Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Hot, hazy, humid
We are under “Heat Warning”. It’s expected to hit 115 today, which it never does around here. Let’s hope the power holds out.
This will be short, as I have to hop on an early train and do a few hours at Rent this morning before their matinee.
Which means the 13 Journals entries will have to wait until I get home.
Managed to do about four pages on the Tracy piece – what is it about nine year olds, especially smart ones? Thinking back, whenever my godchildren were nine, that was their chattiest year ever. Fortunately, when they’re curious about the world, I don’t mind, and try to encourage them.
Also outlined a piece that’s been rolling around for years, but I think it might be ready to take form.
Played with a couple of short stories, one of them in a completely new direction. New pseudonym, perhaps? The energies around this piece and a couple of others that are different but have an interesting connection are intriguing. They need more exploration.
And I need more hours in the day.
The link to Emerging Women Writers is down, and I hope it’s only temporary. I’d hate to see the publication fold – both in general terms, because I liked it, and in specific terms, because they were very supportive of my work.
I recently joined a writer’s forum online that looked interesting, due to its topic list. However, every time I mention a project in one of my posts, it’s removed because I’m “advertising”. Um, since when is sharing information and progress about one’s work advertising?
Technically, it isn’t. “Advertising” is when you pay a site or publication to run an ad. “Publicity” is whatever you get for free. “Promotions” is everything that falls in between.
So, perhaps I’m promoting my work, but I’m also discussing it, because we learn from each other’s work and examples of each other’s work.
I’m deleting myself from the forum. I’m not 18 anymore, not in college, and discussing theory ad nauseum does not interest me.
My friend Mik asked an interesting question on one of the good forums: What would you do if you couldn’t write?
The short answer is: Die.
Writing is breathing to me. It’s that reflexive. Without breath or pen, I cease to live.
The other answer, as in, is there another profession you’d like, is actually, two-fold: I’ve always wished I was artistically inclined, because I’d love to paint. I can’t even draw a stick figure. My grandmother taught art for years and was always in despair at my lack of talent. I’ve taught myself a certain level of skill in photography and in fiber crafts, but I want to paint. Large canvases with swaths of brilliantly coloured paint. Landscapes. All sorts of things. I can lose myself in art museums for days.
My other choice would be archaeology/anthropology. I’ve often fantasized about going back for my master’s in archaeology/anthropology and then getting a Ph.D. in Celtic History. Mostly to back up the writing. However, since I’m not fond of being on other people’s schedules and don’t enjoy the classroom, I doubt it would work. I have yet to find a long-distance learning program that has what I want and need.
My current SO is the first man with whom I’ve been involved who hasn’t thought he could steer me away from the writing. I’m very upfront in a relationship – the writing and the animals are non-negotiable. You have a problem, get out now. You make a problem later, you get kicked to the curb. But they want to prove that they’re “more important” than the writing. That I will put them “first”.
If they start that kind of sabotage, then I know I’m with the wrong person. Because the right person does not question my commitment. Currently, my SO is as committed to his calling in life as I am to mine. Neither one of us would EVER ask the other one to “give up” in order to accommodate the other. In terms of time spent together, it gets difficult. But there’s never a sense of competing with the other’s work. We don’t pull power games. There’s no need to. And the time spent together is spent having a great time, being supportive of each other’s ups and downs, and continuing to build on our foundation. We don’t have the period of adjustment or awkwardness or arguments that often happen when you don’t see each other daily. In fact, in the year plus we’ve been together, we’ve had one serious argument. We disagree plenty – I couldn’t be with someone who just said “yes” all the time – but they are lively debates of two intelligent points of view that get us somewhere.
Started Agatha Christie’s Dead Man’s Folly. I always wanted to write a mix of an Agatha Christie, a Daphne duMaurier and one of those gothics that were so popular in the 70s and 80s, with the name of the protagonist the same letter as the danger (like “Marla the Moron” or whatever they were). They were fun brain candy. A few months ago, I actually gave away books (oh, horrors!) to a local charity shop, and there were about 40 of those in there. I learned a lot about how NOT to write from them.
Rode home on the train yesterday with a woman whose children I used to baby-sit in my early teens. They’re all doing very well, working in finance. She was intrigued at my decision to create a life in the arts rather than a life of financial security. We discussed the need to follow your passion and find your true calling – she’s a college professor, very smart and lots of good ideas.
A woman in another seat told us to shut up.
Now, we were talking in low tones, so low we could barely hear each other. And the woman didn’t tell any of the MEN in the car to be quiet – and they were progressively getting drunk.
We ignored her.
We got off the train, walked a bit together, and then parted ways. One of the other commuters flagged me down and said, “You know why she said that, don’t you?”
“Nothing I could say could possibly be pleasant so I won’t say it.”
“She sits next to me every day on this train. She’s a corporate drudge and she’s miserable. She’s jealous because you’re not.” And the guy turned bright red and hurried away.
I sort of felt sorry for her, but. . .make your choices, pay your price. I paid my price for following what I must do. And I’d pay it again. Because, for me, I made the right choice.
Gotta eat and then run for the train.
I nearly passed out from the heat yesterday; today’s a shorter distance out in the heat, so let’s hope it’ll all work out.
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project
The Place and Space Journals Project
The Widow’s Chamber
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