Thursday, July 31, 2008

Provincetown 32

Gretchen's previous comment asking me to share from the new writing...ah, you are a tricky one, little Gretchen, my little trickster friend. No, I shan't be sharing. Here at FAWC, I shared in the spirit of flying something new. Something magical in sharing that vulnerability here, where everyone is willing to be vulnerable. Beautiful experience. I will say the feedback has been very positive, very.

Had trouble sleeping after the reading. I wandered the apartment aimlessly for a while, read a while, then took a walk and mailed some things at the PO. It was a little quiet for a Wednesday night. Came back, still couldn't sleep. Tried to sleep. Read. Finally at six a.m. I dressed and walked into town. I sat down to my first breakfast since I've been here at the Portuguese Bakery, two eggs, sunny-side-up, sausage, and bread. Walked back and tried to sleep. Couldn't. Read. Tried again, and then, finally, a wonderful, long dream-filled sleep. I dreamed Allen was looking at my painted toenails, wondering about the color, and so many more odd things did I dream. And it was lovely.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Provincetown 31

Tonight was my reading. The other writer reading tonight was Amy Bloom. I read first, a short selection of what I've been working on here at FAWC and a short selection from The Secret of Hurricanes. I love the audiences at FAWC; they are large and appreciative. Afterwards, there was a reception sponsored by my wonderful state, Ohio. Boiled shrimp, cheeses, fruits, crackers, wine! I feel many ways blessed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Provincetown 30

Been busy working and playing. My workshop was last week. Sure got to read and discuss a lot of great poetry like Blake and Comer and Denis Johnson and Jorie Graham. The workshop knocked me off line with the novel, though. I need to work myself back into the fever. Stopped by Tim's Used Bookstore and bought a collection of Jack Kerouac's letters, edited by Ann Charters. Amazing read. He makes me fall in love with writing all over again and again and again and again. Remarkable to think he was born in 1922 and died in 1969. He is forever young in my mind.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Provincetown 29

Process:

Gretchen asked about process.

Because this novel is based on a real life experience (boating the Ohio River in 2005), it has presented its own challenges, particularly that of moving away from the actual experience and toward a narrative that has some force. I had to separate myself from the character on the boat and my husband from the other character on the boat. I kept wanting to hang on to aspects of us that didn't fit the new narrative. That has been a part of the process, then, letting go.

Another part has been to balance out how I want/know the book will end with the need to maintain sufficient curiosity about the characters and situation so that I don't lose interest. The only way I've found to do that in this case is to move inexorably toward the ineffable.

So I've had to comb through the narrative again and again, making changes that would accomplish the previous tasks.

I don't know if this answers Gretchen's question.

I'm going back to the apartment now to print out a new copy of the manuscript and think about where to go next.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Provincetown 28

I watched the fireworks from my bedroom window last night. I think it is the first 4th of July that Allen and I have ever been apart. We usually try to watch fireworks in our hometown. The last few years we've gone out on our boat to watch them. It was a funny feeling to watch them alone.

I'm getting ready now to go back to the room and take a shower, put on my pajamas and work on the manuscript for a few hours. I've been doing domestic/business tasks today, so I'm ready to hunker down and write now.

This week I get to take a workshop.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Provincetown 27

Right now I'm downright exhausted. I got extremely excited by new ideas and I've been working to implement them into the manuscript. I awoke early this morning and commenced working directly. I keep the laptop at the ready beside the bed. I simply brushed my teeth, washed my face and lay in bed with pages scattered all around. I didn't get out of my pajamas until two in the afternoon. I showered and came to the lounge to check my mail. I had two letters! One from Allen and another from Judi Heartsong! How I love to get letters here. While checking my e-mail, Dorothy, the summer program director stepped into the computer lab and said, "I had a dream about you last night." She said she hadn't seen me in so long she'd started worrying about me. She had an anxiety dream that something might have happened to me.

I laughed and said, "But I was at the reading last night." (Jayne Anne Phillips' reading).

"You were!" she cried. She said she was so tired herself she hadn't noticed.

I told her she was right, though, my profile here has been low the past couple of weeks. I explained to her that when I go underground, I go UNDERGROUND.

I'm very happy with the manuscript so far. I've lost track now of how many times I've started anew and, while typing, deepened the characters and the situation. Despite all the retyping, I've got about 60 manuscript pages now. My goal was to have a finished rough draft by the end of July. I don't know if that will happen, but I'm happy with all progress so far.

Happy 4th. Every day is Independence Day for me this summer!

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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych

Wishing

Wishing

Little Deer

Little Deer

Transformation

Transformation

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back
CURRENT MOON

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