Fess Up Friday – back in the burgh

I have nothing to report. I was working most of the week in Chicago and after working all weekend and all week and facing the prospect of working some this weekend (not a terrible amount, but still) I only wrote one paragraph.


On the novel.

No blogging. No hitting page 100. No writing for work. No visiting my essays.

Between not writing, the lack of exercise, the excess of croissants and cappuccinos, the fact I had to cancel weekend plans, well, is it any wonder I am out of sorts?

Sometimes, a paragraph is the equivalent of a whole  chapter.

Sometimes, a paragraph is a triumph.

That’s how the paragraph I wrote yesterday feels, anyhow.

I finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – looooong review forthcoming. I loved it, but for those of you who have read it, and have read this blog, can you guess the part (hint: near the end) that stressed me out, just a tad? That put me off? If you think you know what I am talking about feel free to let me know in the comments. Another hint…it’s nothing significant…no chapter is set around it or anything. Something I love, though, is mightily criticized.

Of all the wonderful things I have to say about Kingsolver’s book, I think the highest complement I can pay her is she brought me back after many years to nonfiction, and I’m currently reading Annie Dillard’s beautiful An American Childhood, which takes place in Pittsburgh. I’m also reading a terrible Christopher Pike novel, but it’s terrible in that good way, if that makes any sense. The characterization and dialogue may be lacking but the plot zings.

I’ll leave you today with a beautiful bit from Dillard’s prologue – it made me fall in love with Pittsburgh all over again:

I will see the city poured rolling down the mountain valleys like slag, and see the  city lights sprinkled and curved around the hills’ curves, rows of bonfires winding. At sunset a red light like housefires shines from the narrow hillside windows; the houses’ bricks burn like glowing coals.

The three wide rivers divide and cool the mountains. Calm old bridges span the banks and link the hills. The Allegheny River flows in brawling from the north, from near the shore of Lake Erie, and from Lake Chautauqua in New York and eastward. The Monongahela River flows in shallow and slow from the south, from West Virginia. The Allegheny and the Monongahela meet and form the westward-wending Ohio.

it makes me happy just to know somewhere out there, Annie Dillard keeps on writing.

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10 Responses to Fess Up Friday – back in the burgh

  1. Oh dear, me too. Not a great writing week. I am going to have to face the music and fess up.

    As for A, V, M, wasn’t it a delight? A great read. Though now you’ve got me thinking about the bit you might hate …

  2. smithereens says:

    Was there an anti-writing virus spreading across the web this week? Not a great writing week here either… I look forward for your review though!

  3. Emily says:

    Annie Dillard keeps writing in NC and the Florida Keys.

    Since you asked 🙂

  4. Ingrid says:

    OK, I am going to join this. It is actually slightly comforting to read that other people don’t have time or are struggling as hard as I am to keep writing.

  5. litlove says:

    It’s really comforting to know we all had a rubbishy sort of week. To get your paragraph done WAS a triumph, Courtney! And I must read Annie Dillard….

  6. Stefanie says:

    Sorry about your bad writing week, but yay on the paragraph. It’s something. I have not yet read the Kingsolver book so I hope you mention what it is that stressed you out, you’ve got my curiosity piqued!

  7. Some weeks are One Paragraph weeks but you’ll make up for it and also I bet it was a great paragraph 🙂 It just shows this: you can’t judge anything. So- it’s one paragraph but we have no idea how much blood and sweat and tears went into it and what it took for you to get there.

  8. kimhaasdesign says:

    That’s not nothing to report. A paragraph is a paragraph. It keeps you connected to the story. And I love Annie Dillard. Haven’t read her in awhile. Hmmm… maybe she needs to be added to my summer reading list.

  9. Courtney says:

    Charlotte, well, I didn’t HATE the part I’m referring to, I just found myself a bit taken aback. I’m still not sure how I’m going to review this book – it certainly has my head spinning…
    Smithereens – from the looks of the other comments, it seems there WAS an anti-writing virus! Mine has been cured…has yours?
    Emily – isn’t she lucky?
    Ingrid – welcome! I love your blog, it’s lovely to see you here. Yes, do join – it certainly helps – the whole misery and company thing I think
    Litlove – Annie Dillard can be hit or miss for me, but I am enjoying her memoir.
    Stefanie – oh, I think you would love A,V,M. I was thinking of lending my copy to my sister in law but I hate the idea of losing it so I think I’m going to buy it for her instead…
    Elementary – I have now officially hit page 100 so I must admit I am feeling much better, now –
    Kim – LOVE the picture of you – I miss my writing group so much, there aren’t words for it.

  10. Wow- another Christopher Pike reader- I don’t hear much about him these days but his stories are consistently entertaining.
    It’s a surprise to see his name pop up.
    I love Annie Dillard too. I bought ‘Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek’ last year in a thrift store in Cambridge – who on earth could give that away?? in fact I’m going back to that store in July- it’s a rare treat, and I look forward to seeing what other treasures I can dig up.

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