Some early fessing

It’s still in the five o’clock hour here in Pittsburgh. I am waiting for the coffee to perk after a night where I continually dreamt I was trying to get to a Patrick Sweany concert but obstacle after obstacle kept getting in my way. By the end of the dream I was so desperate to get to the concert …and suddenly I found myself without shoes, tripping through a snow storm, so very close to the concert hall, and then my alarm rang.

I hope this isn’t predictive of the upcoming two days.

I am leaving for a retreat for work…have to pick up a colleague in a couple of hours and then she and I will be on our way…the writer (her) and the media relations manager (me) off to the mountains to hang out with scientists. I was – am – looking forward to it but I worked late last night as well and I am not the best this early in the morning…I would do better with a retreat that started at noon, say.

Anyway, I won’t be around for the fessing tomorrow so I thought I’d post a bit early!

On the novel-writing: I am this close to finishing act 1 of my novel – I fully expect of complete it over the weekend. I’m at around 109 pages. Once I finish it I need to sort out the major events in the next act, although I have a basic idea of what’s happening, and there may be some longer pauses as I do the basic research necessary to move the story forward. I don’t want to stop too much – shitty first draft, and all of that – but there are places I will need to pause and learn a bit before moving forward. This week it writing was fun again – I introduced a character as an adult and I really enjoyed creating him. I wrote a scene where two of the brothers go deer hunting that I like. And I think act 2 is going to be really exciting to write…I’m going to be able to do a lot of backstory, write about when Ben and Anna first fell in love – I’m looking forward to it.

On blogging – While I would love to blog more, and read more, I’ve fallen into what I consider a manageable rhythm of writing here and reading blogs and it’s one that I’m comfortable with.

On reading – A couple of weeks ago I finished Christopher Pike’s Falling which, while the literary quality was quite lacking, I thought beautifully plotted and unpredictable. I also really liked the ending and the fact his characters kept making the same mistakes over and over – like real life. I’m continuing my nonfiction reading with Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood – some chapters I have fallen absolutely in love with and others I’m sort of “meh” about – which is typical of my relationship to Dillard.  I know she’s an American classic and God, she does write beautifully, but she sometimes loses me. I’m also reading Jeffery (Jeffrey? the book is in the bedroom and S. is still asleep) Lent’s A Peculiar Grace and oh my God, can the man write. I think the equivalent action of my first act, he puts in the first chapter of his novel. This book is definitely un-put-downable and I can’t wait for the weekend to finish it. Review (or rather, off the cuff reaction, plus excerpts) to come.

On work writing – I asked for, and received, a new beat to cover at work! Gastroenterology/hepatology! I mean, to be fair, nobody else is that interested but for me? The LIVER? The PANCREAS? The delicate, oft-ignored organs essential to life? Plus BOWEL DISEASES? My proverbial cup runneth over. So now I am on urology, cancer (my main, most time-consuming beat) and gastro/hep. LOVES. IT. As for work writing, I could kick this job in the ass if only I didn’t have to go on retreats, to dinners and luncheons, and a million meetings a day. Seventy-five percent of my day is supposed to be writing but unfortunately that work gets done around the edges of other things. I need to work on finding time to disappear to work on my writing for the job, in a blackberry-less, disconnected sort of way.

Ciao, all!

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7 Responses to Some early fessing

  1. Ingrid says:

    I better start tapping something in a script somewhere, seeing as I don’t want to have to write : “done nothing” – again!! Well done to you for getting some writing done. And have fun on your retreat! I am never at my best early in the morning! 🙂

  2. Dorothy W. says:

    Enjoy the retreat and getting to the end of the first section of your novel! And congrats on getting the new writing task at work — it sounds like a nice challenge.

  3. pete says:

    I’m totally intrigued by the thought of writing about the “delicate, oft-ignored organs essential to life”. And bowel diseases are very interesting from a psychological point of view. Congrats on the novel writing!

  4. Andi says:

    Ahh, Christopher Pike! I haven’t heard that name in a while. I looooved his adolescent stuff when I was growing up. Haven’t tried any of his adult novels, but maybe I’ll give them a go sometime soon.

    Congrats on winding up the first act!

  5. Emily Barton says:

    I know what you mean about work getting in the way of work. All the meetings in my old job were what used to drive me nuts. Now I’m lucky. Not so many meetings, and I get so much more done.

  6. Ingrid – early mornings have NEVER been easy for me – I even dislike leaving for vacation that early and much prefer getting to the airport or whatever the night before. And good luck getting started writing!

    Dorothy – it’s exciting. I’ve been writing about cancer so long that it’s nice to have something “new” to add to my repetoire…

    Pete – welcome! I’ll add you to my blogroll at the end of the month! And I can imagine from a psychological standpoint bowel diseases must be fascinating…

    Andi – thanks! It’s done now! I can’t even believe it! Now, onwards and upwards…

    Emily – the amount of meetings we have at my job is absolutely ridiculous. I HATE meeting without a good reason! Not that much changes day to day…

  7. I’m glad you found some sort of balance. That’s one of the hardest things to do. Congratulations on accomplishing the first act.

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