What a busy and hectic week. (And then there was that press conference, which is just too damned ridiculous, surreal and depressing to write about.)
Ever since I received my novel notes back from beta reader Kevin Brennan, I’ve been writing like mad. It’s the oddest thing: He basically recommended the same changes as my editor and yet, for some reason, this time it clicked. It made sense. I knew exactly what I had to do. Funny how that happens sometimes.
I’ve been at the library each afternoon and evening. I love (love!) the Himmel Park Library. It’s very cozy and small and has a friendly vibe. For some reason, I feel safe there, I’m able to let go of my fears and inhibitions and simply write from the head and heart, not the ego. It’s odd, isn’t it, how we favor one writing place over another? Probably I could write just about anywhere. Yet, I tell myself that I need to be at the library, at this one certain spot, and because I tell myself that, I believe that.
Last Saturday, we got up at the ungodly hour of 3:30 a.m., drove up north of Phoenix and ran the Pemberton 50k Ultra Race (31 miles). I was such an empowering experience, and it was so much fun to run through the desert with my partner. Just love, love, love long runs and how they strip down your ego and defenses and leave you vulnerable, with a clear head, and spirit. I bawled at the last aid station, just stood there and cried because I only had 4.2 miles left and I knew I was going to make it. I even hugged the volunteers and told them that I loved them. (Then I took off and flew past two men before the finish line, hee, hee.)
The next day, we rode our bikes up to Rillito River Race Track, where we happily sat on our butts and watched the horses run. I love the way horses smell, and we were close enough that we could hear their hoofs hit the ground, see the dirt fly. (I’m thinking of taking riding lessons. It’s been over thirty years since I’ve been on a horse.) Being at the track brought back a lot of memories. My dad used to go to the horse races up in New York and we even had a horse racing game when we were kids.
More writing news:
I have a blog post up at 49 Writers about my year of writing failures and how I overcame them (or most of them) by devising a training plan, much like the training plan I follow for running. Here’s the beginning:
Two summers ago, I failed spectacularly at almost every writing project I attempted. I failed at my novel rewrite, opting to not follow my editor’s suggestions (because, you know, even though she was at a major house and even though I’m just a skinny Alaskan, I was sure that I knew more than she did).
I failed at a major freelance job I never should have taken, since I knew perfectly well that it was over my head and out of my area of expertise.
I failed at getting my poems published, my chapbook manuscript published, my essays published.
In that one sad year alone, I racked up over sixty writing rejections.
To top it off, I failed at the ultra-race I had trained for all summer, collapsing at mile twenty-six, four and a half short miles from the finish line. After being released from the medical tent, I sat in the middle of the trail and sobbed. Other runners weaved around me and I stared down at my dusty running shoes and wondered why I even bothered to run at all. Wouldn’t it be easier to just quit?
Read the rest of the post here.
I’m so honored to have a poem accepted in Rattle magazine. I’m even more honored that they’re paying me for my efforts. Is that cool or what?
Great Weather for MEDIA didn’t want the poems I sent them but they did reply with a very nice rejection letter, mentioning that my work had made it to the final round (like The Little Engine That Could, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…).
Have a great weekend, everyone.