First of all, if you want the perfect distraction from writing, I highly recommend you decide to start looking for a house. I honestly had no idea how time consuming this process would be. Don’t get me wrong, it is actually a rather fun process at times, but it has sucked time away more dramatically from my writing than even, I think, moving this year did. In the last week we have slogged through home after home after home in neighborhood after neighborhood after neighborhood – we have seen houses without kitchens, houses painted entirely hot pink, houses next door to thai food restaurants and houses perched precariously on top of the city; we have seen houses, people. Right now we are in the fortunate position of having narrowed our house hunt down to three homes and are now spending our time hanging out in each neighborhood, doing the walk from our potential front steps to the bus stop, chatting with the neighbors, looking for gyms, and of course popping into pubs for a drink and a snack here or there. Okay, we do that everywhere. Our determination to continue living near public transportation are definitely limiting us and frustrate the native Pittsburghers we talk to because there is always a charming little neighborhood just outside the city if only we are willing to drive, but as Barbara Kingsolver said as she continually refused to eat commercial beef, our reasons are our reasons.
Thus, my writing report is rather brief…I worked on the novel twice this week by waking up even earlier than usual and I consider that a triumph. I finished By Sorrow’s River and it took a terribly sad turn…I am now on the lookout for a book that I can read distractedly, as I make my way through the next stage of the home-buying process and head to Boston for work. I’m thinking thick, I’m thinking funny…any suggestions would be appreciated. This week I also read back issues of “Vanity Fair” and “Rolling Stone” and have decided after much thought I would trade lives with Tina Fey before I would with Carla Sarkozy but it was close there for a while. My blogging routine seems sadly established…1-2 times a week seems all I can manage, at least while I work on the novel. I think I am getting better at my work writing as people seem to be editing me less and less, but who knows?
Okay, so, here is the challenge portion of the post, and I do hope the founder of the challenge won’t mind:
In two weeks (because I only fess up every other week or so) – so, on September 26 – I challenge all of us participating in Fess up Fridays (and even those who aren’t, if they would like to join) – to do the following in addition to their fessing: post one paragraph of your current work in progress that you are really proud of, and discuss the writing process behind it. Was it laborious? Easy? What kind of work went into it? And then, post a paragraph from your current work in progress that you don’t like, and discuss the same. No need to explain your project or contextualize it – just use this space to talk a bit about your writing process. You can sign up by leaving a comment here, emailing me or linking to this post, and the following Saturday I will publish a list of all who participated. I think it could be a fun way to begin an autumn discussion about the writing process. I’m honestly not much of one for “how to write” books beyond Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life because so often I don’t think writing advice helps me…I have a full-time job, a husband, friends, family and so often writing advice is written with the assumption that the writer has all the time in the world and simply lacks inclination and will. I have the latter two in spades….it is time that trips me up. I want to hear from the rest of you – men and women writing around the edges of a busy life. I will, of course, also be posting.