Progress Report #100

A few days ago I returned from a two-week stay at the Mesa Refuge, a writers retreat in Point Reyes Station, California. My stay there enabled me to put some focused work into my book, Street Song. So where do I stand?

I have the first seven chapters of a 49 chapter book essentially finished. Those first seven chapters have taken a great deal of time because, for one thing, while working on them I saw that they contain the kernel of everything that comes later. I had to get them right. Another reason they’ve been difficult is that my initial drafts of those first seven chapters were a mess. I hadn’t yet found my way when I was working on them in the first two drafts. I still have a little bit of work to do on chapter 7. I also have two other chapters finished that come later in the book. They were written to show to potential publishers. My task now should be editing and refining what I’ve already written in previous drafts. They’re reasonably close to how they’ll be in the finished manuscript. So I hope the work will start speeding up now. I’ve been working on this book for over nine years. When I started I never imagined it would take this long. I’m eager to be done with it, but I have to get it right.

Am I happy with the work? Yes. As the Beatles once said, “it’s getting better all the time.” It’s satisfying when you begin to see your lines begin to look clean and deep. I’m on a roll right now and aim to stay on it.

One more thing, I will be reading an entire chapter from the book (one of the later chapters) at the Bauhaus Gallery in North Beach on Sunday, October 25th. The time of the event is from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. I’m one of two featured readers. The Bauhaus Gallery is located at 703 Columbus Avenue here in San Francisco. It’s a fundraiser for the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, so there’s a $10 cover charge. “Refreshments will be provided.”


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2 Responses to “Progress Report #100”

  1. stiegem Says:

    I truly wish I could be in North Beach on October 25th. I would pay more than the cover charge to be present.

    “Better” is good. “Clean” is good. “Deep” is good. “Refining” is good. “Satisfying” is good. “Reasonably Close” is good. “Finished” is good. “Hope” is really good. “…get it right” is always good.

    “Speeding up…”, not sure about that. (about that 9 years?)

    I’m still here. Eagerly awaiting your art!

    I guess I will have to come to CA!

    Who will care for my conure (maroon-bellied; 17 years old and beloved)?

    I am with you all the way in spirit.

  2. markbittner Says:

    Thank you for your kind words. By “speeding up” I mean that I hope there will be fewer obstructions, that the water will flow more rapidly, but in a natural way.

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