The last few weeks I have finally found a measure of peace in organizing my office: new file cabinets, new storage, new label maker, and at last I have a clutter-free desk!
Part of the clean up involved going through old journals and letters. I used to be an avid letter writer, and I had a great correspondence with a few people over the years. I started writing letters as soon as I knew how to write. I loved stamps, and saved my money to buy more stationery. I was a weird kid.
I continued to write letters through college, and law school and well into the late 1990s when email was more common. There is a wonderful intimacy in reading about a friend's adventures in Panama, or a friend's excitement over a new love. I miss my pen pals!
So I was excited to see this challenge: Write a Letter a Day in February. (Perfectly timed for Valentine's Day!) I'm going to take the challenge. How about you?
Oh, and if you'd like to send me a letter, you can find my address on my website contact page!
Whew! I just finished the last of my deadlines for 2011 -- a short story commissioned by WNYC's Selected Shorts program. I hope they like it. And now, it is time to breathe again.
I feel almost giddy knowing that all I have to think about in the coming months is the new book! Whoo hoo! Okay, there are a couple of speeches I need to write (notably the Everybody Reads 2012 event with an audience of 2000 in Portland in March), and a workshop I need to put together. But still, what I am feeling right now is relief. I have some time to do some big picture thinking, reading, organizing my closets, exercising and of course, having some holiday fun.
Do you have time off during the next couple of weeks? What are you going to do?
What a cool night! Writer Barbara DeMarco-Barrett hosts a monthly literary salon in Corona del Mar, CA and I was glad to be a part of it. I shared the stage with Danzy Senna (You Are Free) as we talked about the writing process, permission and fear. Thanks for a wonderful evening, everyone!
Okay, yes, I'm a little bit behind. I know summer officially started in June but I haven't felt it. I've spent the last few weeks tying up loose ends from the book tour and the Festival, clearing off my desk, dealing with some difficult stuff, and trying to figure out my next steps as I work on the new book. Today is the first day I feel like the pressure cooker lid is off and the long list of to-do's is actually do-able.
The weekend was peaceful and fun: a trip to the market, dinner with friends, a movie and there were a couple of naps involved too. Suddenly, my life looked like my life again pre-publication. It was nice.
And plus, there's the new ribbon I have in my typewriter which I am about to work on now--trying to spark some new thoughts using a new (classic) tool. Okay, now back to the words!
Stories seem so well constructed that it's natural for teachers to assume they were thought up in advance, but Gregor Samsa could have mated with another cockroach, and Humpty Dumpty could have been unscrambled by feeding him to a chicken.
"Maybe stories are research with a soul." - Brene Brown
I have stacks of papers, and note cards, and photos and books. It is the research for the new book I'm working on. I have been looking at all of this information trying to tease out the important details to shape a story, but right now the writing feels--well--soul-less. How do I put a soul to these facts and details? Any ideas?