Coming to Terms with the Termitary

After much thought, I've decided to publish my novel in serial form here on this blog. In writing this blog, I've begun to realize the flexibility it offers. For instance, if I decided to offer supplemental material throughout, I can do that if and when I choose. If I want to insert pictures, I have that capability as well. But, more than that, I would prefer to put my manuscript out now before too much time passes. My intuition has been nagging me. It says the time is now.

As I began the process of approaching literary agents, I realized that I wasn't willing to wait until someone deemed me worthy of print. Whether I am worthy or not, remains to be seen. And truthfully, I'd rather focus on creating and bypass the issue of worthiness entirely. The way I look at it, I'm creative. Some things work better than others. I start a project with an open heart and do the best I can. The rest of the "stuff" is out of my hands completely. So the best thing for the project and myself is to start putting it out there.

 My plan: Post One Chapter a week. 

 Everything else will be loosey-goosey. If I find myself wishing to explain my work or offer any other commentary, I may post extra blogs in-between. I'm hoping it'll evolve into something more than just a novel. For me, the experience of writing the novel was as big as the story itself. Things happened along the way. I traveled. I learned things. I did other things. I made stuff. It's all very nice to have that end product but I feel that my experiences in writing are as much a part of the story as the story itself. The novel may be at the center but it's still a part of the composite animal that Eugene Marais describes in The Soul of the White Ant.

 I am still wondering which part of the termitary "the novel" is. Is it the Queen of the termite mound or am I? Perhaps I'm simply the breathing apparatus or the fungus gardens where digestion takes place or maybe I'm simply the worker or the soldier or both. Or perhaps, I'm my own walking termitary interested in a lot of other walking termitaries! My many musings on this topic was probably what prompted me to build my own papier-mâché termite mound. I built it in order to gain a visual sense of all the characters, the history and the locations. It did help me in that sense but it also helped me to solidify my ideas and motivate me. Nothing like having a 5 foot tall reminder in your living room.

The Basic Shape of the Termitary

Some of the many images on the Termitary

The completed Termitary

Like building the termitary I think posting my novel on this blog is yet another step in the process. I didn't start this project with the idea that it would make me rich or famous or even that much different. All along I wondered who (besides me) would find this kind of exploration interesting. Perhaps I'll find out. More than anything, doing it this way seems infinitely more fun than approaching agents and publishers. And I'm a girl who likes to have fun. After re-reading my previous blog entry, I decided to take my own (and Thomas Wolfe's) advice: 

"Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don't freeze up." Thomas Wolfe

I hope you'll join me and together we can see where all of this goes.  I think it's going to fun.


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