Thursday, July 30, 2009

Finding Hours

I just signed more contracts for more classes. More classes result in more paychecks. Paychecks cover expenses....

I know many amazing writers worked after hours or before hours to produce their work. I do. Others do. We do what needs to be done. What other choice do I have.

I must confess, however, a tiny part of me dreams of that lovely windfall (a relative who had a long and wonderful life) leaves me with an inheritance and a room of my own. Oh yes, I know, that was Woolf's advice for how a woman could become a writer.

I have a corner of my own. And a few hours here and there put to good use.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

House Building

I scrubbed down and sealed 1/2 the deck this weekend. As I worked, I noticed the nice symmetry of the pieces of wood, and how the parts fit together. When my house was being built, just over five years ago, I was struck how much carpentry was like sewing. How the pieces go together, and the trim covers up the rough edges. I have little in way of house building or repairing skills myself but admire anyone who can work with his or her hands. The deck is a perfect expression of those exacting skills.

Yesterday while I was at the hardware store buying some supplies needed for the deck, I saw a notice up with plea for help. A local man had a stroke on the golf course, and though he has insurance, the care he needs will not be covered. Unfortunately, this isn't the first or, I doubt, the last fundraiser for a person in need of medical cost help. This speaks volumes about true quality of healthcare and support we all receive. I will contribute what I can, which will not be a lot or enough....

What kept me riveted by the counter was the man's name: Roger. The man stricken with the stroke is the man who built my house.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I'm not sure if I will ever get used to seasons. I grew up in a land where seasonal changes were far more subtle (Southern California).

To think it will be dark and cold just a few months from now. No, I will not think about winter...not yet!

This has been an amazing summer.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let the revising begin...

My screenplay is now a novel draft; the revising process begins. Where to start? The beginning (of course). I will read through everything, take notes, and start fleshing out sections that need more details and, of course, cutting out the parts that don't fit.

Sometimes I cannot stand to part with a particular passage I love, but I know it doesn't fit in my story. I keep a "Cuts" file in MS Word, where I put all those parts. Someday, I'll go through this file and create a postmodern novel (or something). :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hollyhocks and Roses

My two favorite flowers are hollyhocks and roses. An added treat is when they bloom together. Over the past few years I've harvested quite a few hollyhock seeds from various places (including Victoria, B.C.).

I'm almost done with my first novel draft of my work in progress. As I get toward the end I find I have notes to add for places I want to develop and expand. The list grows longer! I will have a lot of revising ahead...

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Yesterday I got stuck in one part of my draft. After staring at the screen and then finding other things to do, I finally realized the problem is I have three directions to take my plot. All three directions work well and lead to the next part of the story.

Which one will I choose?

I haven't yet decided, but I had to put a note in my draft and continued with my story. For now, the draft continues. Later, I will have to return and make the choice: Door #1, #2, or #3. I think I will generate some questions to apply to each possible scene first.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Change the Order

I'm a great believer in cross training. Though I am hardly an athlete, I do know that changing my workout from time to time is a good idea, and I get better results.

The past couple of days I have changed the time I work on my manuscript. Instead of waiting until I am done with work, I write now before work. Like a change in a workout, I'm finding the change creates good results.

Now, I'm going to go write some more (even though it's after work). Twice a day is even better!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Old Brick and Stone

I love brick and stone work. I wish I had some skill to build something useful around my house. I have enough stone around here to build a fortress.

This is a picture of an old foundation and fireplace at the base of Turtleback Mountain. I love the simplicity and strength. Oh yes, and of course, it's time for a metaphor. ...something about building a strong foundation in writing...but, that's kind of cliche. So I will NOT use this particular metaphor.

Instead, I will think about it and learn to be a stone mason.