Thurs. April 18, 2013: Writing and Talking

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

If you haven’t hopped over to Beth Barany’s blog to read my article on how my heroine Jain Lazarus personifies karmic return, please do. I’m also on The Writers Vineyard, in my Annabel Aidan persona, talking about the Boston Marathon and how grief can affect writing.

Wrote Chapter 10 of the book yesterday, just over 2300 words. I feel like I’m back in the flow. Did 10 pages on the non-fiction book. I have some questionnaires to complete and get out to artists and holistic therapists, which I will do today. Worked with students. Did an LOI. Had a few ideas percolating on stuff, but not sure how to follow through on them.

Spent part of the afternoon working in the yard. There’s a section on the side that’s overgrown with some prickly briar-type vines that I want to clear out. The forsythia bushes will move to that side eventually, and the owner’s putting some flowering daphne by the garage instead. I also took Tessa out and did some of my reading outside.

I’m reading Robert Olen Butler’s book of lectures on writing. There are some things I totally agree with — his insistence on writing every day, once you start a project, his use of “dreamstorming”, etc. However, his utter contempt for genre/commercial fiction is disappointing — yeah, there’s a lot of crap out there, but genre fiction also is an opportunity to make readers see the world in a way they might not otherwise be open to t he information. He also claims that writers with talent don’t outline, yet advocates the use of index cards to prepare the book — which is a form of outlining. Granted, he is much more successful in his career than I am, so he’s doing something that works for him — but I disagree with a lot of what he advocates.

Writers Night Out was last night. The good friend who’s been their business manager (and in my play) is moving to Amsterdam soon, and I met her replacement, who is a lovely person. I think I’ll enjoy working with her, too, but I’ll miss my friend. However, this is a brilliant adventure for her.

We had a lively table, a mix of people I knew and people I didn’t, so there was lots of good conversation. Four poets read (April is poetry month). Very different styles, so the juxtaposition was interesting. One guy, the youngest of them, reminded me a lot of the poets at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in the East Village in the 90s. The language is good, what he’s trying to do is interesting, but he read in a monotone, and hasn’t yet learned how to gauge his audience and adjust what he’s doing when they get restless. Since reading is performance, those are important skills to fold into one’s reading repertoire.

Came home, fell into bed early, but had a rough night. Lots of interruptions to my sleep, and then, early this morning, the carbon monoxide detector decided it had low batteries and started to chirp.

At least I’m going back to yoga today. I’ve been away from it for too long.

Must focus on the books today, and on polishing my presentation for next weekend’s conference. Hopefully, I can get some more work done in the yard today. The hyacinths are coming up — very pretty.

Devon

Wed. April 17, 2013: Picking Up Pieces and Moving Forward

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was sunny, but much colder and windier than predicted.

It was a sad day, with the aftermath of the Marathon attack. I was weepy on and off all day.

That didn’t mean I couldn’t deal with life. Commitments still had to be met, no matter what I was feeling. I took in the car for its check-up — all good — phew! Went grocery shopping, switched out books at the library. Came home and did some reading.

I’d given myself the day off writing, knowing I was in no state to do it well. I managed to get out two LOIs and work with students.

I read an absolutely brilliant book that I encourage anyone who has a passion for what they do or what they want to do to read. It’s Twyla Tharp’s THE CREATIVE HABIT. Tharp is an icon of a choreographer. Her commitment and her techniques to not only make creative starts but creative finishes are fantastic. This is an extraordinary book, one of the best I’ve read in a long time.

I have an article up on Beth Barany’s blog about Jain Lazarus as the Personification of Karmic Return. Monday’s violence opens up a whole new discussion about the use of violence in fiction. Can’t say I love the timing on the post going live, but maybe it will provoke some interesting discussions. Is violence ever acceptable? is one of the things that I struggle with in fiction. My characters kick ass, and sometimes take violent action. Is that ever okay? The way expectations are set up, it’s expected. But again, is that okay? I don’t have a definitive answer; it’s something I keep exploring.

Excellent first writing session on the new book: just over 2300 words, wrote Chapter 10. Percolating along, and very glad I have a synopsis. This was a case where I had to have a polished synopsis ready for the agent before I’d even done the writer’s rough, working a little backwards for me, but that’s the way it goes. At least I’m back on track, and can see finishing this draft, having a few days to let it rest before ripping it apart for edits, and getting it to my agent on time.

Lots to do today, and I have a massive headache, so I better get going.

Devon

Tues. March 26, 2013: Meetings and Writings and Rehearsals

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Today’s guest over on A Biblio Paradise is Beth Barany, talking about The Writing and Marketing of an Independent Novelist. Go check it out!

Yesterday was busy. I didn’t have a good day’s work on the book, which was frustrating, but I worked with students, worked on contest entries, got out a bunch of pitches, and tried to get scheduling crap sorted.

The meeting at the Museum of Natural History in Brewster was wonderful and the show is booked for October. I’m happy. They were terrific to deal with, and I think it will be a great experience for all of us.

In the afternoon, there was a Mermaid Ball Meeting in Buzzards Bay — talk about going in all directions!

Tonight, we have our first rehearsal in the space, which should be interesting, so it’s a truncated work day. Which means I better make things count!

Devon Ellington

Published in: on March 26, 2013 at 7:24 am  Comments (1)  
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