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.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and chilly

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to see a picture of the Mystery Bush that’s blooming and read the latest goings-on in the garden. There are quite a few pictures!

The point I made a few days ago about the payment I receive for teaching being out of balance with the time put in was driven home when I saw what another writer is charging for a six week class: $750 per student. Yeah, I have to re-think my fees.

Anyway, yesterday was about making the final tweaks on the ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT manuscript before my editor sends it back to the publisher for final copyediting. I LOVED working with my editor — she’s amazing. And I sent the publisher a note this morning, telling her how grateful I am we were paired up. I also told my editor how much I enjoyed the experience and how grateful I am to her.

Also worked on the proposal I promised my Senator, which is kind of sucking the life out of me, but the sooner I get it done and out, the better. It’s important, and can solve a lot of problems in a fair way, so it needs to get to people who can implement it.

Did four loads of laundry, which included unpacking three bags of stuff from the move and figuring out what to do with it — some washed, some washed and prepped to be given away, etc. There’s a lovely knitted suit I wore a lot in the 80’s — and is the 80’s design — that my mom made for me from my design. I’ll never wear it again, so my mom is unravelling it and will knit something else from it. It’s a gorgeous ice blue, one of my favorite colors, and I think a sweater set in a more modern style will work.

Finished a book yesterday that was a volume of letters between professional gardeners. I have a few of them, and enjoy them, because I always learn something. I want to re-read some of them, because now I’ll understand it more. This volume, however, was too much of a disappointment. Too much whining. I didn’t like either of the letter writers.

Last night, as I was trying to sleep, I had a big breakthrough on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. About damn time. This morning, I wrote up a bunch of notes, and I hope to dive back into it. I can weave a double plot line in to make it a stronger book. I was thinking in terms too linear before.

Of course, now I have to sit down and do it! 😉

But it’s a chilly, rainy day, so, in and around some errands (we’re dangerously low on cat food), I have no excuses!