Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not Perfect

This past week I was working on a rough draft of a one act play for a workshop submission. I had to submit the draft by a certain date, and I wasn't happy with the second part of the play at all.

Now, this is for a workshop. It is meant to be a work in progress and all of that, but why is it still so painful to share rough work with others?

My perspective has always been to work at a piece until it cannot be worked anymore. It's almost easy to submit something polished to a group of peers. Praise follows and egos bloom. It feels like an act of supreme courage to submit something that doesn't work. I feel vulnerable.

I suspect I'm not alone with these feelings.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Rose that Never Dies

Sounds like a title of a James Bond movie.

I ordered a bourbon rose, "Madame Isaac Pereire" in 1997. It came with me when I moved the following year. Twice it was mowed to the ground by unsuspecting men riding on mowers. It returned both times. It was finally relocated to my current house in 2005 where it has done spectacularly by providing deep pink, fragrant blossoms each year.

Until this year. Alas, the vicious December winds and snow left my rose lifeless and brown. I waited and waited, coaxing the roots with organic fertilizer and mulch, but the plant remained lifeless, brittle, and brown. My oldest, most beloved rose was dead.

Despite the less than attractive appearance Madame left in my garden, I couldn't quite pull her up to plant something else. So the dead plant remained all summer long. Today, I was distributing hollyhock seeds around the garden (never mind that I have too many hollyhocks), when I saw from the base of my dead, dry rose plant, a green shoot of life!

So, for now, the rose lives. Perhaps in a year or two, my favorite blossoms will return to the garden.

[Insert writing metaphor of choice here...or not.]

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Latest Project

I'm working on a draft of a one act play that depicts a scene, well two scenes, from the next YA novel I will write.

It's very much a departure from previous projects, and I stumbled upon a unique setting.

This week my draft will go to my playwright group for review. The end result will be another ten pages and lots of revision.

In between the writing, I took a blackberry picking walk with my children and made pie. This has become a ritual of sorts here on Orcas. A most excellent and delicious way to enjoy a Sunday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Holding a Mirror

I'm attending the wonderful SCBWI conference this weekend. It's interesting to see my own ideas about what I am doing mirrored by writers, editors, and agents.

It's a sign of good things to come...

At least, that is what I choose to believe.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I read an article in The New York Times about a group of homeless (or perhaps formally homeless) men in Poland who are building a boat to sail the seas. The ship building is part of the learning, and they have professionals to help teach them along the way.

I love this story because it reminds me how important it is to have dreams. For these men, their existence has been transformed by the prospect of a journey. Hopelessness turns to hope. Along the way, they learn new skills.

What is the ship that I build? What journey will I take? What journey will you take?
Pull out the maps and start the dream.