Sunday, May 27, 2007

Home Again

Just what I needed. The lake was exactly what I needed...a little bit of quiet, but mostly a change of venue. Strangely, this photography kick has made me realize how very similar one day is to the next around here. (How many pictures can I take of my children jumping into an inflatable pool or lounging on a cushy couch or examining bugs on leaves?) The three hours in the car, trying not to hit any bumps which always seem to piss off the temperamental dual mini-DVD players that are strapped to the headrests like mental patients, the juice bag disasters (I will never, ever buy a bag of juice again), the fruit roll-ups stuck to the upholstery, the "are we here?"'s (Yes, we're here, I said every time. Where else would we be??) -- none of it mattered when we finally pulled up to -- no joke -- Serenity Now -- the haven on the lake. My pulse slowed down to a crawl the second I got out of the car and the kids were free.

The girls were delirious. I had some nice grown-up time with old friends and some cool new folks, and then twenty-four hours later, we left again to return to the city...but I feel salvaged somehow.

My beauties...

Friday, May 25, 2007

To the lake

The reading last week went well...though I didn't know anyone in the audience. Everyone I knew who planned to attend had things come up, and actually it was nice, because my nerves disappeared looking out into a see of unfamiliar faces. I read some of my poems, and realized, about mid-way through the first one how very intensely personal my poetry is. My fiction is so, I don't know, fictional. This felt weird. You know how you're supposed to visualize the audience naked? Well, I kept envisioning myself naked. Anyway, I have a new respect for poets. And strippers.

We're headed off to Deep Creek Lake this weekend. The girls are so excited to go to "the beach." I'm excited to be near the water again too. It's been hotter than hell here, and a lake will be a nice change from the kiddie pool. Though Esmee and Kicky don't seem to mind our suburban beach much at all:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The One Trick Pony's Lament

I am struggling trying to figure out what to read at my reading on Sunday at The Writer's Center. I know they'll be selling books and I should read from one of the novels, but to be honest, I am so tired of reading from those three books. They're old. They don't really even represent who I am as a writer any more. I imagine it's (on a smaller, less rockstar- oriented scale of course) what The Rolling Stones must feel like when they are asked to play "Satisfaction." I'm tired of them (my novels not the Stones). I actually found a discussion about my work on a website (yes...I search every so often to see if anyone is still reading my books. All of you writers do it. Don't pretend you don't care), and someone referred to me as a "great writer but not very prolific." I've written three whole novels since Undressing the Moon was published! (Granted one was a real stinker, but still.) I want people to hear/read what I'm writing now. I think I may just throw caution to the wind and read my poetry. What have I got to lose?

Monday, May 14, 2007


So I am having a hard time getting back into my book. I actually knew this was going to happen...maybe this is why I've been Martha Stewarting the house for the last week instead of revising. It's ironic really, since I am just finishing up teaching a Revising the Novel workshop this week. I mean, I know how to do's just daunting, and, frankly, no fun at all. The characters are inconsistent. The pacing is off. It is, indeed, a bit maudlin, and I am second-guessing every single word. It's not that I'm giving up. I actually got up at 5:30 a.m. filled with good intentions. I even sat down, coffee in hand, by 6:45. BUT, I should have known it wasn't going to happen when I heard the pitter patter thump of two pairs of feet at 6:05. Yes, that's right...twenty-minutes of uninterrupted work. Jesus. Anyway, wound up doing nothing this some of the book I'm editing, ate four muffins, watched "The View." Jesus. It doesn't help that I got two poetry rejections this week: The Iowa Review and Tor House. I expect they'll come pouring in soon.

Lastly, I am still obsessing over my new love. I can talk f-stops and exposure all over the place. I got shutter speed and white balance on my brain. No room for writing???

Oh, I almost forgot to mention Mother's Day. It was soooo nice. Patrick gave me a tripod. Kicky made an art installation on the front door. And Esmee? Well, just look at her. that's gift enough. We all went to The Capitol Lounge for brunch and then spent the afternoon in the backyard. I even fell alseep in the hammock...though I awoke to a size 11 toddler foot in my face. All in all, I'm happy to be a mermama.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

School's Out for Summer!

I'm done! I'm done, I'm done, I'm done. I am in vacation mode...but first, I had to make order out of the chaos that was my home. I just waded through six months worth of crap that had piled up on my dining room table and "office." What remains is a beautiful workspace. Novel-writing worthy! I have a few more organizational things I want to get done before I implement my new summer writing schedule, but I'm getting there.

Meanwhile, I am obsessed with my new camera. I have two pictures that I am certain will be included in my upcoming "show" at The Atlas. Here's one of Esmee.

I am trying for a Sally Mann sort of feel to these pictures...I just adore her work, and there are so few photographers who approach children in the way she does. I feel like I'm starting to capture something with the girls...though I'm not sure what. Lucky for me, they are both quite at ease in front of the camera.

Anyway....I am on a summer vacation high right now. How many grown-ups get to have that??!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

And then there's maudlin...

Finally heard back from Henry...he likes the beginning of the new book, though he warned against being too maudlin. I think maudlin might be my specialty. Anyway, we had a nice chat about it, and I plan to dive in again soon.

Good news here is that school is OVER come Friday. I actually teach my last class tomorrow morning. I have a hell of a lot of grading to do, but at least I can park myself in the hammock to do that.

I am always buzzing with a sense of possibility this time of of many carryovers of childhood, I think. I am making lists all over the place...summer projects, reading lists, writing goals, etc... I am so excited to work on my photography. The new goal is to have an exhibit of work up at the Atlas's gallery by the end of the year. Poetry is not going so well, and I am debating whether or not I should quit. I'm actually starting to dread writing the poem a day (and, to be honest, I'm a few days behind). I have over a hundred poems, and I think I miss my novel. Would that just be terrible? I hate quitting things, but I also don't want poetry to become a sort of torture either...

Oh yeah....other big news here is that I got my hair cut. A lot. It's the best haircut I've ever had. I feel like some sort of sassy mama now :)