I haven’t written anything yet today and time is passing so I probably won’t except for this post. I start work late on Wednesdays but that doesn’t mean I get anything useful done at home. This morning I bought some shoes on line and reserved some books at my local public library. Both trivial actions relate to preparing for my upcoming trip to Lisbon (February 1). Now that I think of it both relate to portability–good, light shoes that are easy to pack and likely to fare well on hills and e-books for the journey.
I am making a point of reading MG books at present. In December I binged on essay collections. I have been writing and submitting an essay or two to literary journals but am now trying to focus back on my MG novel-in-process. So I am concentrating on craft.
Lisbon is not just a holiday for me, although it will be that. It is also a writing retreat. If I stayed here at home to write, I would have to face the weather that leaves me down and demoralized. I also would procrastinate and the guilt would send me back to the office. So why not rent a small apartment and hole up somewhere? And if I’m going to do that, why not somewhere warmer and far more exciting than my home turf? Hence, Portugal.
Two years ago, I did a similar retreat to Bari, Italy. It worked very well! I edited, proofed and submitted my novel to agents. I participated in a Twitter competition. I learned about pitches and synopses. Not all happened in that order necessarily. I didn’t get any bites and have since started a deep revision which brings me up to the present.
I have a critique group. What I need is space and time to work. So there I go in a few short weeks. With my new shoes and e-books.
I missed blogging about StoryStorm for a couple of days. The prompts are about telling a difficult story (the example given is a Holocaust story) and about starting a story in the journalistic sense with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Not that all of those are necessary at once, but it makes for a great framework for considering beginnings. The question words remind me to get back to studying Portuguese. I can now say, “I drink milk” but haven’t gotten to “Where’s the bathroom?” Very useful words, those.
May all your journeys, literal or figurative, writing or otherwise be bright.