The Duck-Footed Mirror

In a previous blog entry, I mentioned a children’s novel I’m writing (working title: Maxy). This is the novel that never gets done, though it haunts me. I think I maybe know too much about it, and for this writer, at least, that is a Bad Thing. You see, I don’t outline before I begin writing a new book, but I do collect tons of little scraps of paper with notes on them. And sometimes, I write a few complete scenes that happen chapters away from the beginning, because I can see them so clearly at the moment – and if I don’t write them, I may lose them. It’s happened before, when I’ve gotten smug with my skills. Always write the good bits down…even when the voices come to you at three in the morning when you’ve just gone to bed and you have to get up again at seven thirty. The voices of inspiration are evil geniuses, and not to be trusted.

But anyway. For Maxy, I’ve been gifted by those geniuses with so many cool scenes and plot points that it’s become uncomfortably close to being an actual outline. I feel like there’s not much left to discover in the writing. That takes the fun of surprising myself away, and turns the act of writing into something stepping on the skirt of drudgery. Which is simply intolerable, since I adore this story. There are miniature mermaids who swim with goldfish in a bowl, there are living houses, an origami-folding aunt, evil men with briefcases (whose one scene I’ve written gives me the good chills), and most wonderful of all, a duck-footed mirror.


I saw the duck-footed mirror years ago in a small LaConnor art shop and fell in love, but not quite passionately enough to pay $65. For a year after I first saw it, I remembered it, and I mooned over it. That’s a sure sign that it needs to belong to me. So I finally went back and bought it. It has an oval mirror that you can swivel up and down to adjust the angle, and the silver duck legs are marvelously detailed. It has a lot of personality, for a mirror. I never see anyone touching it, but the position of the mirror changes from day to day. Sometimes it’s quite intrigued to be reflecting the ceiling, other times it’s overcome by a fit of morbidity and stands staring down at its silver webbed toes.

I knew it fit into Maxy’s story, and so the duck-footed mirror patters around after Mr. Wicknick in The Shop. It reflects things he should pay attention to, and these things are not necessarily things inside the store.

Okay, after I finish the first draft of Arassa, and after I finish the third revision of Mask of Destiny, Maxy is next. Perhaps the perpetual limbo of its story is why the real duck-footed mirror has been so frequently depressed of late.

Either that, or I need to tighten the screws on its back.


One response to “The Duck-Footed Mirror

  1. freeformpublishing

    Well! Have you a main character w/ a problem? Have you something to overcome? A teacher of story telling once advised me to TELL the story out loud to someone. There’s a different kind of magical focus that can take place. Does this help at all?

    If not try working on something else perhaps and let this continue to marinate…

    Oh, another thought. Who is your audience? What age? What genre or format will this take…

    I’ve a nerve writing, I haven’t put one thing on my blog yet…

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