BLOG

IMG_2957

When it comes to aspirational writing about writing, the incomparable Octavia Butler – “I shall be a bestselling writer. … I will find the way to do this! So be it! See to it!” – reigns supreme,

But some days, especially the overwhelming ones toward the end of a project (This thing is crap. This thing is crap. This thing is crap.) something a little less lofty is in order.

Someone thoughtfully compiled a list posted on FlavorWire of things writers tell themselves to get through that day, that page, that paragraph, maybe even that next sentence.

A sampling:

From Henry Miller – “When you can’t create, you can work.”

From Flaubert via Helen Simpson – “Faire et se taire” … “Shut up and get on with it.”

And, a version of everyone’s ultimate mantra, from Jennifer Weiner – “Butt in seat and words on the page.”

So be it! Get to it!

food52.com

food52.com

May 23, 2017 – I sure write a lot about food, which surprises no one who knows me.

Today, I fixated upon firni, a sweet rice pudding with pistachios. Of course, I had to waste time do research, which led to fun with recipes. My favorite contained this ingredient:

2 tsps. Kewra water/Orris Water – (also called screwpine essence or Pandan essence)

Screwpine essence! What the heck is a screwpine? Hello, Wikipedia!

Pandanus is a genus of monocots with some 750 accepted species.[2] They are palm-like, dioecious trees and shrubs native to the Old World tropics and subtropics.

Monocots? Dioecius? I’ll spare you the definitions, but be assured I looked them up, too. Suffice it to say that plants are sexy. Anyway, here’s a screwpine, which is way more fun to say than pandan.

B. Navez/Wikipedia

B. Navez/Wikipedia

And here’s a recipe for firni with stuff you can find in your neighborhood supermarket. Except for maybe the edible rose petals. Are some rose petals inedible? Looks like I’ve stumbled upon another research project.

 

clapperboardMay 18, 2017 – It’s May in Montana, which means there’s fresh snow on the daffodils. Good weather for writing, right? Or, these days, editing.

I’m deep in a ms. full of track changes from my editor, and one comment comes up over and over again:

“Stay in scene.”

Apparently my writing wanders off track as often as my thoughts. Anyhow, it’s a great reminder, one with applications well beyond writing.

cemetery

May 8, 2017. Today I slew some of my dearest darlings, wielding the delete key like the villain in a slasher flick. Very satisfying. Backstory, begone! Blood on the floor, baby. That is all.

bloodyknife

 

May 7, 2017 – I had three goals this weekend:

Draft a new chapter for Book 6 (check).

Finish reading the new Kate Shugak book by Dana Stabenow (check; highly recommended).

Run twenty miles (um).

The ego and I had a little tussle at mile twelve, when I wanted to quit. I made it another mile, by which point, I was limping. Time to declare defeat – for now.

White flag

 

May 6, 2017 – With a deadline six weeks away, today is a rare free day, nothing to do but write. Huzzah! Right?

Well …

stabenowAt midnight last night, the long-awaited next book in one of my favorite series, Dana Stabenow‘s Kate Shugak mysteries, was released after an interminable four-year wait from the previous book. Of course, I pre-ordered it.

But I made a deal with myself. The book would serve as a reward, both for today’s writing marathon, and tomorrow’s literal near-marathon – a twenty-mile training run. I’d limp home from the run with nothing to do the rest of the day but catch up with Kate and the rest of the gang in Stabenow’s fictional Alaska park.

I went to bed last night serene in the knowledge that I had a Plan. Woke up around 1:30 a.m., my phone only inches away, the newly delivered book – Less Than a Treason – nestled within the app.

It couldn’t hurt to peek, right? Just a chapter. Or two. Or … I finally put the phone down at 3 a.m. (There’s a reason Stabenow’s fans call themselves the Danamaniacs.)

I didn’t finish the book. And I did hit the ms. hard today. But I’m counting the hours until those *$&#! twenty miles are behind me tomorrow, and I can settle in and finally find out how those skeletal remains ended up in that secluded valley. And what about Mutt? What in holy hell happened to Mutt?

Maybe I’ll find out tomorrow. Or maybe it’ll be another semi-sleepless night, unable to resist temptation and, honestly, not really caring.