Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I took a few days off from the day job, the night job, everything, and fled with my family to the Shenandoah Mountains.


Skyline Drive is a mere 2.5 hours away, an easy jaunt even with two young children. All weekend long, as we sat drinking vino al fresco whllst looking down 3000 feet, hubby and I kept asking each other: why haven't we escaped before?

We hiked. We ate. We drank. We played. I didn't write. Not a word. I barely read, just 10 pages or so of INTUITION, and the Garth Stein interview in POETS & WRITERS (I heart Garth and his new book).

But I thunked. A lot. it's easy to mentally doodle when all you physically need to concentrate on is putting one foot ahead of the other.

I made some decisions. To write PURE before LOVE SONG ON THE INNER LOOP. It just excites me more. I've elucidated the structure (non-linear in time), the POV (third), the narrator (one). This morning, I wrote the one-sentence plot, motivated in part by this post and THIS by Nathan Bransford. PURE's premise has been present all along, the motivating force: academic mores run amok.

I also decided to spend much of the summer in 'pre-writing' mode. Doing the research (deriving the scientific experiment), interviewing medical students and residents, bench science pre- and post-docs for the poop on moving up the academic food-chain, and fleshing out my wacky cast of characters. Everything is... gelling. At last.

And I am reading. Oodles.

>INTUITION by Allegra Goodman (again, this time for her structure, which is unusual)

>MOO U by Jane Smiley is on ILL order from the library

>DEPRESSION AND BIPOLAR DISORDER. Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology by Stephen Stahl. Gotta get the neuroscience down and concoct a believable scientific endeavor.

>Several highly clinical Ivory Tower treatises on transgenic mouse models for bipolar disorder, mitochondrial abnormalities, and glutamate deficiencies.

>I also made a decision to spend ALL my new book dollars on small press offerings, so I'm already into GONE AND BACK AGAIN (by Jonathon Scott Fuqua, fellow Baltimorean and YA author, though this is his first adult novel) and EVERYONE'S PRETTY (Lydia Millet), put out by SOFT SKULL PRESS

Stuff got unstuck in the mountains. Maybe I should go away more often... Keep writing. Peace, Linda


  1. hello, my darling, my most heartfelt apologies.

    it IS up already, and i've pressed "publish" this time instead of "save." goes up at 2 pm tomorrow.

    thank you again!

  2. Peace. I know you've found it.