Well. Company has gone, weekend has ended, and now it is time to begin working. I have had a daunting project on hold since last summer and presumably the wait has been good for it---and me---because surely my subconscious has been at work trying to solve the problems I was encountering with it.
In my very first book, A Summer to Die, written way back in 1976 (published a year later), the protaganist's father, an English professor on sabbatical, was writing, and encountering difficulties with, a very academic book called "The Dialectic Synthesis of Irony." I can still remember dreaming up that pretentious, professorial, and unwieldy title. Late in the book, he emerges from the room where he's been working (on a typewriter---it was that long ago) and announces happily that he has solved the problem of the book's structure, and he has done so because his subconscious had been grappling with it and a solution had revealed itself.
I do believe that that happens. I can only hope it will happen to me with this manuscript. Last summer I had approached it though two different characters, and ended up with two different (and lengthy) starts. Both characters are intriguing (to me, at least) and they are related, but my quandary in part was the question of which one to follow and focus on. I finally had decided that they could be different parts of the same (probably lengthy) book, but the prospect was intimidating and I set the whole thing aside for a while and concentrated on other, easier things.
Now, today, after some necessary errands to bank and post office, I am going to open up those two manuscripts and decide which to attend to first, and how (eventually) to weave them together.
Here's a picture I took last weekend when we were over on the coast....