Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today's Mood: Happy. Today's Music: Right now--Storm by Lifehouse, which doesn't exactly fit with the happy mood, but hey, I'm a woman of complexity. Today's Writing: IFFY. Today's Quote:
This is the only life I have, this one in my head,
the one that travels along the surface of my body
singing the low voltage song of the ego
- from "One Life to Live" by Billy Collins in Questions About Angels

I was stuck at work for awhile today, waiting for the network to function and upload my pictures (thinking in my blind optimistic way that it would be faster than actually going out to my car and driving across town to Walgreens--alas, it was not), and I picked up a book of poetry by Mary Oliver. After reading several of her poems, I vowed to rededicate myself to reading at least one poem a day. Not that it has to be one of her poems--although she is a fabulous poet. I just want to hear the language of poetry. I want the images perking in my brain all day. Every day.

Life has been particularly busy, and rather stressful as well with all the political stuff going on in Lansing and in the nation. (Can you believe our Attorney General is going to sue the U.S. Government?! Talk about frivolous lawsuits--with money we don't have.) None of it helps my writing. I need to crave out a space of quiet, of time to think. And maybe even more important than that is an attitude of quiet. An attitude of contemplation.

Poetry can help. I think reading poetry every day helps my mind quiet itself, quit chewing on its own tail. And maybe then I'll be able to hear my story a little quicker, a little louder.

I love to feel the daily turning of the pages,
the sentences unwinding like string,
and when something really important happens,
I walk out to the edges of the page
and, always the student,
make an asterisk, a little star, in the margin.
-from "Cliche", by Billy Collins in Questions About Angels
How's the writing life been treating you lately? Has the muse been visiting regular like, or is she hopelessly late and often out of town?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Today's Mood: Lucky..... Today's Music: U2--Helter Skelter. Today's Writing: IFFY (getting close to 80,000 words) Today's Quote:
And here's what I think is one of the very most important thing to do in a query: be as specific as possible. Allow me to be even more specific: be as specific as possible about the right things. -Nathan Bransford

I know, I know, it's been awhile. Lots of things going on--although possibly not as much writing as I SHOULD be doing. But see, I'm trying to get rid of shoulds in my life. They don't serve much purpose besides making me feel guilty, which usually just makes me do things like eat chocolate and drink wine--oh, and whine.

Khardomah was great. I got two more chapters written, and was on a roll the last day when--of all annoying things--a new character showed up. And now I've been stalling, unsure of exactly why the character is there. Just because my brain coughed her up doesn't mean I should put her in the book. But for some reason one of my important characters wanted to introduce her to my main character.

I've been fiddling around, trying out different possibilities for who this character is and why she is important. The only way to find out is to write it and then see if it fits. Still, it's kind of hard to write until I have a direction.

So I was wondering if anyone else had this experience of something unexpected showing up in their writing--and not knowing right away what it was there for. Or even if they SHOULD include it or ditch it. What do you do about it?