The best intentions always seem to fail us. However, my writing hiatus is over. Well I never truly stop writing, that is the good thing. I just was not writing the stuff I wanted to. Time to play catch up. My last post was about AWP. Here are the best items I took away from that conference:
Marya Hornbacher nonfiction book Madness
Matthew Zapruder (Poet)
Panel Careers in Literary Arts that are not Teaching
Panel The Future in Book Publishing
As previously stated, I was working on a review of Hornbacher's book. However, after having a trusted friend tell me the ugly truth about my review, I realized its not always easy to break into new fields of writing. I was about to dig back in at it when I was offered a freelance job I could not pass up. A job is a job is a job. When someone wants to pay you to do what you like - write - then I suggest you take it. Freelance is tricky. There are too many times the artistic visions of the artist and client do not match up or at least need a "merging" period before a beautiful and agreeable project is produced. My client was a very hard working woman whose only problem was she did not have enough time for all her ambitions. A problem I run into on a daily basis. This is really a good problem covered under to many projects that are not completed. It was terribly difficult to get a hold of her making it difficult at times to communicate about our on-going projects together. When I did get a hold of her however, she was always willing to jump right in and work. Overall, it was a pleasant experience reminding me of the challenges that can come with writing.
My Hornbacher review is now back on the table competing with several other projects I always seem to have going on. However, I am not in a rush to finish it. Trust me, I want to get it up right away, but I feel my speedy ambitions may have been a part of the original downfall of the review. I think I will spend a day reading other people's longer reviews to get a better feel of what mine was missing before taking another pass at it.
Other projects include getting at least one of my fiction stories to a FINAL version so I can start sending it out. I feel pretty good at where I have it now. Awhile back I had one of my other trusted friends (who has had VERY GOOD success) read it. Her comments helped me look at the story with new eyes. She encouraged me to flush out areas where I relied on summary dialogue or general paraphrasing too much. She also reminded me of something my Fiction III professor often repeated - every move has a reason and exact intent behind it. This is difficult to think about when you sit down to write your first draft - the reasoning behind every word. I must learn how to not think of it that way or I may never write another word again because of the weight of thought behind it. The advice makes sense, yet, its hard to apply. I will have plenty of time to practice however, with all my revisions I need to make before turning in pages for my first thesis two session.
Which brings me to other summer project - writing more stories to finish my thesis by December. I want to graduate in December and be done with school. However, I have had small hope of having my thesis finished by this deadline. Nonetheless I have a plan. I need to write at least two stories this summer in order to have (possibly) the bare minimum of pages. If I can complete this I will at least have the two stories I need for my workshop class in the Fall and can focus on producing more to meet the page requirement. The good news is I finally thought up some new story ideas. With some amo in hand I told myself I will write one story in June and one in July. Today is June 24th and I have not yet written the first paragraph of the story. I am not worried. During the school year I wrote a story in a week. (I also had more time to think about it before hand). To my credit I have attempted at starting and adding lines to the story several times. It just has not taken off yet. Pray for me. More to come.