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  1. The notes I've scribbled down have become almost unmanageable. Even within the framework I've set down for myself I can see exceptions to my rules and deviations that will be hard to resist. Lines of dialogue and internal monologues are interspersed with abstract ideas and short descriptions of time and place. Must organize, but I suppose I have to allow for time to act on impulse and inspiration. Still, since my primary conceit is a cyclical

    The narrator keeps pulling me in, but I have no idea if he will do the same to the reader. My opening narrative is so dark and heavy, but it lifts away like a storm cloud to reveal a story that I hope possesses some of the lightness that Calvino values so rightly.
  2. Nothing like a train ride to stir the creative senses. You can assign intrigue to nearly everything that happens on a train. Murder mystery? Passionate, doomed romance? Spy thriller? I fell in love on a train from Nice to Cannes. I wonder what she's up to now.

    I will take the train with the longest trip time. Between Boston and New York that will probably be around 4 hours which should give me time to write and observe. My two tricks on the train are to ride in the cafe car for a while and to sit in the four seat/table arrangement. I've met Australian members of parliament and dairy farmers from Wisconsin. Last time I sat across from a girl so beautiful and mysterious that she stayed in my mind for days afterward.

    MUST get something down on paper for this novel idea but I had to put some distance between myself and the initial inspiration, therefore I don't consider this time wasted. I like to come up with an idea and then allow my relentless self-censoring to have time to pick it apart. If it survives, it becomes something I have faith in.

    This current idea has been brewing for so long that I feel it's taken on a life of its own, and that is exciting.
  3. How do I begin? Must keep pen to paper, mind to task. The same plot has haunted me for most of my life, twisting quietly at the edge of my awareness until I am at my lowest points and then sees its chance to strike. Leave worldly experience for now, leave the pursuits of the heart. Now it is time to observe, to analyze, to speculate; a passive observer of my own existence.

    Back to the cruel mistress, the Muse, back to planning and plotting...