writing I am working on


I am still bone weary. I just do not bounce back from sleep deprivation. My body refuses to push the envelope anymore. It’s a direct result of years of getting by on 4 or 5 hours a night while carrying the weight of my small existence around on my back, stooped like a Chinese peasant tending rice paddies.

Since I know it can take weeks to get myself even again, I will have to modify my plans for the next three months a tiny bit. Yes, it’s the new quarter, and I am laying out the calendar.

April will see me finish Night Dogs. Thanks to Rob’s plot insight, I have plugged the gaping plot hole in a plausible manner and can now continue. Night Dogs will be the story I workshop in June when I have plans to take a course on revision at the U of A’s Women’s Writing Week. The revision class is the only one I found that was not fluff, and it bothers me a bit to support a program that equates women’s writing with “journaling” and poetry only but so be it. It’s the only game going and I need to take a class.

In May I will begin working on a novel whose idea came to me via a science article on Slashdot about solar flares and our planet’s scary dependence on electrical grids and gadgets. Rob listened while I outlined it as we drove and he answered my questions about what-ifs. He liked it. He is partial – to me – but if he thought the idea totally blew chunks, he would say so.

June is classes. Revision, drafting and the beginning of prodding Rob to write out his part of our story. The memoir is now a joint project. We will work on it over the summer with the idea that it might be a pitchable idea by the time I head to the Williamette Conference in August (where I am going to try to pitch Night Dogs for sure and hunt for an agent at least).

In the meantime, blogging is going to suffer, but I will continue – just not at my usual pace. I can’t say what my pace will be, but if you bookmark me or put me on your reader, you shouldn’t miss much.

If you are wondering about the trip, you can read about it here, here, here, and here – if you haven’t already.

Wednesday afternoon was spent unpacking, doing laundry and generally regaining our land legs. Slept in on Thursday  but as I mentioned, I am still whipped.

I finished up the presentation for the workshop on Saturday but I am not going to be practiced enough. Hopefully my teaching instincts will take over and all will be well.

Since I am too tired (I’ve mentioned that too much, I know), here are pictures from the trip to make up for the piteous Friday update.

Revelstoke Town Centre

Revelstoke Town Centre

Rob taking a photo of Mt. Robson

Rob taking a photo of Mt. Robson


I have been working on Night Dogs as my primary fiction piece. It’s coming along slowly now. This seems to be the way of storytelling. An idea appears, details gel and I write like gangbusters and then it slows as the story starts to demand sturdier legs to stand on. However, this is probably the best story of this length I have ever written and I know it has novel potential. My goal is to finish it in May and workshop it via a writing course I am going to be taking at the university this June.

Which leaves my regular readers wondering about the memoir? Well, maybe you aren’t. I haven’t forgotten it. Ideas about what to do with the rough draft swirl, recede before morphing into something tangible.

It’s hard to pick up again because it was hard to write. Deliberately picking at emotional scars is not my idea of something that is good for a person, but I want to finish it. It’s just not going to be quite the memoir it started out to be.

I have come to realize that the story of my loss and widowhood is not a story that would strike a cord with too many people. And, that the loss was not mine. It was Will’s loss. He died. Too young and too horrifically. All I lost was the option to live a life I thought I was supposed to live, however, that life was never mine to live. It was not a part of the great overall scheme of things for me. My loss was insignificant compared to his.

No, the story is in accepting and rebuilding because how many people really and truly do that?

And it’s Rob’s story too, so I have been in semi-discussions with him about writing his story as it overlaps with mine. He is warming to the idea, but regardless, we wouldn’t start on it until summer. So that is where that is.

I continue fitfully at 50 Something Moms. I have two short works I want to finish this spring that have promise, and then there are the boxes in the basement with half-finished or simply outlines ideas that I need to go through.

And thus I end my state of the writing address, dear readers.