Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sweet stuff

I've been posting a lot about meditation, general health and wellness, cooking more whole foods, eating veggies, exercising mindfully, etc... and I still am. But today's post is no healthy writer post. This week has been overflowing with the sweet stuff, the decadence.

My intentions were good. I brought home a single 1.7 ounce Vermont-shaped container of maple syrup for myself and quite a few maple leaf-shaped deals for friends. This was strategic thinking as the stuff is like crack, not that I've done crack, and I have very little restraint when it comes to such sweetness.

Also particularly saccharine this week is the fact that I'm reunited with my husband, who had to leave in a mad dash six hours after I got back from Vermont, who I barely got a chance to hug before having to drive him to the airport. We had three weeks apart. But yesterday, we were really reunited. We had waffles with that amazing maple syrup, took a long walk, practiced our respective art, and then went out for a healthy vegan meal followed by the most ridiculous dessert martini at SoHo on the Riverwalk in San Antonio to celebrate a friend's birthday. (I'm still feeling a sort of sugar buzz from this thing; in fact, my body might be in shock for a week. I was drinking the one on the right.)
Insanity aka the SoHo's Creme Brulee and Samoa martinis shown here.

This week has also been filled with literary sweetness. Here's a glimpse:
  • The release of The Istanbul Review, VII, in which I have a longer piece of fiction. (The shipping is high for those in the U.S., but this publication is available on iTunes and will soon be available on Kindle as well.)
  • The release of Versus, by many of my favorite poets who are all writing on a list of topics that, well... I just can't wait to read this book.
  • Two acceptances recently, one of which was in Monkeybicycle, one of my long-time, all-time favorite online publications.
  • Oh, and I finished a new flash piece I'm quite fond of this week. 

With the sweet, there is always the difficult. I'm off to reconcile a few writing dilemmas:

One is in a short piece I wrote. As I began the piece, I found the character came to life quickly and seemed to fit a particular name but the name was also somewhat awkward and jarring to the flow of the piece which is very important to me. My writing has to be read-out-loud friendly. But, my dilemma is whether I should keep the character with the name that seems most appropriate and get over my style obsession or compromise her initial portrait for style's sake. I'm leaning toward the latter, but I'm still unsure.

Also on my agenda, writing-wise, is another new character. Like Wallace (a character that recurs in my work and will be a highlight in my novel), I have a new character that seems to want to appear and reappear in my work. His name is Rattle, and two of his stories have been picked up already. I am very eager to see what people think of him. My dilemma here is, if I allow this character to grow and emerge through different short stories, should I also give him a voice? The difference with Wallace is, I always tell the story through his POV or a close third-person narration. Meanwhile, I have written all of Rattle's stories in first person, but never from his perspective. I guess that will be a question better answered when the publications come out, but I am excited about this guy. He's still mysterious enough to me to write quite a bit more about.

We'll see how it all works out. Such writing dilemmas are a good thing. They mean my gears are going. VSC really got me back into the writing swing. And if there's such a thing as residency addiction, I think it's already kicking in because I'm already thinking about my next (month-long) residency, and how I can make this happen. There has to be a way. Focused energy allows so much. It really does.

Before I sign off, I thought I'd share this because this blog is about my writing journey. Below is a taping of my reading from KGB. The awesome Michael Dickes took the footage, and Joani Reese delivered the MP4. If it doesn't work, sorry. I noticed I say um a lot when introducing my work. I guess that's why it's good to tape these things... Anyway, it's really dark but the sound is good. Once I get into the reading, I stop saying um, promise.

Read here is "Getting There" which appears in PANK and a short essay about my Grandpa Homer and a falcon that originally appeared in Narrative Magazine as "Columbus, Ohio." I had so much fun in NYC. Invite me back, NYC!

Have a good week all!

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