I have a joke. It goes like this:
I know why the Biblical time frame for the Creation differs from the geological record. The Great Architect’s original design called for a six day process. The general contractor promised to have it done in two weeks. In fact, it took millions and millions of years. If you’ve had a kitchen remodeled, you know this is true.
I am now into the fifth week of my one week kitchen remodel, and while I finally can cook again, the kitchen is still not done. The microwave is no longer in the living room nor the refrigerator in the dining room, but the woodwork isn’t up, and a few other details are wanting. It’s a bit hard to concentrate on writing when workmen are pounding away. I could have fled to the library or a coffee shop, but sometimes decisions had to be made, so I had to stick around. And in the meantime, I succumbed to the worst temptation–writing nonfiction.
It’s so easy to write nonfiction. It doesn’t require thinking things up, only checking facts. All the heavy lifting has been done by other people. All I have to do is connect the dots and cite the references. Now that the workmen are winding down, surely I can extract myself from the quagmire of nonfiction. Surely I can save myself. But there are all these interesting articles to read and extrapolate from and unite into a coherent story…
Someone stop me! I shall flee to my garden and bark at the squirrels who are making craters in my raised beds. Surely that will inspire me to fiction–something with a theme of revenge against rodents. I feel a story coming on.
Image: After the tear out. By Jonathan Hutchins.