A fourth Amherst Writers’ circle today. Zero meetings next week. Change of rhythm. Special counsel appointed. Dingdong’s hat in the ring. Dogs walks while wearing hat and gloves. Twitter sputtering, me grieving. Reading a great memoir. Watching Derry Girls. Gave up on 1899. Pretty low energy here – sorry! Black bean soup last night. Tonight a roast chicken. Planning a pumpkin cheesecake. Extreme gratitude for a new beta reader. One hundred pages in. Good questions. Back hurts but it’s time to rise and shine!
I am in the process of renewing my daily writing practice. Without it I’m a little lost to be honest. My in-class writing suffers, my to-do list wilts, and I lose track of things. I am not overstating this.
So today I reset my intention. I will use up a small annoying notebook. Guess what? I have a preference! Kill me! I like college-ruled, five-subject, 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages.
I shall also reinstitute occasional practice of the Five Things entry. I learned this from my friend and fellow writer, Sarah. In case you forget, the Five Things are: 1) the weather; 2) some thing you commit to doing this day; 3) one thing you did well yesterday; 4) one thing you could’ve done better; 5) one thing that brings you joy.
The practice is simple and quick and yet manages to construct a meaningful record. It can trigger more writing.
So here goes.
1) Today is cold and clear. Not as cold as Monday, but still quite cold.
2) Today I commit to finishing that fucking orange notebook so that tomorrow I can start fresh in my preferred size.
3) One thing I did well yesterday was manage the time for my Tuesday writing group.
4) One thing I could’ve done better yesterday was to eat one ice cream sandwich instead of two.
5) Something that gives me joy is the thought of spending time with paper and scissors. I used the prompt judgment this morning.
I snipped a finger and bled on a bunch of the scraps. I left the traces and kept on working because I’m lazy that way and because it felt appropriate. Don’t we all bleed under the harsh judgment of others and ourselves?
The blood worked but the images aren’t there yet.
I’ll admit to identifying the most with the squirrel looking on from the sidelines.
You know how sometimes when you’re approaching the end point everything stretches out and it seems like you’ll never arrive?
I’m there. Please tell me I’m getting close.
One great thing about writing a novel that is waaay too long is that making deletions goes quickly. Highlight. Control X. Boom! Gone.
One casualty of this process was unexpected. I am unable to appreciate the 799-page novel, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois right now. Editing is too much with me. Every other page I was confronted with details that could’ve been cut without hurting the scene or character development. For now, that’s too distracting.
Spoiled by my editor?
Also, my library card expired. What?
It was cold enough to snow today but did not.
Speaking of wonderful writing (wait, who’s?), please click on Raven and Sparrow and read Dana’s recent post.
My good friend Joan gave me Anne Patchett’s essays for Christmas, These Precious Days, and I have to say that Dana’s essay about woodpeckers is of the same caliber.
I smell roasting chicken. Soon it’ll be time for dinner.
Roasted chicken is worth celebrating and so are these two news bits: Marjorie Taylor Greene has been permanently banned from twitter and two of trump’s spawn have been subpoenaed in the New York fraud case.
Finn likes my heating pad almost as much as I do.
New manuscript, old manuscript, notes on both, laptop repository. It’s slow going. But at least it’s going. My consultant chisels here, there, making the form clearer, not unlike a sculptor working in stone. It’s pretty exciting, though also daunting because it turns out I don’t know jack shit about comma-usage.
The temperature is supposed to drop down to 29 degrees tonight. You’d be amazed at how many leaves are still in the trees.
Among the many upsetting manifestations of red wing lunacy and racism lately, today of all days it feels particularly awful that QAnon followers still gather in Dealey Plaza. People of a certain age remember exactly where they were when John F. Kennedy was shot. Where were you?
I was six (earlier I’d written eight! Fell asleep thinking wait, that’s not right). My mother was ironing and crying in front of the television. My brother’s birthday party was cancelled.
Here are two new collages with some mosaic variations. A one-minute slide show follows. Without spilling any beans I can say it’s about my book and the timing of assistance.
With newly revised timetable in hand, onward and upward. Must: write query letters; make progress on list of agents; write elevator speech for plot of novel.
In the meantime, I am soooo happy to report that my 30+ year old front crown was removed without mishap yesterday. The underlying post remained intact. No implant necessary. Yeah! I don’t even mind that the temporary crown, which I will get to wear to Los Angeles this month, is green. I kid you not!
I will leave you with two screen shots from yesterday and this thought: if I see Steve Bannon in handcuffs in November, Christmas will have come early — in spite of the faux outrage already being ginned up by the right wing.