Wednesday, 22 May 2013
My consciousness peers into decades long gone where a wide grassy lawn stretches toward a garden.
I am 37 pages into my work in progress, Meet Me in the Garden. I have a feeling this is going to be a very long book. It's going well so far, and I just wanted to share my progress.
Readers: What are you working on?
Friday, 17 May 2013
It takes more time for me to learn how to relax than it does for me to work. I worked on an editing project today, but after a few hours my brain just wouldn't cooperate anymore. So I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening cleaning my office, my bedroom, and of course . . . watching Star Trek. If you are as geeky as me, you knew that already by the subject line.
When I find the time-- when I can't sleep, in between work shifts, or whenever I have a moment when I should really be "doing something else"-- I've been writing again. I'm alternating between two projects. I don't want to share the title of one, but it's a highly personal piece of fiction. I took my most painful memories and put them into a fictional character, exaggerating some aspects. It's one of those things I'll be nervous about publishing. People already think that every character I write is me, even if I tell them otherwise. I can't imagine what they'll think about this book.
The second project is called Meet Me in the Garden, and it's coming along nicely. Set alternately in present day and Ireland of the sixteen hundreds, it's what I would call a suspenseful . . . Romance? I'm surprising myself by writing something I never thought I could write. Then again, it's a great racket to get into. Now I just have to figure out how Danielle Steel makes her millions . . .
Well, back to The Final Frontier. Goodnight, everyone.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
I feel like I've been running a lot lately. Running to and from work, running around the house, running to get things done . . . And of course, actual running. I ran in my fourth 5k on Sunday. I did quite well, 3.1 miles in 35:00. It's not my best, but I couldn't run the whole time because my sciatic was bothering me again. That's my old grocery store war wound. Long story. I felt incredible as I ran up to the finish line. I felt like I was made out of air.
Everything is moving fluidly lately. Everything is working out and working well. I'm writing again and getting plenty of editing work. Every day I am one step closer to making my business a full-time venture. I'm also working on a new book that combines bits of my life with fictional characters. I've done this in the past, but never to such an extreme extent. This book is more non-fiction than anything I've ever written. I think I need to write it, though. It's therapy. I'm getting toxicity out of my system.
I have a lot of my own writing projects that are "up in the air" right now. I'm trying to bring them back to earth, but it's hard to find time. I'm going to commit to writing in this blog more regularly from now on. Perhaps it will help spark some of my creativity and get me writing on a more regular basis. It doesn't really matter what I write, as long as the words come out.
I'm going to take a break from running for a day or so, to get my thoughts back in order. The question is, what kind of running am I referring to? Probably the mental kind. Have a wonderful day, everyone.
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
My favorite part of my week in Key West at the Literary Seminar was when a well-known poet came into the house I was staying in, sat down in the living room, and criticized the messy state of the couch, on which someone had slept the previous night. I giggle whenever I think it. I met authors such as Kate Moses, Jennie Fields, Mary Morris, and Colm Toibin. I felt very strange the entire time because I had never done anything like that before. It was my first time in Key West and my first time being around so many writers at once. I was surrounded by literary celebrities.
I visited Hemingway's house, some wonderful museums, and walked everywhere. Thanks to the writing workshop I attended led by Jay Parini, I have regained my ability to write. My writer's block is gone. I also attribute that to an adventure involving my car. I lost my brakes on Roosevelt Boulevard and nearly collided with an SUV. Managing to back up and get into a hotel parking lot, I had AAA tow me to a shop that turned out to be less than satisfactory. The owner of the repair shop seemed to have dementia and insisted that my car was impossible to fix. I knew this wasn't true. A part of my rear brake line had rusted out, requiring a new line and a splice into the rest of the brake line. Not impossible.
When I called him on it, he gave in, with a dreamy look on his weathered face, as though he had no idea that he was standing in a garage. I had to repeat several times that I needed my car key back-- he wouldn't give it to me because he had no idea what I was talking about. When I finally got my key back, I waited for AAA a second time and managed to get to a better shop. Long story short, I had a delightful experience at the second repair shop I visited, ending the evening with a hearty handshake. I told the owner, "Thanks, I had a lot of fun!" which is definitely not what you expect to say when you're getting your car fixed.
If I had been home, I would have fixed it myself.
The workshop as well as the experience with my car made me able to write again. I typed up a different first chapter to At the Turn of a Wrench, the sequel to Check Out Time. And I found the comments that I got in the workshop to be quite enlightening. When it was pointed out that I could in fact change the focus of my novel to make it easier on myself, I was blown away by the simplicity of the suggestion.
"Don't limit yourself."
"You need direction."
"What is the focus of your story?"
They sound like simple statements, but they really struck a chord. I realized that since my father died last year, I've been unable to write anything coherent that doesn't fall apart after a few pages. Everything is about him. Almost every blog entry I wrote over the last year was about Dad. Every word I wrote was for him. Those simple statements grounded me and made me realize that I was going about it all wrong. In my own life, not just my writing, I limit myself. I don't have direction. I lack focus. I learned something about myself this past week, not just about my writing.
And that makes me so happy. I think I just got a lot better at life.
On that note, here's a photo of me with everyone in Jay Parini's advanced fiction workshop:
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
My feet are killing me. I brought a pedometer with me and I really should have been wearing it today. I walked a lot, possibly more than I walked yesterday. The Key West Literary Seminar Writer's Workshop that I am attending lasts until one o' clock, so I have had plenty of time to explore.
I wandered around and came across the Key West Lighthouse, which is right across the street from Hemingway's home. I made a decision quite a while back that I would attempt to quell my intense fear of heights by climbing any lighthouse that I come across. I have climbed the Jupiter Lighthouse at least three times. Jupiter Lighthouse is 105 steps--if my memory serves me correctly--but the Key West Lighthouse is only 88 steps. Both are much smaller than the Saint Augustine lighthouse, which I have yet to climb.
It scared me, but I did it anyway. I almost gave up and turned around. It helps to do meditative breathing as I'm climbing the steps. Key West Light has particularly narrow stairs, and there is an awful gap in between the step railing and the wall, making it possible to peek over the edge and look down. So despite the fact that it was shorter than Jupiter Light, I found it more frightening because the space felt both narrow and open.
I still made it. Here's a view from the top.
Quite beautiful, but I do find the view from Jupiter Light to be more spectacular, because you get both a view of the ocean and the inlet.
Tomorrow, the writing workshop continues. So far, it has been enlightening, interesting, and a lot of fun!