Wednesday, May 30, 2012
As I complete my writing projects I seem to find more showing up, especially those projects that relate to previous projects: rewrites, new or deleted scenes, &tc. This is all right, but I have new projects I'd like to get to.
And, yes, I used projects three times in one paragraph.
First, I have received numerous requests to write my memoirs. Fortunately, I have been keeping journals and notes for 35 years, so that book is something I've already considered for a long time and do plan to write. I've even built the outline, chapter distribution, and have already sketched six chapters. Still, that's kind of a back burner project. Then there's Gordon Hammond's memoirs, Enharmonic Intervals. Not even a back burner, that one is sitting on the counter, covered and staying warm enough to heat through a little before serving. There's also my California Gold Coast music history book, which I believe could make some significant money. A lot of research is going on with that project as I work on Book Three of my trilogy. Before I can get to any of these, however, I'm finishing up the edits of the "War and Peace" manuscript; I'm about 75% through that. It's over 600 pages and is taking a bit of time... Finally, I have a handful of other fictions that I want to write, but they're resting in the deep freeze, and I expect they'll have to stay there for at least five years.
I have only so many years left, however, so while my list continues to grow as I continue to tick items off of it, I can't help but feel a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately, I have a lot of time on my hands and a full supply of pens and project list pads.
Friday, May 25, 2012
In friendship, it has to be someone's place to be big about these things; too many people fly off the handle far too easily and feelings get hurt in our wake as we plow through these situations, functioning from fear and ego.
If, after all this has failed and I see that the slight was intended, either consciously or unconsciously, I ask myself, "Is this so bad that I need to rattle our friendship over it, or is this one of the many times I need to shrug and allow them their bad day, physical pain, illness, stress, etc.?" I don't feel that bending like this for the people I love threatens me in any way. I'm not that fragile.
If I didn't forgive my friends, I wouldn't have friendships that go back 50 years, I'd be a lonely, bitter person clutching petty slights instead of embracing people who have enriched my life in so many ways. I must afford them some off days.
Friendship is so precious--to cheat it so thoughtlessly is a punishment in and of itself and we rob ourselves of an opportunity to grow and evolve one step higher. But then, I am a Libra, and we're always weighing everything in our scales.
I have been blessed by friends who forgive me and give me the benefit of the doubt in return. This note is just to thank you for being my friend.
Labels: Waxing Philosophical
Monday, May 21, 2012
I repainted a small potting table, hosed everything down, and then Joel and I sat back with a beer, enjoying the approach of evening.
Maybe I can get back to writing in June...
Labels: Cottage Life
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The trick is to figure out my priorities; timing is everything in such a rapidly changing and evolving market. The thing is, I can't write something simply because it would be expedient or tactical, I have to feel the project. I have to have to write it because not doing so would cause me some sort of insufferable, catastrophic inner pain. This is probably why I'll never be on the New York Times Best Seller List.
But every once in a while--no, rarely or never would be more accurate--a really good idea comes and I know that I have to drop everything to follow it up. This has happened to me in the last week. This new book could even sell. Imagine that! But first, I must finish my trilogy, and that just isn't lighting my fire right now. A bit of burn-out, I suspect, is the culprit, but I'll be buckling down to it just as soon as I'm finished revamping a client's website and I'm done editing the legendary 'War and Peace' manuscript.
So I've set myself some easy multi-tasked deadlines:
- Website completion and manuscript edits - I can easily work on these two simultaneously; website by day, edits by night. Deadline: June 15th.
- Book Three and research/preliminary work on new book (these too can be worked on at the same time) Deadlines differ. Book Three should be published by the end of the year, which will leave my time free and clear for the new book beginning January 1st.
All of my other projects are just going to have to wait, but only one of them is what I would consider important anyway. I could probably work on that as I have been, that is to say piecemeal, whenever the inspiration hits me and I'm not in the mood to work on other books.
This is going to be a busy summer where my writing is concerned.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Our street is remarkably quieter as most of the houses are now empty, including the one next door, the one house that should never, ever encourage music appreciation. At least that's what Frank used to say.
"The only house in which music should never be played is the one next door."
This weekend Lauren is graduating from OU, which is in Norman, about an hour and a half south of us. We, of course, will be there. We've booked a hotel room for Heather and the two of us and will be leaving on Friday for her Phi Beta Kappa hooding and all of the commencement ceremonies. We'll return on Saturday evening. We're so proud of her! She's graduating summa cum laude and she won the Phi Beta Kappa scholarship.
After a summer rooming with Heather, here in Stillwater, she'll be off again to France, where she'll teach English for a year, and when she returns she'll buckle down to getting her Ph.D. at New York University. How can this be? How can our little girl be accomplishing all this? Oh, yes. She's now a young woman out to set the world on fire. And you know, I believe she'll do it.
Congratulations, Lauren. Your hunger for learning, your curiosity for all of life, and your diligent work ethic have set you on an exciting, rewarding path, one that I hope will take you many wondrous places, introduce you to many exciting people, and fill your life with satisfaction and meaning. You are an example of all that is right with your generation, one that I can't help but feel will set this world to rights. I'm so very proud of you.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
If you're an Anglophile like I am, you will love this book. I just got it yesterday afternoon, and I'm halfway through it already. Fry has such a warm and engrossing command of the English language, reading him or listening to him is like cuddling oneself down into a plump feather bed of words. It's about time someone cared enough about English to use it unabashedly and with so much ease.
"...in every particular I fail Strunk's Elements of Style or any other manual of 'good writing'. If a thing can be said in ten words, I may be relied upon to take a hundred to say it. I ought to apologize for that. I ought to go back and ruthlessly prune, pare and extirpate excess growth, but I will not."Stephen Fry is my hero. I've been advocating this for years, but I never professed it so honestly nor so unapologetically.
I really can't say anything bad about this book. I suppose, if you're not a Stephen Fry fan, or you have absolutely no interest in Cambridge life or British theatre, you might find it a honk-shoo, but I doubt it because Fry is so eloquent that even his day-to-day memories are recalled in a fascinating way. This is because he lets the reader in. While reading, I get the feeling that I am sitting in a room with him while he talks about his life. And he has the gift of being able to do this without coming off like a boor, or a pretentious windbag. He's too self-effacing for that and all too aware of his human foibles. What I enjoy is how he plays with the language. Unafraid of adverbs, adjectives, metaphor, large words, and even the verboten "very", he comes out with little gems like,
"That Lent term passed in a blizzard of acting. By the end of it I was an insider in the small world of Cambridge drama. The little microcosm reflected the esoteric coteries, cliques and factions (I only put the word 'esoteric' in front of 'coteries' because it is an anagram of it and that pleases me) of the wider world without."and
"If someone asks me how to do something, I cannot answer in the abstract, I can only answer according to my own history. I have absolutely no idea how to become an actor, I can only tell you how I became one. Or at least, how I became a sort of actor who is also a sort of writer who is also a sort of comedian who is also a sort of broadcaster who is also a sort of all sorts of all sorts sort. Sort of. That is the best I can do."I have a feeling my bookshelves are soon going to have to make way for a Stephen Fry section.
(Click the book cover image to be taken to the book's Amazon page.)