Tuesday, July 18, 2006

At random

I did get some writing done, so thanks for your patience. I may be a little less reliable about posting here while I get my teeth into this new work.
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In case you thought I was just lazing around, staring at my blank computer screen, in the past ten days I've also had two speaking engagements, some meetings, dealt with lots of mail and e-mail, did some work on essays and other items that are not my manuscript but require thought and keyboard time, started reading a non-fiction book about pirates, mailed off some ACWL materials, developed some draft bylaws for a new organization, put out a couple of issues of the CLP News, developed some new handouts and got them sent off to others who were speaking about the CLP (many thanks to Meg Chittenden, who has been so very supportive and gave the CLP a plug at a writing conference!), and had lunch with a couple of writer friends. That's aside from household tasks, time with Tim, an evening spent watching a friend's band, and other good stuff.
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One of the great things about living close to Los Angeles is that LA is home to other friends who are writers, and visiting writer friends also often tour through the city. I'm not a writer who worked with a writing group before I was published, and I've never been in one since. Just not something that I think would work well for me. My writer friends and I do not swap manuscript pages or critique one another's work. But we do enjoy talking to one another about the process, venting frustrations, and supporting one another through the various sorts of minor anxiety attacks or wholesale meltdowns to which any of us may become prey at a given moment. I am so lucky -- I regularly spend time with people who are bright and witty and thoughtful about their work, and who, if not completely free of all envy (I like to hang out with human beings, who interest me more than saintly phonies), are also able to truly applaud the successes of their friends.
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I tend to read several books at once, and among the ones I'm reading now is the official reading party book. Tim and I read aloud to each other, something we began doing together within the first week after we met. (One of the hardest things about being on the road is that the reading parties are always on hold at such times.) Currently (no wordplay intended) we are reading Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi. I'm enjoying it immensely. Recently, Tim forwarded a signature line from a friend's e-mail, another line from Twain I thought I'd share with you:

I didn't attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.


Tomorrow, I am going to the Orange County Fair, but more about that in the next post!


Louise Ure said...

Jan, you get more done "on the side" than I do going all out full tilt boogie.

And I love the idea of your reading parties. If my husband and I did the same, we'd be reading each other the program list off the TV screen.


Jan said...

Program lists?!?! I can't get Tim to stop channel surfing long enough to read one!