Friday, February 24, 2006

Art Lives in a Big World (Thanks, Natalie Goldberg)

Writing Down the Bones is a great read. It is gratifying to read about writing not as just commodification (come on, we all read to be read, and if we can make a few bucks at it. . . )but for satisfaction of experience and expression. Here's what Natalie Goldberg says in this great little book:
One of the main aims in wirting practice is to learn to trust oyour own mind and body---to grow patint and nonagrressive. Art lives in the Big World. One poem or story doesn't matter one way or another. It's the process of writing and life that matter.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It Takes as Long as it Takes

I'm ready to give my mentor another short story to read, but I think it is too soon, yet, I feel the urge to put this story, one that I've been writing for a while , into her capable hands. After a week or two, she'll give it back to me, we'll meet over coffee and go over the story with a fine tooth comb. Her eye is so acute. Sometimes I wince at some of the things she points out, things that should be so obvious to me, but in the white heat of writing my story , get overlooked. I'm not giving her my best, though, I'm giving her a story before it is ready, because sometimes I like the feeling of having written, more than I like the arduous process of revision, fine tuning, applying my own critical eye to my own writing. It is hard to "murder your darlings." I get attached to certain characters, a turn of phrase, or the "mood" that certain words or sentences evoke. H. advises: "bake the story until it is baked as much as you can bake it." Good advice , that. O.k. I'm off. I need to limber up my fingers.

Monday, February 20, 2006

What does chaos look like?

Today was a tough day to get by in . I could only function between certain spaces of chaos. One of those days where you actually get things done but for the life of you can't remember how. A good friend visits me at work and we go to lunch which was really nice, but I end of feeling too frazzled to keep up interesting conversation. Days like today at my day job don't leave me enough emotional or physical energy to get any writing done, though the will is there. So if writing this blog tonight, short as it is going to be , counts as writing , so be it. It will be all that I'll be able to manage.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday and feeling a little cuckoo

Too tired to raise the battle cry of Friday. Feeling happy that I actually got through the week! The weather is so strange outside ---one minute dark as night, the next minute sunny, winds are ferocious and alternately it rains. Tommorow is supposed to be 50 degrees colder than it is today. What does this have to do with work or writing? Nothing I guess. But hey, it's Friday. Thank God.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Some day you get the bear. . .

. . .and some days the bear gets you. The bear has me today. Around my desk area I got an "office"---sort of. These kind of expensive cube panels to offer me a bit of privacy . No privacy yet, though. My students have climbed the panels, stuck things to them, jumped out from behind them and otherwise questioned my need to have them. "Why do you want to keep us out," one deluded soul asked me. So, my walls have arrived, but it will take at least a few weeks before the students get used to the fact that they are there. So the bear has me because I feel a bit weird now, sitting behind my walls, like I want to block out the world, which I DON'T---I'd just like to get a bit of work done. But for today, the bear has definitely won.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Time away is the ticket

Well, we left Baltimore where the hub had a medical conference. I took a few days off from my day job and when I got to the hotel, locked myself away with some awesome coffee, my books, laptop and some great jazz that I just bought (Universal Syncopations by Miroslav Vitous) and read and wrote and looked out the window which was a great view since we were on the waterfront in a corner room on the sixteenth floor. I completed two freelance assignments, completed a short story, wrote two query letters, worked on a poem and read some more Peanuts comic strips in one of my new books It's a Big World Charlie Brown. I managed to get to the Civil War Museum, the Aquarium, the bookstore (3x) , a FANTASTIC Japanese restaurant and lots of other stuff.
My husband and I were both marginally aware of how bad the weather was suppose to be (duhhh) and were rather suprised when we woke this morning to lots of snow and blustery winds. We grabbed coffee and muffins and got on the road. The hub is an incredibly intrepid traveler and everything is a challenge to him. Anything has the potential to becomes a dare to which he must rise. So I said : "Uh, hon, do you think we should wait a while?" I saw the fire in his eyes. He as all set to go! We passed a car that went into a ditch, a truck on fire, and many, many cars spinning because of going way, way too fast and not leaving enough space between themselves and the car in front of them. This is incredibly annoying and also dangerous. "I laugh at your stupidity!" the hub yelled at one man speeding along in his Mercedes Benz, who took a bit of a spin, which, by the look on his face as we passed him, I'd wager he didn't intend.
Home to the house we arrived safely and the hub could. not. WAIT. to get the snow blower humming. He is STILL out there.
Otherwise, I've got dinner cooking on the stove and I've lit a few candles in the house, just waiting for him to come inside.
We got a lot more snow here than in Baltimore, but it really is so beautiful.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Auden hit it right on the head

The Unconcious of most writers remains a dark nursery of anxiety and chaos.