Saturday, February 24, 2007

writing fuel

I've made it clear, I think, that I think the proper food for writers is chocolate, preferably dark, to be taken 2 squares at a time whenever inspiration wanes. But other foods should not be disdained, especially when you do a day-long writing stint.

All of which is to say that my writing friends and I had another writing retreat day, and our menu included

white cheddar popcorn
chocolate-covered dried cranberries
red pears
fresh pineapple
crackers (Triscuits and whole wheat biscuits)
smoked Gouda
an amazing lentil soup

This beautiful and intensely sustaining soup wasn't totally responsible for any brilliant work done that day, but I am thinking of making it when I start on the last (I hope) revision of my novel.

Just to make it clear that we didn't eat all day long, here is a list of what was written:
my sister: a poem about melting ice (which was happening outside as we wrote)
T: some pages of her novel, which is about a brother and sister who are inseparable when they are young, but who as adults have difficulty with each other's life choices
K: working with notes on articles (interrupted by having to meet the plumber at her house to confer over a frozen pipe)
me: the possible beginning of a short story about 3 women discussing their love lives in a bar over margaritas (it's terribly dialogue-heavy though--so much that K or T suggested it should be a play; I do love to write dialogue).

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

is it still February?

It is. Still February, still mightily cold, still snowy. I can hear the familiar and homey scrape of the snow shovel outside as D clears our driveway once again (picture above, taken from the warm, unsnowy vantage point of the stairway window).
I'm working on new stuff this weekend, the first time for a long time I've worked on anything else at all except my novel. I feel frolicsome, lighthearted. My head is buzzing with ideas. Luckily, this is a 3-day weekend, so I can let my writing time scroll out, unfold, without thinking too much of what I have to do at work. And tomorrow is a planned writing day--I'm getting together with my sister and 2 writer friends for a Lake Tahoe day, where we recreate (sadly without a beach) how we worked intensively at Lake Tahoe last July.
Yesterday I wrote a poem and a story, which was so much fun, I may try to do it again today. Here are the 1st lines of the story:
Here we are, and it’s nice that we’re together. We are sisters. We may be dead. I don’t feel a need to clear up the question, for what good would it do to know? We might have to take action of some sort, and there are no instructions, no help of any kind on offer.
My sister doesn't like the title, which is "Transubstantiation," and she may be right.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

snow filling up the world

We're slightly snowed in, and we don't have to go to work or school, which is delightful--a happy sin against the Puritan ethic. Inspired by Cookin' in the 'Cuse and Liberty Farm's snow pictures, I took some of my own. (I also greatly admire CitC's impeccable use of apostrophes.)
A long, slow, whitened day: perfect for catching up on reading, doing a little writing, and telling you 5 weird things about me, since Karen at Pen in Hand tagged me for a meme. It was originally 6 weird things, but Karen downsized it to 5.
5 or 6 weird things about me:

1. I once worked in a religious garments supply house, doing inventory. Not a secret, but definitely weird. It was a Saturday job when I was going to college, courtesy of my best friend, whose uncle knew someone who knew someone else who was in the religious garments business. Nuns' bras looked much like anyone else's, except they were always white.
2. I once had a dream about a past life which I died and saw my own grave.
3. I read books from the back sometimes, if I'm impatient with the writing or the plot but I want to find out what happened (in fact, I can't stand not to know what happened, even if it's a very bad book). I'm pretty good at it, but it's one of those talents that will never really do you any good, and certainly aren't marketable.
4. I have around 100 first cousins. Two parents from large families (mother: 11; father: 9), and a procreatively-minded set of aunts and uncles (one side Catholic). It made family reunions chaotic and marvelous; also gave me the chance to have crushes on various cousins, 2nd cousins, 1st cousins once removed. Mike, Bobby: you know who you are.
5. I was 3rd in the state in the Auxilium Latinum Latin contest. I don't remember anymore what was involved--a test of some kind, probably, but I have a nifty silver pin to remind me of my triumph.
6. I still have the hairpiece I wore at my 1st wedding--it's in a decorative gold and white box, still beautifully curled, never worn but the once.