Sunday, February 10, 2013
The adult novel that I had been working on, then put aside, for when the time was right. For when all the other work got done. It was always out there—a complete fifth draft that needed a substantial overhaul. It was near. It lived in a bright corner of my mind.
We tell ourselves that our stories can wait, and most of the time they can. But yesterday as I sat and read the first 100 pages of The Snow Child I realized that my own novel had waited too long. For while the book I was writing is far less direct than Ivey's tale, more saturated with language, less tied to a specific fairytale, I, like Ivey, am obsessed with the woods, with children lost and possibly found, with barren couples and what they see, what they want, what they wish their way toward. I am obsessed with trees in snow. I am obsessed with bird call and fox print. I was writing those obsessions down. I was writing about a boy who had entered my life, then was gone. I wasn't writing The Snow Child, but who would believe, if ever I now were to finish and publish this book of mine, that I had not somehow been influenced by it.
I will, I'm sure, read on. But not right now. Right now I need a little time to let go of a dream I once had.