Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quote for the Day

God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. So far I am so far behind I will never die! - Author unkown

Coming soon--writerly update on my two-pages-a-day goal.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Writerly Report

1. Two pages of M&R Tuesday.
2. Two plus pages yesterday.
3. One book devoured--Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark.
4. One book begun (and so page-turning good that it's threatening to keep me from making today's quota)--Need by Carrie Jones.
5. Characters more cooperative and willing to play with me on the story stage with each passing day.
6. Muse amused.
7. Writer indebted to the wisdom of Jane (and her deceptively simple rule for serious writers: two pages a day.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Need an Alice, and Other Items on my Writer's Wish List

Writerly wish list--

1. I need an Alice, someone like the beloved Brady Bunch maid/house manager/jack of all trades who can manage meds and meals and other family tasks while I do the fun stuff, like spending time with my family and writing. Let's not forget writing.

2. I want--no, strike that. I need a writer's retreat. I'm not asking for anything extravagant. A weekend will do. Since I'm dreaming, the getaway should take place AWAY from home, where I'm no longer on call with the school or one of E's many physicians. Oh, I'll need to be off duty, too. Someone else will need to be on point for cooking and cleaning and giving the round-the-clock meds at the right times. The place needn't be a four-star affair. Truly, all I need is a bed and a desk and chance to live, eat and breathe my characters like I did when pursuing my MFA.

3. I need to reconnect with my characters. Before E's current medical issues emerged, I was so close to my characters that any time I sat down with pen, paper or keyboard they were ready to play. These days, it takes coaxing. And time I don't have.

4. I need to reaffirm my trust in the creative process. My writer's heart knows I should do this. My editor's head looks at my progress to date on M&R and taps its foot and shakes its head. My writer's heart knows that what's happening in our lives is informing me as a writer, and a necessary part of the process. Yet, there's so much I want to say and do and explore with my stories. I know. I know. I can't rush the process. It will unfold in its own time, not mine.

5. Two pages a day. Jane Resh Thomas, mentor, teacher, friend and writer extraordinaire, recommends targeting two pages a day for any writer looking to finish something. When she first recommended the concept to me, I was halfway through my Vermont College MFA, and remember thinking, "Two pages? Piece of cake." I couldn't imagine ever having a time in my life where I couldn't achieve that goal. Now I get it.

Writerly Report--I managed two pages of creative yesterday, and I'm well on my way to meeting my goal for today. Baby steps.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Attention Writers and Book Lovers: Contests and Queries You Don't Want to Miss

Talk to most any writer and you know that it's hard for them to pass up a free book. That's why I had to share the following:

Teaching Authors is running a contest now through Labor Day with a free book, New Year at the Pier by April Halprin Wayland, as the prize. All you need to do to enter to win is post a goal (25 words of less) that you plan to accomplish between now and the end of the year.

And word on the net (Facebook) is that the editors at Hunger Mountain VCFA Journal of Fine Arts are finalizing their fall issue and looking for the submissions to support the theme, Confronting Controversy. In her post this morning, co-editor Bethany Hegedus wrote: "essays needed on a variety of controversial issues. Book banning, cover controversies, blurring the lines, self-editing re topic, etc. Please email hmcyaeditors at gmail.com with essay pitch. 1500-2000 words. Firming up fall line-up!