I’m still hard at work on the short story (“The Intruder”) that takes place in my daughter’s house in Virginia. I reduced the word count and simplified the convoluted plot line and am now ready to smooth the rough edges, increase the word count, and add complexity to the plot line. I plan to have a draft to submit to my writing group “soon” after we arrive in Arizona. Warning to my group: do not expect it the week we arrive (next week).
Recently I read on a writing blog (not certain which one) that a writer (obviously) keeps a journal for each writing project that she works on. I promptly went to Barnes and Noble, purchased one of their ubiquitous,
always “reduced price,” journals, and started recording my experience revising my short story. I have two entries.
This is the year (I hope) that we get FaceTime functioning so that I can participate in our Thursday night writing group from Arizona. Even if we are only able to communicate via the phone, I will be satisfied. Without the structure of my group to motivate me, I spend my time there basking in the sunshine, resting, and exploring. Add being a spectator at the numerous sports and activities that our three active grandchildren participate in and you can see why I haven’t gotten much writing done these past two winters.
Something that has limited my writing in Virginia is that, as a Christmas present to myself, I renewed my subscription to Ancestry.com. My daughter and I have been researching rabidly various branches of my husband’s family. She’s traced his paternal grandfather’s ancestors back to hanging out with William Bradford, a Pilgrim governor of Massachusetts. (I thought I had done well to determine my fifth great-grandfather was a Minuteman!) It’s an addictive–and at times frustrating–hobby.
Last year in Arizona I participated in an online support group for writers, “Creative Monsters Club,” with other members from around the world. Our mentor, Marcy Mason McKay, has published (among other writings) an award-winning novel, “Pennies from Burger Heaven.” She soon plans to start work on the second book in the Burger Heaven series. I am going to post a review of her book on Goodreads and Amazon, which I have never done before. The quality and detail of the reviews I have read prior to deciding to purchase a book have deterred me from contributing my own paltry review. But I’m going to take the plunge and submit a brief review of this book. Please read her book–my review is optional!
When you get to be my age, it’s amazing what an almost fourteen hour trip to Virginia, in steady rain, in a rental car with tires in need of replacement, with GPS directions that you find out are not taking you the way you think you are going until it’s too late to change direction, can do to you the next day. And I was only the passenger. The driver started the trip at six a.m. getting thrown to the ground after being hit in the head by the garage door on its downward trajectory. I think you may get the picture why this post will be short and disjointed!
The good news is we made it to Virginia safe and sound, our suitcases already unpacked and clothes hung in the closets with care, the driver still lively and quick. The last leg of our journey to Arizona will be by sleigh, er, airplane, that is.
I survived, and won, NaNoWriMo, with time to spare but not a creative thought lurking anywhere. I’ve printed my 2014 and 2015 winning submissions and lugged them with my original printed book (“Anne”) with a plan to ignore the Arizona sunshine this winter and return home with a completed draft comprised of an amalgamation of all three novels. We shall see…
Over a year ago I wrote a short story that
partially is set in my daughter’s house in Virginia. (You may recall the experiment with the weed whacker string.) Another unfinished work. As I walked into her garage last night, after the exhausting trip from New Hampshire, the story engulfed me, reminding me of characters and story lines left hanging, like stockings hung on the mantle filled with coal. They deserve better than that. I just may finish that story this trip.
And Santa just may bring me everything on my list.