Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Friday, February 5, 2010

Surviving February and updates

Lest anyone has been doubting, yes, I am still alive.

I'm trying hard to survive February, my least favorite month of the year (take a peak outside if you want to know why), and the best way I know how to do that is write. Unfortunately for the blog, that doesn't mean blog posts. Sorry, readers. I'll try to do better. But sanity comes first.

I have a post about fantasy-writing I've been wanting to write forever. I have books to give away. I promise I'll get back in the swing before the month is out.

However, I figure I owe you some updates now, at least. So,

Hepzibah: The novel I started several years ago, worked on for a year, put in a drawer for another, got out again, and thought I'd finished. After a couple months' letting her rest and some helpful feedback, I'm back to revising her. So, I sat down to work and was completely embarrassed that I let my writing people read her in this state. Agh! I'm going through with a hatchet, disgusted with myself.  Anyway, she has a new name, thanks to my agent, Steve: The Story of Hepzibah Death. Let me know what you think.

My poetry novel: I thought I'd finished the rough draft at about 200 pages and 24,000 words long, but I keep adding. It's been so fun. Really different from anything else I've ever written. I've been reading Beowulf to get me in an epic-poetry frame of mind.

I was about to tell you more details, but decided a public blog isn't the right forum. Let me just say I wrote a villainelle yesterday. I feel like I'm back in my high school poetry class and having a blast, believe it or not.

My slave-boy story: is being neglected. But I have him in the back of my mind, stewing, ready to go as soon as Hepzibah is finally out of my hands and the poetry has settled down. Some books insist on being listened to first, like it or not. The boy story isn't insisting as hard as the poetry, so will have to wait.

The Golden Bowl, by Henry James: I tried (honest!) to read this for my book group and didn't manage to finish in time for the meeting. Went to book group anyway to figure out why anybody likes Henry James. After a fascinating discussion, decided to finish after all. I think I need to read it faster, let it seep into my brain instead of stopping along the way to try to uncover the meaning of sentences like these:

"He became aware himself, for that matter, during the minute Maggie stood there before speaking; and with the sense moreover of what he saw her see he had the sense of what she saw him."

Ha! So there. Don't ask me; I don't know, either.

Triathlon training: In preparation for the "Woman of Steel" Tri in May, I've been increasing my yoga to twice a week, upping my running miles. I injured my foot twisting it in the ice, so that has set me back some. Bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes so I could pretend I'm running barefoot (free toes! hooray!), but my injured foot says no running in them on pavement yet. I love walking (almost) barefoot everywhere. Walked my son to school in them the other day and about froze my toes off.

It's February, duh.

I'm obviously in denial.

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