A House of Cards

Under the omnipotent direction of Robert Olen Butler, I have spent the last 20 hours etching out ‘scenes’ in a $1.27 composition book. These scenes are the matrix of the bones of my novel. I have had this story between my teeth and cheek for at least a year, maybe two. Mr. Butler’s instruction has finally brought it forward – pinched by my incisors – so I may begin to wrestle it. This method is brilliant, frankly. It gives me the freedom of not knowing coupled with the authority to govern what I already know. In short, I can now concretely press on paper that which has been clouding my irises like cataracts without any obligation to that which has not been revealed to me.

After some time – weeks according to Butler – these coming of scenes will dwindle. This is when I will write ever last quivering scene onto a 3×5 index card and begin to build.

For now, the pages read something like this:

– J. opens door to Hall

– J. sits in her chair to read book on her birthday

– H. enters apartment with S.

– D. meets J. on her doorstep when she’s coming home from birthday

I love that this is systematic, yet full of holes.

More scenes later. And, a further discussion of ROB.


About Anna Dawes

Writer. Blogger. Vegetarian. I have two dogs that make me a little insane. I'm a nursing student. I read a lot of feminist literature; I negate it by obsessing over fashion magazines. I listen mostly to lovely lady singers, read mostly female authors, and spend most of my days surrounded by beautiful women. I consider words to be a delicate medium that only the most willing artist can bring to light. In another life I was a classic thespian. I have a purple office.
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One Response to A House of Cards

  1. Good work, Anna! I can’t wait to read your novel!

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