(This is a very elaborate parking lot surface, from KU’s West Campus somewhere.)
This is a strange time to be talking about…well, anything. Our world is changing in so many ways at once — and simultaneously, all the usual things are happening, as well. People still get headcolds and sunburns; they still get new pets or lose old ones; they still worry about their ageing parents or their weight; they still clean their refrigerators.
Anyway, what this means is time got away from me, lost to the news and languor and my knee and the book and watching a chickadee sunbathe for what looked like an hour but probably wasn’t. So I am going to catch you up, and then I’ll be able to stay on top of life. Who knew that I would be so busy at a time when I don’t leave my house much, and I’m not travelling and I’m not teaching!
I have been writing. I mean, it’s slow but words are collecting. I went back to American Tour and rewrote the beginning, and have been rewriting the third chapter AGAIN; but I think this time I may actually get through the chapter. I finally figured out the plot problems that I had been evading, so that’s fantastic. Anyway, I am pretty pleased with the tone and the pacing now, which I was not before.
I have been working on my knee. Still a problem, five months after the accident, but I can walk four miles on it three days in a row, before it gets freaky.
I have been reading. A lot: sagas, mysteries, Clark Ashton Smith, Krazy Kat, art books.
I have been setting up workshops. I am not teaching the Novel Workshops this year, but my coteacher Barbara and I decided we wanted to try something, so we are setting up an online workshop for previous attendees. We don’t know what this will be like, but we’re limiting it to a smallish number of people who we think will work well together. At the end of July, I am also teaching a workshop related to one of the literary festivals I was supposed to be at this summer, the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. This is actually fantastic, because it gives me a chance to try different workshopping strategies before I teach my regular classes this fall.
I have been listening. There’s a lot to listen to right now, big voices and small ones, friends and bird songs.