November was a busy writing and reading month

I started this month’s blog posts writing about what was going to happen in November. So I thought I’d end November with a review of what I really did – that is, relative to my writing and reading.

I just completed  poem number thirty for the Writer’s Digest poem a day chapbook challenge. And it was easy to guess the prompt. Robert Lee Brewer instructed us to:

“…write a the end poem. It’s the end of the first draft phase of the challenge, so there’s that. But you can also reach the end of a book, journey, or conversation. But journeys never really end, and this challenge will continue on as well. Look for next steps tomorrow.”

And of course that prompt was right up my alley. I’m working on a new memoir about aging and how I’m planning for the end of my life. I know the subject is a little maudlin though it’s not far-fetched. In 2020 I will turn eighty so it’s on my mind.

Here’s the poem I wrote to that prompt – remember it’s just a first draft:

I’m writing down thoughts
about the end of my life,
and I want to have
all my plans in place:
powers of attorney,
sales and disposal
of my possessions,
do not resuscitate orders,
burial or cremation options.
It’s not too early
to think of such things.
After all, I’m almost eighty
and my time
left on this planet
is finite. The end for me
is nearer now than ever.

Definitely “a the end” poem.

However, the memoir really is about aging successfully and the, the end stuff is way at the end of the book. I certainly don’t intend to turn off my readers at the start.

But, this month I wasn’t able to concentrate much on my new memoir. I have a total first draft and my job now is to revise. But I only did that in fits and starts. However, now that the poem a day challenge is over, instead of writing a poem first thing when I sit down at my computer, I’ll work on a chapter or two of my memoir. Right now, I’m about half way through. By the end of next month I should be all the way through with Revision One. I promise!

I also did a lot of reading this month. I entered the Goodreads challenge to read twenty-five books in 2019 and I completed that challenge in November. The last two books were both wonderful – Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments and Lillian Nader’s Theep and Thorpe. Now I’m reading two more: Dani Shapiro’s Inheritance and Richard Ebner’s Saving Papa’s Tales. If you don’t know of Lillian or Richard’s books, please look them up on Goodreads. Their work is very much worth reading.

And of course I always have book marketing on my plate no matter what month it is. Posting about my historical novel Papa’s Shoes here a couple of weeks ago helped drum up a few sales. But then again, I’m always hoping for more.

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving. See you in December.

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