First Steps (Again)

Hello! Another week has gone by. It has on the whole been a good one. Next week will include the full onslaught of statistics, but for now I can say that I have spent some useful time with my notebook, sufficient that I feel comfortable getting back into the trenches at long last. Even better, I am starting to get the bare outline of an idea for NaNo this year, at a time when I was starting to worry that I was never going to have an idea again, ever (I worry about this regularly, despite the size of my “to be written” stack). It is still at the “two nouns and a hazy image” stage, but it will grow.

In other news, on Friday I went to the Climate Strike rally in Boston. I’ve been keeping my resource page updated as I come across things.

It was a great event, very inspiring. Have to keep it up, of course.




After weeks and weeks of getting nowhere with this book, I think I have finally figured out what I need to do. I’m very excited about this, since I was about to throw in the towel and start learning how to write again from Square 1. It’s going to require some replumbing of the current draft, but I don’t think I have to start it over from scratch. The week ahead should be a relatively quiet one, so I look forward to figuring out a plan finally.

(The problem is with the antagonist. I have a terrible time with those, which is a vexing situation for a genre writer. And, I am mildly chagrined and equally amused to say, the solution involves me following advice I have sagely dispensed to others in the past. There’s nothing like art to keep one humble.)

This past week I have been experimenting with the popular “morning pages” practice. I am not sure whether or not I can credit that with this morning’s breakthrough, or if it’s just that I am finally over the Cold from Hell, or that things needed to simmer and sort themselves out in my subconscious for exactly this long before the issue surfaced. I am going to keep up with the pages for a bit longer, and see what happens. They do eat up a fair amount of time, but the experience of writing longhand is meditative.

Long-range goals remain elusive, but I continue to put out feelers while I try to determine what it is that I am looking for. In the meantime, I’m going to finish this book!


Back to Routine

Hello! The disruptions of August lie behind us, along with the hot weather (I hope). Ahead lies a new school year, along with my favorite season. It feels good to be home with the expectation of staying here for a while, and even the familiar chores are bracing. There’s a lot to do, a lot of accumulated clutter to deal with, a lot of things I finally feel up to adding back to my daily routine, now that I have one again–I’ve been meditating more often, and doing my language practice, and am caught up on the filing.

And I am–again, finally–back to working on the book. I think I’ve identified the girder in the road that stopped me over the summer, a matter of pacing that must have been nagging at the back of my mind this entire time, only to surface at last on a read-through this week. I haven’t figured out how to fix it yet, but I am cheered by having found the problem. I look forward to having more to report next week.


1,167 Miles

That’s my drive log for the past three days, during which I went back to the city in which I grew up in order to attend my grandfather’s funeral. I haven’t much to say about that just yet — I am very glad that I went, but the trip was draining, and I had very little down-time throughout.

On Wednesday after the funeral and family gathering were done, I drove out to Presque Isle to see the sunset. Took off my shoes, walked in the sand, watched an intrepid wind-surfer catching the last of the waves–it was very windy, and high water had closed most of the beaches.

On the way home on Thursday, I stopped at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. The New York Thruway cuts straight through it. I’ve been past it dozens of times, usually in the winter. The meadows are flooded then for the use of migrating shorebirds, and there is a bleak beauty about the place. It looks very different in August than in December! I walked one of the trails, admired the monarch butterflies, listened to the wind in the aspen trees and cicadas singing the end of summer.

The month has been a total bust writing-wise, so I’m not going to post one of my usual charts. Hoping for a reset in September.


What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Writing


The Monster Skein is no more. The results will be going to the Blanket Project. Today I wound one of my skeins of fancy alpaca yarn and cast on a scarf. So far this year, if memory serves, I have used five skeins of yarn and bought two, which is good for my storage space.

Nothing much to say on the writing front other than that I have started re-reading the draft so I can get back into it. Have also been busy getting ready for school to resume. This week, unfortunately, I have to drive to PA to attend my grandfather’s funeral, and right after that is Labor Day weekend with all of the usual get-togethers for that side of the family. We shall see what eventuates.