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the clean slate – write on wednesday

February 21, 2009

prodsimage_7_95141Lamy pencil, a gift from St. Nick

The prompt for Write on Wednesday this week, thank you Becca:

Is your writing life healthy these days? How do you keep your writing life alive? What are some of the remedies you use to revive it?

I don’t call this “keeping my writing life alive.”  I call it getting myself in trouble.  I find myriad ways to get myself in trouble.  Last night, Friday evening, I had a clean slate.  All of my recent responsibilities had been completed.  The twenty pages of manuscript were sent off for review at the upcoming writer’s conference.  Plane ticket was confirmed and printed.  Papers for loan were signed and sent to the bank.  Next week’s schedule was emailed to department secretary.  Numerous smaller details and writing responsibilities were crossed off the list.  New list was just a blank piece of paper.

I don’t do it on purpose, I promise.  I must need to do it though.  I look forward to, I yearn for, desperately, that clean slate.  But it never stays clean.  All that unblemished whiteness must scare me.  And a new list is begun before I can blink twice:

  • Rewrite last chapter of YA fantasy.  The manuscript is complete, but that last chapter…….
  • Hey!  How about a non-fiction project?  Something publishable in a magazine, like APPLESEEDS,  a nonfiction social studies magazine for children.   An upcoming theme is “Spies & Spying: A look at the world of intrigue – personalities, uses, and outcomes of intelligence work past, present, and future.”  I could enjoy researching and writing about that.

And then I remember my slate is not all that clean, actually:

  • This week’s assignment for the course Understanding Self, Race, Class and Gender to Leverage Student Achievement:

Choose an example from your own experience that could be used to illustrate the concept of effective resistance (what was done or what might have been done.)
Describe the situation and explain how it illustrates an example of effective resistance (either actual or potential).

This assignment entails just a wee bit of writing.

  • That NaNoWriMo project…. I just can’t stop thinking about that story.  One little corner of my psyche is living that story, whenever it gets a chance.  I think I had better get back to writing it.
  • I have read a couple good books.  Isn’t this blog supposed to be about books?  Aren’t I supposed to be writing book reviews?  I’d better get on that write away!  I am reading How Not To Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them–a misstep-by-misstep guide, by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.   I probably won’t write a review of it, so I mention it here.  I wouldn’t call it a book about writing the way Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is, but it is a fun read.

And mentioning this book reminds me: I made a quick trip to the library the other night to pick up some books for my daughter’s research project.  The library was closed!  Hours cut for budgetary reasons.  This is getting scary!

On a lighter note, Zoë is growing, Terra is acclimating, we are tripping over toys everywhere.


  • I think I will head over to B&N this afternoon to pick up a Moleskine.  It’s time to get some organized journaling going.

Who needs “remedies to keep your writing life healthy?”  All I need is a blank piece of paper in front of me to get myself in trouble.



5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2009 10:07 pm

    It’s good when the ideas keep popping into the brain – that means the creative synapses are firing on target!

    I have times like that too, and I revel in them. But it’s good to write it all down for, there always come a time when the mind is quiet and needs a transfusion.

    Those puppy pictures are the greatest! Isn’t it fun to watch the relationship between two dogs. Ours keep us entertained for hours.

    Hi Becca. Yup, those creative synapses are popping, just like popcorn! My brain is feeling rattled 🙂
    The pups are indeed lots of fun to watch. Terra has become quite “tolerant” of the puppy’s exuberance, and only puts Zoe in her place occasionally.

  2. February 24, 2009 3:33 am

    Oh, I laughed as I read this! Yes, blank anything can get me into trouble, too! Your style is so darned delightful, I always smile when I visit you!

    And Zoe. Talk about a delight! Perfection on four legs!

    I am so glad I make you smile, Jeanie. And those darn blank pieces of paper! Trouble, all the way around.
    Zoe is perfect…. and her little brother is up for adoption. The people who have him are not being very nice and have lost interest, so I am trying to find him a home. He is as cute as the dickens, too. Know anyone interested??

  3. February 25, 2009 8:47 am

    Hugs to the patient, classy Terra. She’s a honey and the look on her face as Zoe paws at her, is sweet. Yup, wanna hug her.
    As for Zoe and the pink toy – who’s bigger, really? both are little dolls.
    Sorry, the pet pictures make me all corny every darn time. They keep us real, these pets do.

    Terra wasn’t too happy at first – she does not welcome interlopers. Zoe has won her over, however, and they have a grand time, racing around the house. Zoe is just a little streak of fur running past. She teases Terra incessantly.

    Your boys are rather old! I think it is time for a pup….

  4. February 26, 2009 10:58 pm

    P.S. — Go St. Nick! Great Pen!

    Pencil!! I love mechanical pencils, and I got THREE different ones from St. Nick

  5. March 4, 2009 12:21 am

    Zoe is such a darling!!! You capture such great pics of her as well!

    “The library was closed! Hours cut for budgetary reasons. This is getting scary!”

    That is very scary. And quite sad. I completely understand, and yet believe that a more fiscally responsible government would find a way to make sure that things like libraries have more than enough funds to operate at full capacity for the regular number of hours. It is a sad commentary on the times and should be a rallying cry for change!

    And by the way, I forgot to mention in the post above, I look forward to the Irish flavor of your upcoming posts!!!

    Time for change, indeed! Fiscally responsible government!!?? How about a city that paid for a baseball park but can’t keep the library open in the evening, when most people are off of work and can visit the library? “Miller Park was built with $310 million of public funds from a .1% sales tax for purchases over $10 applied in Milwaukee County and the surrounding four suburban counties, which was controversial, due to the unpopular notion of using public funds for a privately owned sports team.” Duh!

    As far as the Irish posts, I intended to have that going already, but life keeps getting in the way. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

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