Organizing Codfish

Flitting. Random. Chaotic. Yet, relatable.

These are words that describe the second half of my manuscript.  I’m looking for a quote to open that section, and there isn’t much in the way of positivity about those first three words! 

I want to prepare new readers for this second jauntily meshed together section. “It’s all right.  These essays don’t flow together.  Take it easy – don’t look for a theme.  Just take them as there are… independently written essays about random topics from life in North England.”

And that, my friend, is a huge leap of faith to ask the professor emeritus of writing to take as she embarks on reading my manuscript for the second time.  The professor’s main over-arching idea in her response to my manuscript the first time she read it was that there was no over-arching organization allowing the general story to come to a designed conclusion or culmination of events. 

Yup.  That’s dead on. 

I’m still hoping that a newly written preface explaining this bundle of essays, plus a reordering of the essays, will help this time around.  I’m also looking for a quote for each section of my book, which is currently titled Cornfields & Codfish - Musings.  For “Cornfields,” which includes reflective pieces about Iowa, I found this:

“To understand where you are going

you must understand where you come from.”

– Celtic Proverb

Yup. That’s dead on.

Then… there’s “Codfish.”  Let’s just say that the organization of “Cornfields” - about life twenty years ago – flows better than those in “Codfish.”  I have an idea why.  We’re still living the stories of New England.  They happen haphazardly one after another.  They aren’t ready to be drawn into a straight line. There are too many holes in our narrative.  Maybe in another twenty years, but not now.

This afternoon, I found a potential quote for “Codfish”:

“We live in a rainbow of chaos.”

- Paul Cezanne, French Post-Impressionist painter

Yup.  That’s dead on.

(By the way, have you seen the cover photo for my book? Thanks to Iowa photographer Angie Carlson’s artistic eye for The Cover Photo!)