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The Gut
Sequel to Miss McGhee, the story picks up in 1975, and reveals the effects of the civil rights movement in a personal way on the small town in Alabama where Mary McGhee lives.

I'm sitting here with a file open, waiting, waiting. Where to begin? I am about half way through the rewrite. I should push forward to the end, right? I quote John Steinbeck in Writers at Work, Penquin edition: "Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on."

So I should keep going through to the end. But my instinct, my gut, is telling me I missed something, that I should go back and correct it. Sometimes, craft and a sense of duty override instinct. I make notes about the thing my gut is screaming about, that visceral, feral, not-a-step-further feeling., and keep going. That is the smart thing, the professional thing, right?

Experience tells me that when something is screaming at me, it's too real and immediate to pass by, that getting that screaming thing on paper will have more vitality than the slogging forward because it's the right thing to do. Pressing onward will produce dull, listless writing, but the thing that screams at me, what will that bring forth? I have to go and see.