Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer in Full Swing!

North Garden, June 2016 photo by P. Tonery

Here we are, nearly end of June.  We've had a bit of rain the other night, but could use more. It's become my nightly prayer: rain, rain, rain.

Since the semester ended, I have been living the mundane.  We've spent days, that turned into weeks, getting the gardens planted.  There are two other gardens (East and South).  I have been  diligent in my weeding, which has been a challenge (as it is every year).  I planted over 150 tomato plants. Tomatoes of all kinds are beginning to show themselves on the plants.  Yellow Jubilees are in the lead! Followed by Sweet 100s, honeybunch,  red grapes and so on. Who doesn't love tomato sandwiches. O, I can't wait.

I have been on track with my writing projects too.  This is what I've accomplished since May12th, 2016:

1.a chapbook of prose poems and  flash fictions called e-Motion.  This has been sent out to publishers.
2. Fourth  full length collection of poems called This Thirst. This has been sent out to publishers.
3.  Finished Novella on June 7.  Several weeks a head of my writing schedule.  Novella's title is Blue Door.
I'm currently editing this now, after a couple of weeks of letting it rest on the back burner.
4.  Last leg of writing projects.  I have two play ideas, which I have been mulling over, and plan to start working on them soon. Very soon.  Maybe today.
5. After finishing the novella, I started to write a poem a day.   At first, it was difficult switching gears.  So I spent some time revising some poems that I had written in the Spring, and this seem to let me find my way back to writing poems.

What have I learned?

1. Set deadlines.  Stick to them. Writing is like tending a garden, in so many ways.  If you say to yourself, I'm going to write for 2 hours in morning, 3-5 pages, and actually do it, you will be over the moon with the accomplishment.

2.  Try to embrace the mundane.  It could be the meditation you need  to be creative.

3. Be present and mindful.

What's next?

1. Weeding.
2. More canning. I have put by 4 batches of strawberry jam.  Every morning's cup of coffee accompanied by toast and jam!
4. Working on daily sketches and watercolors.
5. Writing letters.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Seasons of Ups and Downs

Summer 2016, may be the summer of getting it done.

After a steady 36 day writing regime, I finished my No Name Novella, 86 pages, 25,000 words. After my comb through, it may expand a bit, more or less, we'll see what happens.

I began this novella, 2 years ago.  It languished at 12 pages. I decided that I needed to make this a priority this summer. (Amazing what happens when you make a plan!). I think it's a good story, and I can see how my years of editing other writers' work has informed this project.  I think I wanted to tackle the novella because it's a bit misunderstood as a narrative form, 60-120 pages. Once I figured out my novella's trajectory, I broke out of the gate--horse race with myself. I was so surprised to cross the finish line before the end of June.

I feel giddy about this, and I think when I was working in the garden, I came upon its title.
During this time, I didn't write anything but the novella.   Now that it's done, I've been wanting to work on something else.

Good thing I have this physical work that allows me to stir my imagination.
Next on my writing to do list is a play.

Currently, my fourth full length collection of poetry is scattered on the dining room table.  I have tried, without success, to come up with a strong sequence for these poems.  It's like wrestling with a 15 foot alligator that's swallowed a clock.   Funny thing, this work has a working title.  I have the cover, too. Nothing like cart before the horse.

Gardens are nearly in. Things are going well here on Red Rooster Farm.

Last night, I went to a reading that showcased 8 writers (Sonja Livingston, Alison Smith, Willa Carroll, Jack Garner, Joan Murray, Mira Jacob, Debra Dean, Lauren Acampora) in celebration of Writers & Books 35th anniversary.  It was held at the Lyric Theater at corner of East Avenue and Prince St. It was a lovely reading, that also celebrated Joe Flaherty, the founder and current executive director, who is retiring this month.  Tonight is a Gala for his retirement and last event for the 35th year anniversary.

Looking forward to this.