Writing up a storm

I got a note back from a writing friend after I congratulated her on her new book of poetry. She said she hopes I’m writing up a storm. We met years ago at a poetry writing workshop at Esalen in Big Sur California. Plus, I took two of her classes through UCLA’s writers program: How to Write Your First Novel and her Novel Three class.

Well, I think I am writing a lot. Today for instance I’ve already written to two poem-a-day (PAD) prompts – one to make up for yesterday and one for today. Plus I have this list of writing yet to accomplish: this blog post, another thousand words or so of my new memoir, and my everyday journal entry that usually goes about five hundred words. That’s a big assignment, but isn’t that what we writers are supposed to do?

Another thing that’s on my writing plate is querying small presses, hopefully to get them interested in publishing my novel. So far I’ve queried three. It’s very slow going and, as I’ve said before, a scary one. My son is an actor and when I told him what I was up to, he could commiserate. Querying is like auditioning. It’s where we put everything we have on the line.

Funny that I should be writing another book at this point. It’s the same thing I did while querying presses and agents to get a publisher for my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. It helps take away the pressure of possible rejections, which I’m sure will happen over and over again. It took sixty-eight query letters to finally have success the first time. I wonder how many it will take now.

Anyway, here’s a bit about my new memoir. First of all it’s not a continuation of my first one. Although It’s possible I’ve become the person I am as a result of what I went through during my son’s illness and after his suicide. (And FYI, we don’t even have the same hall light anymore.)

Now I’m writing about what it’s like to turn eighty (I’m about a year and a half away from that milestone now). A few of the thirty-one topics in my outline have to do with my daily routine, what I do to take care of myself, how much I like my privacy, how I’ve stayed married for over forty-eight years, my writing routine, and how my husband’s health and physical condition affects my own.  Right now I’m writing to number three – What I see when I look in the mirror.

So I suspect you’ll be hearing more of my writing up a storm in the future. In the meantime, here’s the name of my friend, Jessica Barksdale Incan’s, new poetry book: When We Almost Drowned. I preordered a copy. I hope you will too. I hope you’ll buy a copy of Leaving the Hall Light On too.

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