I have been battling a heavy bout of bronchitis, and while the Civil War post got done on Sunday, work on the novel has been delayed a bit. I made a conscious decision, though, not to enter the Haiti writing contest after all.
Haiti – A complicated subject
I participated in, that is, listened to, a February 15th USAID Webinar, “Reconstruction Opportunities in Haiti” because it included a section of “on-the-ground realities of doing business in Haiti.” It seemed like good background and was indeed pretty much what you would expect a government-sponsored business seminar on that topic to be, although I wasn’t prepared for the direct statement by a local person that you need to have a third-party Haitian contact to guide you through the process or your goods will be tied up at the dock for months, where they may disappear and/or customs officials may apply extra fees “that aren’t legal” and a bunch of other stuff.
Anyway, it was something solid to start with, but it was nothing compared to the Global Post’s four part “Fault Line” series on Haiti. Check that series out, if Haiti interests you. These people got into the country and the society at a level I could not hope to approach and one which, unfortunately, the US representatives seem to have missed, too.
Haiti is a very complex place, and frankly, I just wasn’t up to writing anything about it on a level that would be judged by the people who were responsible for the “Fault Line” series, so I skipped it.
Terror – Getting Structured
I have been working on the novel, but not in writing. This is going to require a more organized approach than essays, or even short stories. This is partly because of the extended length – I envision it as 3 novellas, combined – but more because it is so incredibly difficult to write, for a number of reasons.
As the “day job” of transcription and my coughing/sleepiness have allowed, I’ve been doing a couple of charts for the notes. Once I have that overall structure (like a trellis in an arbor) – and it’s almost complete today – I think the words will come more easily (like vine shoots appearing in the early spring).
That’s all. Writing about writing is not writing, so I’ll stop writing now and get back to, y’know, really writing.