Sunday, March 08, 2009

Getting started



It's (pretending to be) spring here--I just walked to the store in flip-flops and I still have all my toes--and so I guess it's sort of right that I'm starting things all over the place.

I'm writing a lot these days, and by "writing" I mean "staring into space with occasional frenzied bursts of typing." I'm working on an original television pilot--original pilots being what get young writers in the door these days, plus the story just had to come out--and coming up with a new TV show is, wouldn't you just know, a tremendous amount of work in terms of creating a universe and then paring down and parsing out what fits into a 42-minute episode. This project is the kind of thing that makes writers write, and also the kind that stops them from writing: the world of my show just comes to me, floods into my brain at the most inopportune times (at work, at the grocery store, anytime actual typing is not possible), and then just looks at me, all coy, when I sit down to wrangle it into five acts and three storylines. "Don't you just want to tell me all at once?" it says, and I do. I love it, and I believe in it, and I can't wait to see it all grown up and heading out into the world. It could give me a little help in this all-important outlining phase, but hey. We're not going to talk about that. It'll come.

So in the midst of my writerly highs and lows, it's a good thing I decided to do something really straightforward, right? Riiiiiight. This purplish thing is my fetal Lace Ribbon Scarf, which is really just a jumble of stitches on US-4 needles. All knitting projects start this way, like working blind, with the future hope of something pretty and springy to wear while I wait for the bus (...which will likely be finished just in time for, say, Halloween, but purple alpaca is timeless and seasonless, right?). But it's like the script: you just have to keep going, believe that the pattern's going to be there (the difference being that somebody else made up the scarf design; I have to make up the script). But, you know. I'm glad I picked that activity to break up the uncertainty of writing.

Welcome to March. Time to make something, don't you think?

4 comments:

Xerxes said...

Liz,

I think knitting and writing is a great combination. While you are thinking about the story and what should come next you can be knitting. I read somewhere that some people do their best thinking and listening while doodling, knitting just may do the same for you!

Congratulations on breaking out the flip-flops, don't however get your hopes up too high that warm weather is here to stay.

Mom said...

That scarf pattern looks really difficult to me! Good luck with that.

Liz said...

X,

You're totally right. There have been lots of studies on knitting and how it affects the creative brain--knitters knitting have similar patterns to Buddhist monks meditating! It definitely helps with the storytelling.

And...I know. It's supposed to get back down to the 30s tomorrow. But it was nice while it lasted. Enjoy the warmth, if you got any up there.

Liz said...

Mom,

I know; I had to cast on a couple of times. But I'm about an inch in now, and it's coming together. Except I used the wrong sized needles (I don't have US-3s, but I *do* have US-4s, and I feel like the gauge police aren't going to come after me for a scarf), so I'm not sure I like how the fabric's turning out. So this may be a swatch after all. :)