Friday, January 30, 2009
Cloudy and cold
Not a lot to say about yesterday. I ran some errands – ended up walking all the way across town to the library to pick up state tax forms, because the state decided to save money by not mailing any out. I love our local library – it’s a brick building, and the inside looks like an English country house, with the big chairs and the fireplace – but it also has computers and all the tech gadgets. It’s small, but it’s friendly.
It was nice to be out in the sunshine and the cold air. I had to be careful due to the ice, but I just took my time and enjoyed being out.
The rest of the day, I wrote. I finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1 and sent it off. I searched job boards – found an interesting job way out of my normal realm, but there are things in it that might make us a good fit, so I pitched. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I’m considering jobbing in with another company, but their rate is lower than my usual rate by an amount that makes me suspect I’d resent anything I did for them – which means, ultimately, it wouldn’t work out. I’ve talked to them before . . .and it’s more than just the rate, there’s something that just doesn’t sit right. In any rate, I’ll wait until Mercury goes direct before I make a final decision.
The computer is running badly again – gee, what a surprise.
I spent a lot of time percolating on the play (CHANELLING JIM MORRISON) and think I have a good direction for it. FEMME FATALE is also percolating.
Did some work on the dialogue workshop materials. I’m going to do this a little bit differently than in past workshops – stricter, in some respects, because I’m tired of people pulling out fragments from their drawers that have nothing to do with the exercises. So many people who think they want to write can’t even follow the instructions for a simple, two-page exercise. And they wonder why they keep getting rejections. Anyway, this should be a smaller group than I had in October, which will have its own joys and challenges.
Tried to do some work on The Lucy Gothic and got nowhere. The cats were climbing and rolling all over the manuscript, batting the pen out of my hands, etc., etc.
I’ve been re-reading Tristine Rainer’s THE NEW DIARY, which was a huge bestseller when the modern diary movement took hold from the 1970s-1990s. I read it originally in the 1990s. While there’s still some good information in it, we seem to have evolved, fortunately, beyond some of the more self-indulgent naval-gazing aspects. Granted, a diary is supposed to be a way to explore inner life – as some blogs are about exploring the parts of inner life one feels comfortable making public. But a lot of stuff I accepted as “the rules” of journal writing years ago (even though the only real “rule” is to date every entry) are things with which I strongly disagree now. Still, it’s an interesting read, if only to see how perceptions shift over time.
Started reading the fifth volume of the PARIS REVIEW WRITERS AT WORK series, edited by George Plimpton. These books have always fascinated me. In the days before blogs, George Plimpton’s team interview well-known writers on their process. Most of the questions are far above the run-of-the-mill interview questions and the answers are fascinating. They’re books to be read slowly, or it’s all too much. I read the PG Wodehouse interview – now, there was a truly happy man. But then, his wife took care of everything dealing with the real world, so he could just kind of coast along doing his writing. The feminists in the 80’s weren’t kidding when they said that we all need a wife! I started reading the interview with Archibald MacLeish – it’s fascinating, but there’s so much information packed into every sentence that I have to stop and think constantly (which is a good thing, but slows down the reading).
If you ever get your hands on these books, I highly recommend them.
Decent morning’s work on the Billy Root story. I really need to update my continuity notebook on the series before I can go much farther – it’s much easier to have it all in once place, rather than flipping back and forth through the manuscripts all the time to make sure I’m not contradicting myself.
Cooked a variation on turkey chili last night – great comfort food for cold times. It hit the spot, without sitting in the bottom of my stomach like a leaden lump. And I had a great workout last night. I even got a little knitting done. I’m so awkward at it, but I’ll never get better unless I keep working on it.
After months of having trouble getting started on the evening workouts, I’ve hit the point where I now look forward to them. However, I’m so eager to get to the page in the morning that I have to be careful not to rush the morning yoga.
Breakfast and then back to the page.
Oh, does anyone know where I can find out how many taxpayers are in the US? I’ll reveal the “why” once I’ve got firm numbers.
Billy Root story (Jain Lazarus Adventures) – 13,741 words out of est. 60,000