Waiting Part 2

Last New Year's Eve, I made a resolution to send some piece of writing out into the world to seek its fortune. I have been told by not a few people that I should, that I have a way with words. So with that in mind I persevered and pushed through to the bitter end on a story that I had been writing since 2006.
Originally I meant this story to be a short one, maybe 20 pages. I had been working on a drawing for my class that was a portrait of myself as Rapunzel, and it got me thinking about the fairytale and how her hair was so central to the plot, and how the climax was the hair being cut off, as an act of violence. At the time I was very proud of my hair, and I still am, actually.
This is how long my hair was December '05
I wrote in my little essay on the drawing how, as a little girl, I cried and cried every time my hair was trimmed just 1 inch; and how I could just reach my arm around my back and grasp a good 3 inches of hair without stretching. I told my boyfriend that the only time I'd cut my hair, I mean really cut it, would be when we broke up as a sign of mourning.
So one day I just sat down at my powerbook and started writing my own version of Rapunzel. I set it in Brooklyn, and made Rapunzel a skinny girl named Coco, living with her grandmother called Baba (as in Baba Yaga). I wrote a little bit, brought in the character of the prince (I named him Moshe), and then lost interest.
In the meantime I wrote my thesis, graduated, broke up with the boyfriend, got back together with him, broke up with him again and cut my hair while visiting my sister in Vancouver.
 I didn't cry.
A few months later (actually, it may have been a year later) a friend and I decided to meet every week at Babycakes to work on our writing together. I looked through my computer for stories that needed a little push and decided to focus on the Rapunzel one. I made a lot of progress with my friend's help, and the story quickly expanded with no signs of slowing down. What was supposed to be a 12 page little vingette was now at page 35.
Then I moved, my friend got a different job with a wonky schedule that made it difficult to meet on a regular basis. So in the upheaval the story once again lingered in my creative writing folder on my powerbook's hard drive.
Unlike the first hiatus, I could not relieve myself of the guilt I was feeling about not finishing this story. Coco was probably the first character I had ever written who, and I feel so cheesey for saying this, meant something to me. This is probably because a large part of me was written into Coco, and also a large part of my friends, and people I really cared about. I had taken characteristics of them and collaged it all together to make this character. And I could not shake the feeling that she was paitently waiting for me to pick up the story and determine what happened to her.
So I wrote myself a little game plan, and set to work; approaching the idea of finishing this story as though it were a marathon: Something I just had to grit my teeth and get on with.
I finished, I think, the spring of 2010, and I just had to sit for a moment and stare at the computer screen for a minute, looking at the last sentence; savouring the feeling that I had actually finished. It clocked it at about 50 pages. Then I got up and started jumping around the room squeeling "I'M DONE! I'VE FINSIHED!"
The first person to see the finished product was my friend Jess. It was only right as she held my hand and lit the way for most of it, and she was so awesome as to be as excited as I was about it. Then my boyfriend read it and I had to spend the entire day away from him, not even answering phone calls because I was terrified that he would think it was nothing but sentimental drivel.
He left me a voicemail in the afternoon: "Hey Rosie, I read your story and don't worry, I think it's really good. I do have some suggestions though so give me a call."
He gave me back the copy marked up with a few of his suggestions and ideas and he said "keep it out, though, because I want to talk about it more in depth."
That was more than 6 months ago.
Coco is still waiting for me, patiently, which is the worst of all. Doesn't it suck when a friend you've neglected is so mature and forgiving about the whole situation? It just reminds you of how wonderful they are and how terrible you are for taking adavantage of them.
But, Coco, this is the problem: You are still not done. There's a lot of stuff that needs to be fixed within your story and, unfortunately I'm not sure how to do it. I've asked for help and, so far, none is forthcoming. I won't lie, this makes me a little bitter.
Please don't give up on me, Coco.


  1. Psst - how do you feel about correspondence writing?




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