Free-writing Jeanne and Josh again



I think I will free-write today and try to get somewhere with my book. Sitting and staring at the computer won’t work.

I wish I could write in my room — the atmosphere is better. Except for the little demon who tries to chew on my fountain pen as I write. My fountain pens are relatively inexpensive, but they’re not Bic stick pens (Biros for my British friends). I’d rather they not have little tooth marks in my pens.

So I will be writing pen and paper in the living room, exploring specifically Jeanne and Josh’s relationship. For review:

  • Jeanne is a 45-year-old botanist whose insistence on logic hides a green thumb — an observable ability to make plants grow. If any hint of that reaches the academic community, her research on domesticating a perennial bean will be discredited. But a memory awakens in her, one in which she is called to create garden oases.
  • Josh is a 25-year-old writing instructor. He is immersed in a spiritual world through his belief in Shinto and his aikido. His visions tell him that Jeanne must become the keeper of a great garden. But he’s afraid to tell the logical Jeanne about his spiritual life because he’s afraid she’s going to reject him.
I’ve been fighting one plot point for ages: The fact that there doesn’t seem to be reciprocity between Jeanne and Josh. I’ve come to the point that, early on, Jeanne doesn’t even think it’s possible for them to be a couple. He’s too young, she thinks, and would not be attracted to her. Meanwhile, Josh is struggling with his fear of rejection. A twenty-five year old whose reality is fluid might well fear this.

I love Jeanne and Josh as characters, and even better as a couple, because they subvert the whole romance thing. He is younger, more expressive, lightly built (don’t blame me; I’m attracted to men like that). Jeanne is ample, very instrumental (in the sense of making things happen).

There’s so much to carry here, I feel like I’m juggling cats. But rather than structure at this point, I think I need to free-write because I’m making no progress composing within the outline.

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