This morning I woke up wondering what I’d blog about today. I spent some time skimming parts of Margaret Anne Doody’s massive academic work, The True Story of the Novel (Rutgers University Press, 1996) and considered writing about “literary tropes of fiction” or about “characters as artists” in the novel. Both topics interested me but the material was so heavy I couldn’t pull just the excerpts I wanted to show how her research and wisdom might affect my writing.
With my morning coffee I got started on my friend Jennifer Horne’s new collection of short stories, Tell the World You’re A Wildflower (University of Alabama Press, 2014). There’s something magical, something very special here, so I decided to wait and give it a full review later. But hey—don’t wait on me! Buy the book NOW and get started on a special literary treat! (Enjoy this interview with Jennifer in Deep South Magazine.)
Finally I scrolled through my Facebook writing groups, and landed on an interesting post in the group, “Binder Full of Memoirists.” Sherry Amatenstein (LCSW, NYU professor, author) led a workshop called, “Feeding the Writer’s Ego” at the Out of the Binders Symposium on Women Writers Today last weekend in New York City. I was interested because—like many writers—I work alone. I get lonely. I get depressed. I have feelings of self-doubt. This must be a common enough problem to warrant a workshop session addressing the issue, right? Writing groups and other opportunities for interaction with fellow writers helps. But there’s still “the hours”….
So, I found this tip from the above workshop interesting:
Write down at least 20 of your positive traits – keep adding to the CREATIVITY BRAG PAGE. Read it daily, especially when you need a booster shot of self-esteem or when your writing gets rejected.
Sounds kind of self-involved, but I might try it and see if it helps pull me up out of those inevitable funks that come crashing down on my creativity from time to time. Like today.
I missed our monthly writer’s group last night. It meets the same night as our neighborhood’s social club gatherings, so I alternate attending these events. My husband and I have met some great folks at the social club parties. It’s a way to reach out beyond our usual circles of acquaintances (his mostly medical and church friends; mine mostly writers and church friends). So last night, we both had stimulating conversations with architects (3 of them!), nurses (2), a lawyer, a college professor, a freelance writer, and a guy who sells Hunter ceiling fans. The host had a terrific art collection, including a 1970s piece by Mary Sims, whose work I love. As we walked the two blocks home from the party, we shared some of our conversations and agreed that we were glad we went.
But I still missed my writing buddies. So tomorrow I’m looking forward to having lunch with Ellen Ann Fentress—a writer friend who lives in Jackson, Mississippi. I’ll be visiting my mom at the nursing home, so I scheduled a lunch date with Ellen Ann. We used to trade manuscripts-in-progress for critiquing, but we both let that slide at some point. I’m looking forward to talking shop again.
This is getting rambly so I’ll close. But first, an update for those who read my post on Monday. I got the results from my Upper GI, and thankfully I don’t have any “strictures, ulcers or masses.” Just the reflux and a small hiatal hernia, both of which we already knew about. My physician is recommending motilium—a drug the FDA hasn’t approved for use in the U.S. yet. But he can prescribe it for me through a Canadian web site. It takes two weeks to receive it and another two weeks for it to begin working, so I’ll have to be patient. Meanwhile, I’m greatly relieved that I don’t have cancer or some other serious diagnosis! Thanks so much for reading and for all the good wishes and prayers! See you again on Friday.