Thursday, February 15, 2007

Making a Literary Life: Seizing the Day

For anyone in the Boston area, the Writers Group has signed up en masse to attend Grub Street's Grub Gone Silly event on March 16. We will hear from Jonathan Ames, Kris Frieswick, and the ever-wise Leslie Talbot. Exactly what we need to look forward to after the drop in temperature, winds, snow, ice, slush... a bright spot on our calendars.

Sigh. And sigh again. I'm back from the SCBWI conference, but a part of me is still there, basking in its inspirational moments.
Although unrelated, enjoy reading Grace Talusan's piece, My Father's Noose, in Brevity today. It's images are haunting and real. Starting a writing session by reading work of this quality is one way to improve your own writing.

I've started writing my next book. You understand, don't you? That sense of release when the characters come, when they confide their greatest fears, and then you confront your own: the blank page. Finally, the words are with me. Also, I'm working with several authors to arrange readings in the Boston area. I'll let all of you know when the dates are firm. As Therese Fowler blogged this week, it's important to support your fellow writers, and vital for you to get out there and network with them.

I am very much looking forward to the lunchtime revision session with Hallie Ephron through Grub Street coming up on March 6. It will be nice to get into the big city and do some critical thinking.

I outlined the additions and changes I will make as I tackle the second draft of my novel. With next week being a light work week, I am eager to get started. One character, in particular, is ready to tell her story in more detail. I read a gem of a book called, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction, by Patricia Highsmith. Patricia's novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and her short story, The Terapin, are not to be missed either. In keeping with our blog posts about reaching out to authors we admire, I wrote letters to two writers I've read recently. I simply wanted to offer my thanks to them for sharing their writing with the world. Can you imagine how nice it must feel to get a thank you note from a reader? If you live in Boston, you'll want to take advantage of all the great opportunities to connect and learn from other writers. Amy and Hannah mentioned Grub Gone Silly, and Hallie Ephron's revision workshop. Here are two more Boston opportunities:

Hallie Ephron, will speak about character development on February 24, at 3 pm at the Milton Public Library. And PEN-New England presents an Evening with Dave Eggars, author of The Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius on February 26, at 6:30pm in Cambridge.