May 19, 2009

George Rabasa: Punching in at the Fiction Factory

I'd like to welcome George Rabasa, author of The Wonder Singer, to Savvy Verse & Wit. I hope you enjoy the journey through Rabasa's workspace and writing routine as part of his tour for The Wonder Singer, published by Unbridled Books.


Punching in at the Fiction Factory

I’m late, I’m late! It’s 9:13 and the brain is humming but the author is not writing. Not a good situation for the novel in progress (two years, four months, three weeks, four days, so far). Still, I just can’t dive in. Like a good athlete I need a little warm-up – might strain a brain cell or two otherwise. So, I check e-mail (nothing much), news headlines (nothing much), calendar (nothing much there either).

I take a look around the Fiction Factory, and I’m energized by the red walls (“cayenne,” actually), the Mexican rug with the huichol designs depicting the symbols for the eagle, corn, flowers, peyote. Packed bookshelves holding a lifetime of reading, and learning. This is where my masters live – Garcia Marquez, Updike, Lowry, Borges, DeLillo, Cervantes, and that’s enough name dropping for now. There are pictures on the walls, some by friends. On the i-pod player, Perla Batalla sings Leonard Cohen.

Before I know it, I’m staring at the screen, cursor blinking, words waiting to be arranged and rearranged. Commas achieving the importance of subatomic particles; take one out or put one in and the order of the universe has been altered. The new novel is about 90,000 words so far, but all I think about for the next hour or so is a sentence, a paragraph, a scene. It’s one step at a time, without thinking too much about the finish line. Then I move on, at a snail’s pace, to the next sentence. And so on…

Finally, it’s lunch time! My union contract with management specifies a decent time for lunch and reading and nap. Then a couple of hours of the afternoon shift. And it’s time to meditate, run, wine, dinner, chocolate. Ah, a happy routine! While I’m often told I should get a life, I can’t think of a better one.

Thanks to George Rabasa for taking us through a typical day. Stay Tuned for my review of The Wonder Singer tomorrow.

Don't Forget About These Great Giveaways!

2 copies of The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner, here; Deadline is May 22 at 11:59 PM EST

1 Signed Copy of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C.M. Mayo, here. Deadline is May 30, 2009, 11:59PM EST.

16 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've read posts from this author...I just love him! What a sense of humor. And I've become fixated on the idea of the Mexican rug. In my mind, I think I may need to have one of these in my den. I don't know about the red walls, but beige doesn't cut it!

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds like a great life indeed :)
Especially the chocolate part

violetcrush said...

Sounds like a fine routine to me :)

I love his last line "While I’m often told I should get a life, I can’t think of a better one"

Anna said...

That would be the life. I'd love to have my own Fiction Factory. Looking forward to your review.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

Sandy: I just loved this guest post. He's very witty. I love red walls, I have one in our apartment as an accent wall, but my ideal would be to have a wide, open kitchen with all red walls.

Blodeuedd: MMM....Chocolate sounds good right now.

violetcrush: that sounds like what most writers would say about their lives...writing and loving it.

Serena said...

Anna: I need a fiction/poetry factory!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this....what a hoot (and I'm not envious of the writer's life...not one little bit!).

Iliana said...

Oh this is wonderful!

teabird said...

I've never read this author - but anyone who listens to Leonard Cohen singing or being sung is bound to be kindred!

Janel said...

I'd love a Fiction Factory or studio. Bright colors are so energizing. Of course, those afternoon naps would be too!

claire said...

Can't think of a better life either. I love the names he drops.. if those are his influences, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love his own work.

LuAnn said...

I never could understand how an author can crank out a novel in a month. George's comments about it taking him so long are so refreshing!

reading_frenzy@yahoo.com

Emilie said...

Sounds like a fabulous day!!

emvark at gmail dot com

windycindy said...

This author's guest post reads like a book to me! Very interesting.
Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Ladytink_534 said...

A snail's pace is better than no pace at all but as they say, slow and steady wins the race!

Teddy Rose said...

Sounds like a wounderful union contract! I'd like a nap. LOL!