Photo: Our yard is officially in full bloom. The wild flowers opened up on Friday and it’s like like wow. Even our roses have popped! We’re so pleased!
It was a weekend to reap of little of the good work sown, Dear Reader. The phone rang, people breezed through, the sun shined down on us on Saturday and then it was a gloriously rainy and chilly day on Sunday. We needed all of it: the snuggles, the laughter, the movies, the low-and-slow roast, the time to read and the time to write… and little boys, who didn’t get to spend a lot of time with their father last week because he worked late every night, got a chance to build and climb and tumble and do boy stuff without my intervention.
A good weekend. Very good indeed.
I had a chance to work on my last outline before my next big push to write some short stories for submission season in the Fall. I have four stories on deck with pretty detailed outlines, and I’m hoping I can get cohesive drafts written by the end of the month. The goal is to make August my editing time with plenty of time to fuss before I submit my work. Then it will be back-to-school, NaNoWriMo and novel pitch time. So much. I’m serious about this in a way I’ve never been. And I’m excited, too. I hope I’m not setting myself up for huge-colossal failures.
Naaaaaah, right? Right.
I did take time to take on two challenges this weekend. My first copy of Ploughshares came in the mail this week! It’s an all-poetry edition which, long time readers know, is not my strongest skill. I’ve never been a huge fan of poetry and I have very weak understanding of what good poetry is and feels like. So, to get this was like… yes. I’m gonna practice!
The first poem was great.
The second was also great.
The third program was less so…
Now I’m on poem 20ish or something and…
oh why, why Lord? Why am I so bad at poetic comprehension?
Sometimes I read a poem and I’m like, hmm… I totally understood this until this line here.
Sometimes I read a poem and I’m like, what?
Sometimes I read a poem and shrug. Why was this interesting? It didn’t move me at all.
Sometimes I read a poem and I fling the damn book off of the bed in great puffs of frustration. Ain’t I an educated woman!?!?!?
So, uh… I’m still quite imperfect. I think the most annoying part about this is that I’ll never be trained to like/understand poetry. I just have to keep flinging myself at it until something sticks. This seems… like a poor strategy. What am I missing?
My second weekend challenge? A person in my writing group posted a link to One Throne’s 2015 Joust contest: They give you the first sentence and the last, and you bridge the gap with a story in 1000 words. Also, perform this feat in 24 hours. Registration was free and the winner gets $400! Hell, it sounded like fun, so I signed up.
I didn’t love the first sentence. Not at all. But I wrote something. It was fun to be under the gun like that and it was certainly an exercise to have to grow an idea from someone else’s thought. It was also exhilarating to press the submit button when it was all over. No time for fuss, no time for regrets, no time to even chicken out! I likely won’t win, but it was fun! I’ll certainly do it again next year.
So for those who are keeping count, that’s two submissions for the year. Hoping for at least two more with the possibility of two additional short story submissions by the end of the year. That does not include the first draft for the project I’m working on with my sister, the pitch of my novel (Oh Lord, if I can get that thing edited) and the novella I’m writing for NaNo in November.
Every time I write out all of that stuff, my heart palpitates. Especially because we seem to be a family in demand.
Remember last summer when all of my posts were, essentially, about how bored I was and how excruciatingly long the summer is? Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen this year. I feel like there is a lot going on, and even though I feel like I’m declining a lot of invitations, we’re still booked and busy. Family comes up, friends come through, kids need playdates, there are spontaneous gatherings at the pond or at other homes… and I just can’t believe that it’s the start of July. The good news is, folk are starting to leave town for vacations and what not, so that should signal a slow-down. The bad news? I still see a full calendar straight through the beginning of August. Crazy, right?
I’m not complaining. That probably sounded like complaining. (Read: Help, I’m an introvert with an extrovert’s life and also entirely too many other things to do!) I’m just saying that I thought that the non-school year was supposed to be a time to slow down and take it easy and lose the schedule. Lesson the first: the suburbs never slow down. Children must be entertained at all moments and at all costs. Lesson the second: once you have a house and you say, “my door is always open…” well… your door is always open, you fool! What were you thinking!?
Most people bring beer and others have excellent taste in wine so, I think I’ll be ok. 🙂
What was your weekend like, Dear Reader? Did you celebrate Pride weekend like so many of my friends? Did you watch the economic collapse in Greece with horror and fascination? Did you maybe catch snippets of the crazy prison manhunt come to an end? Or maybe you’re an entertaining machine like I am?
Either way, I hope you are starting your week feeling invigorated. There is so much to do!
Until Wednesday, take care.