I've always wanted to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) held each November, but I've never been able to keep up with the word count or put in the necessary hours writing. November is particularly difficult because of the holidays and holiday get-togethers and travel. So I was excited to learn that the good folks at NaNoWriMo put together a chance to do the novel writing marathon in April. So here I am a week and a half into the work--not too far behind on the word count. There's some good stuff in the pages I have and then a lot of bleh and some terrible stuff too. If nothing else, I am purging the bad novel to be able to make room for the good in later drafts. The best bit of advice that's keeping me going is from one of my favorite poets, William Stafford. He once said: “There is no such thing as writer's block for writers whose standards are low enough.” I'm aiming really low, and I'm enjoying the work!
I have been researching the life of Miss Lala for years and am working on a novel that fictionalizes her life. Who knew that she was on everyone's mind? Check out this story in the NY Times about the exhibition that opened this week at the Morgan Library in New York. I know a lot more than the curators about her life -- in fact, I found a new photograph of her recently that's never been published. It was like looking into her soul. So wish me words as I continue working on the book--ETA unknown, but it's definitely in the works!
I am so incredibly grateful that I've been invited to return to Djerassi, a wonderful artist residence in Northern California. I spent four weeks at Djerassi in 2005 and had a wonderfully productive month. It was there I started plotting out the research I needed to do for the new book I'm working on now. Djerassi is located on a stunning piece of land that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. I look forward to the long afternoon walks on the trails. I look forward to the gift of time.
The news came just when I needed that affirmation from the universe of the new work. And then guess what? A couple of days later I found more information about my subject Miss Lala; a couple of days after that I revised the first pages (again) and think I finally have it right!
Alas, the residency isn't until 2013. But what a wonderful lifeline to get the invitation now!