newspapers" isn't going to take me very long. But I also want to clean every room in the house, train my cat Ninja to not barf up his food on the floor every morning, and lose some weight.

Can I do all of this in thirty days?

No problem! After all, I'll have tons of time available since I won't have Ian around every evening.

He's a great guy, don't get me wrong... but he sure can get in the way sometimes.

Like, I've wanted to rearrange the living room forever, but he just can't be bothered helping me move furniture.

"Why don't you draw up a plan first?" he always whines.

"But that'll take ages! C'mon, it'll be faster just to move them around and see what we like."

He never goes for it. And I can't really move it around myself, especially when he's usually spread over at least one chair or couch. Adds a good bit of extra weight to the process.

But now. Now! I can do what I want. I can rearrange anything that suits me. And I can do it right now. Plus, then I'll be able to check off an item from the list.


Three hours later, I have tried every possible permutation of furniture, and have broken two nails, and have come to a sad realization: there is only one way that the furniture works in this room, and that would be the way it's already arranged.
Holy chick-lit voice, Batman! I think my style has changed quite a bit over the last five years, but I still have a major soft spot for this version, and great fond memories of just sitting and writing and seeing where it went. No planning (I had no idea HOW to plan a book) and no stress, just fun.

I will keep that in mind as I begin Blueberry's second draft next week. Must have fun.

Here's to another five years of writing! :)

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