Sunday, March 10, 2013

Springing forward

These are happening.

Two days off, and a busy weekend and here I am again. The writing retreat was really more of a reading and reflecting retreat. I am going to accept this as where I need to be with things right now. When writing I am working on three different levels of revision sort of simultaneously, which turns out not to be the most sensical and efficient thing. Go figure. But right now, I am wanting to be immersed in other people's stories ... to remind me of what a story is, what a NOVEL is, and to examine the way they narrate and string plot, and to remind me of what is pleasurable and therefor useful about this whole enterprise of fiction.

Then a big day with the kids and a big night out to see David's big play, and today a day of re-acclimating ourselves to life as a family.  David's wintertime busy is done and it is time to go on to the next chunk of life, a new order of things, and to get a handle on at least some of the household maintenance.

Speaking of being immersed in other people's voices, David's big play -- These are the Times -- was quite extraordinary to finally see on its feet. I've gotten to watch it develop over time, and gotten to see him grow as a writer in the process (I really admire how ambitious and committed he has been with this play), but this is the first time it is possible to see all the parts working off each other. He's been documenting it all on one of his blogs. Of course, I am obsessed with how all things reflect back to my writing right now, so seeing where he is in the process of refining plot and structure, inevitably makes me consider similar issues in the ToT. I wish I could get an externalized view of it like this!

Reading: Finished Diary of an Ex-Prom Queen, and I have many thoughts about it. It is smart and funny and sad and oh so very much of its time. It is a document of a very particular version of female experience, and it illustrates pretty insightfully how multi-layered misogyny can be, how much even the smartest of women can internalize it. The narrator, Sasha, a devotee to philosophy smart enough to get into the Columbia graduate program in the late 50s, is nevertheless completely tied up with gender norms -- I keep thinking of a bonsai tree, beautiful but stunted and unnaturally contorted.  And, helpfully, Sasha is roughly the same age (a bit older) and class background as an important character of mine, so I find it helpful to observe her circumstances.

Now, choosing between a couple books to read next, and researching Inanna myths.

As for bedtime reading, O and I have been sharing books from the Skippy John Jones series while Z plows her way through the third Harry Potter book again. I've also been reading some from Borrowers Aloft (the 4th book), and like all the Borrowers books, the human frame story takes too long.

Writing:  Yes, though not in quantity.

Dinner: Variously - super fantastic slow cooker black bean and mushroom chili. boxed mac and cheese, veggie soup from a can, and marinated steak and blackened peppers and onion tacos (we dubbed them fajitacos), with fresh guacamole. (NB: I have a an unfriendly relationship with my broiler, and I want a cast iron grill pan.)

Soundtrack: I make up alternate lyrics to pop sings, then O perpetuates them.

Random thing: As part of our family unit reunion day, we watched Singin' in the Rain and folded a mountain of clean laundry.

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