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.


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