The Cyclical Process of Writing
In any task you undertake, you often hear the advice: start at the beginning, continue down the middle, and finish at the end. Writing is no different. Problem is, as you advance diligently down that path, you may find–to your surprise–that you are getting better, more proficient at your craft. Suddenly the opening of this chapter sounds so much catchier than the previous one; and the ending more powerful. You must constantly re-evaluate and rework previous chapters. So in my opinion, the process of writing is Cyclical. By the time I completed the last chapter of Apart From Love, I knew I had to discard–or at least, rewrite and restructure–the first chapter.
This, then, is the first page of the first chapter, in which Ben is about to return–reluctantly–to his childhood home, and to a contentious relationship with his father:
“About a year ago I sifted through the contents of my suitcase, and was just about to discard a letter, which my father had written to me some time ago. Almost by accident my eye caught the line, I have no one to blame for all this but myself, which I had never noticed before, because it was written in an odd way, as if it were a secret code, almost: upside down, in the bottom margin of the page, with barely a space to allow any breathing.
The words left some impression in my memory. I almost wished he were next to me, so I could not only listen to him, but also record his voice saying that.
I imagined him back home, leaning over his desk, scrawling each letter with the finest of his pens with great care, as if focusing through a thick magnifying glass. The writing was truly minute, as if he had hated giving away even the slightest hint to a riddle I should have been able to solve on my own. I detested him for that. And so, thinking him unable to open his heart to me, I could never bring myself to write back. In hindsight, that may have been a mistake.
Even so, I am only too happy to agree with him: the blame for what happened in our family is his. Entirely his. If not for his actions ten years ago, I would never have run away to Firenze, to Rome, to Tel Aviv. And if not for his actions a couple of weeks ago, this frantic call for me to come back and see him would never have been made.
And so I find myself standing here, on the threshold of where I grew up, feeling utterly awkward. I knock, and a stranger opens the door. The first thing that comes to mind: what is she doing here? The second thing: she is young, much too young for him. The third: her hair. Red.”
For more information about Uvi Poznansky, follow the links to her work.
My author page on Amazon:
To see my sculptures, paintings and watercolors, and to read a sample of my poems and stories, here is my website:
To read my blog, which includes several of my radio interviews:
My Novel, Apart From Love (print, Kindle)
My poetry book, Home (print, Kindle):
My book A Favorite Son (print, Kindle, and audiobook):