Fri. April 19, 2013: Loam and Lock Downs

Friday, April 19, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

The big news breaking all around is the hunt for the alleged Boston Marathon Bombers. Supposedly, one of them is now dead; the other on the run. Towns such as Watertown and its abutting towns are basically shut down; the MBTA is not running for the day. An MIT officer has been shot and killed. People are being told to stay inside. Another “suspicious package” has been found in Kenmore Square. That’s what’s been confirmed at the time of this writing (a little after 7:30 in the morning on Friday). I’m sure there will be more news throughout the day.

I’m over on Write Your Revolution today with an article on creating your jobs. Please stop by and check it out.

Yesterday certainly didn’t unfold the way I expected, but it was a very good day. Yoga was fantastic — I’m so glad I managed to get back to class.

Came home, ate breakfast, took the leaves to the dump. Saw that the loam was available, so went home, stocked the car with buckets, and spent the next five hours hauling loam from the dump home to put on the garden beds. Everything looks awesome, and now I have happy plants. It was hard work, but worthwhile.

It meant very little got done the rest of the day, and I’m sore as all get-out this morning, but it was worth it.

Another disagreement with the Robert Olen Butler writing book. He says that books that start with dialogue don’t work because there’s no context. I vehemently disagree. I prefer to be dropped in the middle of the situation, and, in good dialogue, the context is contained in the dialogue. Good dialogue works on multiple levels simultaneously. I agree with him about the need for sensory detail — in fact, I teach classes on “Sensory Perception”, but we approach the way we work from different angles. Whatever works for the individual, right? I’m sick of books that spend 200 pages to “set up” before they get to the actual story. I want to be dropped IN the story, not wander around waiting for it to start.

The weekend will be busy — lots to write and get straightened out. I’d love to just sleep, but that’s not an option. Today, I’ve got to get out a mailing, write a review, and work on both books.

To work! Have a great weekend everyone!

Devon

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