Today is supposed to be the hottest day of the week (and possibly the season) in the D.C. area. It’s always hot here in the summer, but having grown up in the southern Mid-Atlantic, I don’t really heed my fellow locals’ complaints about the purported oppressive heat of July and August. In North Carolina, you could barely go outside between 12 and 5 PM; and don’t get me started on the 24 hours we spent in Savannah in August one summer. I do concede that it’s easy to scoff at heat complaints while I sit in an air-conditioned room in a sundress.
Though I’ve been out of school for years, I still like taking part in summer reading. My local library has a summer reading program for all ages, and you can log your books and win prizes. Adults get the grand prize when they read six books in the designated time. Last summer, I completed and exceeded that by the beginning of July. This summer … I logged my fourth book yesterday.
My reading is still slow thanks to writing, but things like the summer reading challenge keep my bookworm fed. I just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which was excellent. Now I’m reading The Girls by Emily Cline.
I’m also still writing away. Most of my focus has been on what is steadily becoming my second novel. I’m at 47,000+ words — a few days’ work away from a NaNoWriMo length! It’s still scattershot, and the plot is still coming together, but I’m both pleased and surprised at how it’s formed over the past several weeks — especially when for months, I didn’t think I had enough material for this story to turn into a novel. We’ll see where it goes!
What are you reading or writing this summer?
A couple weeks ago, I shared some ways to connect apart from this blog. I wanted to add one space where I’m a recent dweller: Goodreads.
I’ve seen Goodreads pop up here and there, mostly through my friends updating their progress on books or my favorite authors promoting giveaways. I joined when two friends wanted to use it to discuss the books we read together.
Since then, I’ve used it pretty much for the activities I saw other people do — update on my reading progress and enter giveaways. I also write brief reviews of the books I finish and log on the site. I have yet to write retroactive reviews of stuff I read before joining, but that may come later.
With summer reading upon, us, and just with a love of reading in general, I invite you all to join me there. The URL will seem very familiar: https://www.goodreads.com/sonorawrites
Feel free to send me a friend request, or just follow along if you like. You all know I sometimes lose focus on reading, and it helps me keep up with it when I have friends to share that reading with.
Hope to see you on Goodreads!
The following was the entry on my desk calendar the other day. It came at a great time, as I was hesitating to continue some projects because I didn’t think they were perfect or ready enough to continue or finish. In a quick post to get the weekend started, I wanted to share it with all of you. I hope you spend your weekend – or any day, really – completing your pieces! Writing something is always better than nothing.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
Today’s the day: I’m going back to my book draft, and am going to read it from beginning to end.
What I hope for:
What I expect:
Hope for the best, expect the worst …
In all seriousness, I’m sure it’ll be fine. I hope so, anyway.
Have a great Tuesday, everyone!
Awhile back, I got a fortune cookie which I held dear, as it pertained to writing, and I was in the throes of writing the novel. I carry the fortune in my pocket or my purse every day as a writing charm, wrapped around a lucky quarter I found on the metro.
Now the novel is simmering, and I’m submitting my stories to contests and journals. While I’m still writing, I’m also trying to keep up my motivation to share my pieces, especially when I move towards self-publishing in the next few months.
While having lunch with my husband, I got another fortune. It’s lofty, even by my high standards, but I found it encouraging all the same. Shoot for the moon, after all.
Many thanks to all you excellent people who follow along with my writing adventures. That motivates me more than any charms or cookies. Have a great weekend!
It’s done. The first full draft of Please Give is done.
It’s not complete. I’m going to let it sit for a few weeks, so I can approach it with fresh eyes as I read it through from beginning to end and polish it into a second draft.
But for now, there are no bracket notes. No gaping holes in the narrative. No fixes prickling my fingertips and bringing me back to my keyboard. No missing characters, no characters I need to remove, no questions stirring over and over in my head, nothing. Nothing but a finished first draft. A finished first draft of a book.
It feels good.
And because I’ve written so many words over the past several months, I leave you with the following to express my feelings on the first draft’s completion.
She sat in the center, pristine and painted. The others watched her from their shared mound, lying on green grass. The sun shone through wicker branches, casting its light upon them all. The light shone brightest upon her, her cloak of red into orange into yellow burning like a flame cut loose from a fire and skittering across the woods.
That flame caught the eye of someone who was hungry. They moved towards the woods, the grass, and snatched her up, the flame dying as their fingers cracked through her cloak. It shattered into pieces, embers which fell into a pit below the woods. She watched as the cloak disintegrated, and wished to be back on the mound with the others. The others merely watched. That was all they could do as their painted, pristine friend extinguished like a flame under water.
“Thanks for the egg, Mom,” the little girl said, grinning as she grabbed her basket from the table.
“You’re welcome,” her mother said, throwing the remainder of the egg shells in the trash. “Happy Easter.”
I’ve talked a lot about my novel in my past several posts, because that’s what I’ve been working on every day. My short story collection, The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales, has not been forgotten. I’ve revised all of the stories which will appear in the collection, and once my novel is with my editor, I’m going to focus my attention on getting the collection formatted and published. This will likely happen over the summer, and while I’m happily swimming in Please Give, I look forward to diving back into The Crow’s Gift.
My friends have not forgotten The Crow’s Gift either. Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a couple more asides on crows, which I wanted to share with you all. One aside was too cute to not share:
My friend sent me the adorable tweet above with the following: “Gonna send you all the crow things now. #sorrynotsorry.” Never be sorry, and please send me all the crow things.
Another friend of mine said she thought of my story when she had her own gift exchange with a crow:
[I] thought of your crow story the other day when I went to check the mail and there was a crow on top of my mailbox with something and when I got closer, he flew to a tree close by and I saw it was red blow pop he was working on, so got my mail and left it there for him and it was gone when I looked later. I kept imagining a very happy crow flying off with this red lollipop clutched in his claws or beak. My mailbox is weird, it’s a big square rock thing with a stone top and the actual box is bolted on the side, so he had a table top up there to enjoy his treat and I’m thinking about leaving some little treats up there to see if they take them. I’ll let you know if they do. 🙂
I hope she will. I also wonder if leaving gifts for her crow will have the same results Tabitha finds when she leaves gifts for Timothy.
The final aside isn’t quite an aside. It’s from my friend, artist and illustrator Doug Puller:
It’s a beautiful portrait of a crow. But not just a crow – it’s a portrait of Timothy. One he drew when I asked him to draw the cover for The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales.
Stay tuned for more.
I was enjoying a Sunday dinner with my husband when dessert sent me a nice reminder. My husband said, “Someone’s watching.”
Hope you all have a good week doing your craft, whatever it may be.