This week merged the practical and the philosophical, preparing for summer's distractions and rationalizing them away in favor of writing. There are many wonderful reasons to stay focused as Mother Nature (sister of the Muse?) turns up the heat.
Grub Street is posting photos from the Muse and the Marketplace conference soon, and announcing new seasonal offerings. Parties are scheduled to support debuts (Hank Phillippi Ryan, writers from the Debs, Patry Francis, and the list goes on -- anything from those of you beyond our New England borders?).
Amy and Lynne had the pleasure of hearing Hank Phillippi Ryan speak about her experiences with editing her soon-to-be released novel, Prime Time. She nipped, tucked, tweaked and polished--and she showed other writers how to do the same.
For those who wonder if all these new reads and events are distractions, we say a good book and banter serve to inspire!
The nourishment for my creative side is my job. Spend a day with me and I'm sure you'd agree that employment in an elementary school is the most valuable class in character; teachers and parents are never dull. But it's the day to day emotion of dealing with people's lives, frustrations, longings, worries that builds my pent up craving to write: watching a parent come to terms with a child's diagnosis of autism, hearing that a wonderful third grade teacher lost her battle with cancer two days ago. What came first? The writing or the need to write?
Speaking of Camus, do you writers out there ever wonder if the world you've created on the page is somehow more real than one you inhabit? If your characters live more fully than you? For me, I think it's safe to say even the corpses in my novel don't have quite the stunted social life I've had lately. Cooped in my office, intent on revisions, I'm losing track of the world around me, too focused on the one within. I think it's time for a little fresh air.
Revisions proceed at their own pace, plus I got Margot Livesey's The Missing World out of the library. My daughter has a new homework sheet to mark off two assignments each week for math and literacy. One is simply to "take a book out of the library." Her eyes lit up as she decided she had taken out enough books the last visit to check off her homework for the rest of the year.
I spent hours and days revising my novel. I took a well-deserved day off to shop for my daughter's graduation gift. The bag contained a few good summer reads for her and I to share. On my list--The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and The Keep by Jennifer Egan.
Tuesday, June 5 Buttonwood Books Coffee with the Authors featuring Claire Cook, David Gessner, and Hank Phillippi Ryan. Contact Buttonwood for tickets and reservations.
If Boston traffic makes you dizzy, come to Buttonwood Books on Thursday, June 7 at 7:00 pm to hear Books and Bloggers at Buttonwood Books featuring Patry Francis, Tish Cohen, and Jennifer McMahon.
If traffic isn't an issue, then mark your calendars because the Debs are coming to Boston! Friday, June 8th at Grub Street world headquarters we'll toast Jennifer McMahon, Tish Cohen, and Patry Francis while they read from their debut novels. This event will also feature a fun contest: each author will pick one name from a hat, and the winner will receive a free consultation with the author on their query letter and first manuscript page. RSVP: 617.695.0075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.