Monday, August 03, 2009

While I Was Away...

A micro-burst of wind, sodden with gulf-stream moisture, gusted a path through my neighborhood, leaving downed trees, shingle-less homes, screens and shutters scattered over lawns. We arrived to this mess yesterday, grateful for the relatively minor damage to our property and that no one died.

Yes. I've been away. Did you notice? We journeyed north to visit family. Then, I spent five days work-shopping PURE at Lesley University's annual summer writing workshop. Like the storm blasting through my town, the week left my head awhirl with ideas and words, the intensity further fueled by caffeine, wine, and sleep deprivation.

What the week was NOT - a writing retreat. We were in community 12 hours a day, reading, critting, discussing craft, listening to the fabulous faculty read their works, pontificating ours. No la-dee-da days hanging in bookstores and coffeeshops for me, though I did hit Starbucks every morning when it opened for my usual hour of writing. And I did get to spend a little bit of time in Harvard Book Store (the BEST Indie bookstore anywhere) and Grolier (the best poetry only store), and drinking beer and licking ice cream with fellow writers.

Most nights, I wandered the same streets as my characters, sinking into their lives, their heads, their voices. One evening I sat on the same fountain rocks where Ben first kissed Phoebe in front of the science center, waiting for the lights in the glass complex to take over the day and scribbling madly.

I'll post more later, including cool exercises to help crack open idea- and word- constipated forebrains. But first, gotta breathe and catch up on stuff...

The Reading... Picked up TONS of books and started them all, including TOLSTOY LIED and FROM A SEALED ROOM by my instructor Rachel Kaddish, GOODBYE TO THE ORCHARD by Lesley MFA director and poet Steven Cramer, CHARITY GIRL by fiction instructor Michael Lowenthal, LIVING IN STORMS, a poetry anthology about the moods of manic depression, LIFE AT THE MOVIES by Peter Selgin, and more, so much more...

The Writing... Reworking the first section of PURE. Revising GONE, a short story for the Harbinger*33 anthology. A poem is accepted at Tattoo Highway, the first of mine to see print. A second poem was accepted by an anthology on psychiatry and creativity.

Hope all is well in your writing worlds... peace, Linda


  1. i noticed!! i hadn't read anything since your last indie book review.

    rachel kaddish is supposed to be awesome.

  2. Rachel IS awesome. Am loving her FROM A SEALED ROOM. And she's a generous teacher. I am very lucky... Peace, Linda

  3. Linda!
    Good to have you back. Wow, the writing workshop kicked your booty. You sound revived despite the tough work load (thank goodness for starbucks!). I loved your description of walks in the evenings, daydreaming about your characters. A true writer/creator at heart.


    ps. If I lived closer I'd help you clean up your yard. Damn storms.

  4. I love that feeling of tons of ideas on my head. It happened to me just this weekend and I went crazy trying to write down as much of it as I could.

    Good luck with your ideas.

  5. I would like to know those exercises for cracking the blockage... I've discovered that some of the exercises that work for writers also work for painters.

    Cheers - and thanks for visiting and commenting over at my blog. It was good to see you there.

  6. Thank goodness for starbucks indeed - totally caffeinated. Lattes go good with ideas, make them spin faster. Funny, I rarely block for ideas, just how to implement them.

    Steve, thanks for popping by! I'll be discussing some of those dry well busters in upcoming posts, and alluding to posts I made earlier. One great prompt for writers - show me a picture. One for painters - show me a word ;^)

    Peace, Linda

  7. Sounds like you had a wonderful writer's retreat. Sorry to hear about the storm damage. Glad it was not too bad.

    And contrats on the poems. Nice!