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April wound up being fairly successful despite the personal chaos, which can only be described as “internal crisis.” There’s nothing going on outside. The world is good as far as that goes. So I decided to just ignore it and signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’d had a thought out of the blue about how I could resolve a plot-and-motivation problem in Darien’s story and wanted to implement that.

I figured it ought to be good for 50k, but when I got going, I discovered further complications (of the not-good-for-the-story sort :) ) and issues arising from inadequate character development, which in turn revealed big gaps in my worldbuilding. The characters were doing things but they didn’t have attitudes about the world around them, and their interrelationships were exactly like relationships in 2015 America. I had written the earlier draft on the assumption that I could go back and fill in the details later, but clearly that wasn’t working. So I lowered my word count to 30,000, which turned out to be a comfortable pace.

So my plan for May, complicated as it is: keep writing at a comfortable pace :D

One of the things they don’t tell you about getting old is that issues you thought you had resolved and put in your past long ago suddenly come back in new and more virulent disguises, so instead of cruising along into the supposedly golden years, all of a sudden you’re picking up the wreckage from the roadside and trying to reassemble yourself inside again.

I’m going to go to the BSO concert tonight and enjoy it anyway. I’ll do the crisis in my spare time.

In sunny springlike California meeting our first grandchild, a charming boy named Jonah. The tour will resume next month.

I’m a grandma

Middlest and his wife gave birth to a baby boy last night at 6:28p California time. 8 lbs 9 oz, named Jonah Dashiel (Dashiell? Didn’t think to ask about spelling.). Mother, baby, and dad are all doing fine.

Why yes, I dream of having a writing retreat some day. Somewhere. Somehow. I’ve been dreaming about it for years.

I used to think it was difficult to impossible to get away when the kids were in school. There were always gymnastics/dance performance/big tests/band performance/etc. that required both parents. I did manage to get away for a couple of writing seminars or a long weekend alone. For those, I just booked a room at the Sheraton in nearby Portsmouth NH where I could go down for a meal if I needed a break or order room service for minimal interruption. Or go out and wander around the downtown if I was temporarily stuck.

I always thought it would be easier after the kids left home and we retired. No obligations, no kids to take priority, no…

No money.

Well, not exactly no money. But not a lot, either. And would I rather spend it on a week away somewhere to write, or on going to visit the kids and the pending grandbaby? If I have to choose between a week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with spouse, or a week in a cabin alone with my thoughts and my notebook? What about two weeks in China? Writing is important, but it’s chugging along. Do I really need a retreat? Do I even want it?

Even though the answer has been no so far, I still dream of spending weeks or months in Italy soaking up the sun and alternating painting, writing, and hiking or biking. Maybe a villa in Umbria, maybe an apartment in Rome. But I know myself well enough to know that I’d most likely spend all the time doing things, seeing art galleries, finding new trattorias and gelato stands, going to concerts, and generally being more of a tourist than a writer.

Which makes me think that the way things are working out is just fine :)

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/tulpamancy-internet-subculture-892

Though I may have some thoughts later.

Better late than never? Here’s my Merry-Go-Round blog post for January :)

I’ve been struggling all month to write this post, not because the post itself is so difficult but because the goals I wanted to write about refused to stay put. I knew I was going to need to be flexible what with the first grandbaby arriving in February and the usual family obligations and impromptu weekends in the mountains, but the lists I came up with were more than flexible. It didn’t seem to matter what order I put things in, or whether I changed one project for another. They were all equally arbitrary and equally impossible to believe in.

The truth is, writing isn’t my only priority right now. I’m still recovering from losing my father and now worrying about my mother, I’m about to be a grandmother for the first time, I’m making progress in my painting, and it’s all contributing to huge changes inside, changes I’m only beginning to recognize. It’s like sitting on a volcano waiting for it to erupt.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when it does. Maybe nothing. Maybe just renewed energy to the things I’ve always loved. Or maybe I’m getting ready to head in an exciting new direction. But until I figure it out, I need to just keep on keeping on, while being aware that I might need to change directions.

So for the first part of the year, I’ll be working on background research for the steampunk series I started last November, mostly studying US history, especially the history of slavery. I’ll also be finishing the genie novella and possibly working on the next pass of Crows. Target date for the genie story is before grandbaby. I don’t expect to get anything done while we’re visiting; when we come back, I’ll pick up Crows.

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “New Beginnings” in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour–an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the group site at the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour there. Read and enjoy!

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