Literary Defeat

I’ve lost a battle with a book. Not just any book, but a classic. A standard from this past century in the literary library of the greats. One of the most referenced works I’ve come across in articles and books about the craft of writing. And I quit!
My brain was having too much trouble wrapping around a text which is out-numbered by footnotes on many of the pages. In the five to ten minutes of reading time I get here and there throughout the day it was too difficult to keep track of the train of thought an hour or two later with such detailed references. Nearly impossible to grasp the details while being pulled at by one child and questioned by another.
But I need the information from this book- which has been sitting on my shelf for nearly a decade. Plot is my weakest link and I believe the knowledge in this book will help me with plotting my stories. I finally dusted off the book two weeks ago but have accepted defeat on page twenty-six.
Instead, I cheated.
I goggled “Hero’s Journey” to find a tidy outline of the steps in the travels of a character rather than trying to trudge through The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. And I found a gem on an educational website which translated nicely to be printed out on two pages in document format. It now rests on my desk; encased in an archival page protector. The crisp page glaring like a white flag.
I’ve surrendered the fight, for now. I’ll try it again when my brain functions better.
P.S. I try to stick with nonfiction reading during the day. So now I’m rereading Herself by Madeleine L’Engle (one of my favorites). The collection of quotes is just the thing to be able to read a few pages here and there. Plus it’s uplifting and empowering. And at night I’m reading Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson.

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