Here’s a recap of the last two weeks (October 22-Nov 4), in these parts. Things actually happened, so this may get long.
What I’m Reading
I finished up the stellar The Outer Harbour by Wayde Compton, then read the wonderful More Like Her by Liza Palmer, who I met at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (October 23-26th) and adored immediately. I bought a large quantity of books (and brought a few from home) and had them signed by their authors, so in addition to Liza’s book, my “authors I have met” shelf now includes these titles:
An embarrassment of riches, am I right? Fortunately, I’ve already read some of these, so my to-read pile isn’t quite this much bigger. I added a Goodreads widget to the blog a couple of weeks ago so that anyone interested could see what’s currently on the nightstand and/or e-reader.
What I’m Writing
Still working on the short story about the little girl and the fairy. I need to come up with a better ending, and I need to do it before next Wednesday, when I have to send it out to my workshop group. This will be the last piece I get workshopped by these folks, which feels weird, sad, and liberating. I’ll miss the accountability of needing to produce pages for workshopping, but I’m looking forward to not having to drive downtown as often, and spending my evenings writing my novel.
Speaking of the novel, I’m still outlining that, too!
What [I’m Hoping] Works For Me
Every year at SIWC, there’s a book that gets referenced in nearly every session I go to, a book that’s held up as an example of a technique or genre, of unexpected brilliance and unpredictable success. Last year (or the year before), it was Water for Elephants. This year’s “It” book was Gone Girl. I bought it as an audiobook, and am looking forward to seeing what the spoiler is. (No Spoilers!)
The other thing that came up a lot at SIWC this year (in my experience) was Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, specifically the concept of Morning Pages. I think this is just a different name for the daily freewriting that certain of our instructors and mentors at TWS have mentioned. And so on October 31st I did my first Morning Pages. I chose a smallish notebook (with Wonder Woman on the cover, because Wonder Woman), and filled three pages easily. I like the idea of purging questions, concerns, stray thoughts, to-dos, etc., on to paper over morning coffee, and especially the idea that doing so will both get the writing flowing and tidy up the thought processes by getting all the extraneous stuff out of the way early.
What Else Is Going On
I hung out my shingle on this site just before Halloween, officially opening my editing business for… business. And then I had to explain what “hang out a shingle” means, to my English husband. We conclude from this that it’s a North American usage. 🙂
I am also looking for other work, for the first time since my unexpected sabbatical began in August 2013. The funds are about to dry up and I need to find another source for them. I applied for one job with my old employer (I was let go due to restructuring, not fired for cause, so I’m still on the “suitable to rehire” list), and am following the job listings on LinkedIn and so on quite closely. I’d love to be able to stay home and do editing work in my yoga pants and hoodies, but until that work becomes a regular income, I need something else to provide that income. It’s weird, being in this position for the first time in fifteen years, but there is a surprising number of suitable jobs out there at the moment, and I feel fairly confident that something good will come along soon.