Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading.
We’re taking a little detour on the weekends now to share some of what we’re up to with our writing (when we’re not here) and what we’re into with our reading (around the web). We’ll also pull back the curtain a little to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what went into a piece.
We hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own posts and picks in the comments.
Happy writing! Happy reading!
Lisa J. Jackson: I missed posting my update last week, but time got away from me (due to work and because I hadn’t finished up my taxes, yikes!) and I couldn’t gather my thoughts in time. Glad to be able to do it this week!
What I’m writing: I’ve been working on solution overviews and solution-in-detail documents which are marketing documents to promote, well, solutions. I’ve also written a couple of case studies and I did that short story submission for the 24-hour short story contest I mentioned on Monday. This weekend I’m putting the final touches on an anthology submission that has to be mailed within the next few days.
What I’m reading: (1) Too many e-mails! I have to get a better handle on my inbox. When I go even a day without checking it, I’m buried. That’s just crazy. (2) Does learning a new database count? I’m the registrar for a conference and I have to learn how to add in and change details so we can open registration in a few weeks. It’s fun and I have great support, but still, a lot to ingest. (3) Precious Blood, a novel by Jonathan Hayes. He’s a medical examiner in NYC and I met him a few years ago at a fantastic writer’s conference in NC – Writer’s Police Academy (this year’s conference sold out in a few days). The novel features and ME, and it’s hard not to think of him as the character, (4) the newest editions of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
In related news: Tomorrow night (Sunday, April 21) from 7-9PM EST, I will be moderating a live chat with Don McNair – a professional freelance manuscript editor (Editor-Proof Your Writing) and novelist at The Writer’s Chatroom. Feel free to stop by anytime during the 2 hours. Questions are taking in a queue and there’s a giveaway at half-time (and you have to be present to win). No registration necessary, just enter a username and click ‘sign on’ and you’ll be in!
Deborah Lee Luskin: I’ve had a great week of work, spending my mornings with Ellen, the novel I’m drafting. Afternoons were spent writing scripts
for two live gigs this week. Yesterday, I delivered a keynote address to the nascent Vermont Chapter of the International Association of Administration Professionals. I talked about ways caregivers need to care for themselves. The meeting was held at the Corporate Headquarters of National Life Group, in Montpelier, and was a jaw-dropping glimpse of the swank corporate world for me. Tonight, I turn storyteller for a local fundraising event to benefit the South Newfane Schoolhouse. In addition, I posted I Am My Own Boss, Part One, and queued Part Two to go live on Tuesday, April 23 – Shakespeare’s Birthday.
I finished listening to Bill Bryson’s At Home. All other reading has been research related. Still trying to figure out how to read more – but have also started on spring chores outdoors. So much to do . . .. A good week all around.
Jamie Wallace: Well, I’m late to our Saturday get together. Yesterday, the day I usually take some time to add my two cents to this post, turned out to be full of chaos, crisis, and concern for many people in and around the Boston area. My sister lives in Watertown as does a friend and colleague of mine. In addition, my daughter was too close to the epicenter of activity for my comfort, being with her dad in one of the neighboring cities. Needless to say, it was a nerve wracking day.
Thankfully, this part of the horror is over, but I fear there is much more to come and more ugliness (of all kinds) will reveal itself. Still, as writers, we write. And, we read. So … here’s what I’ve been up to despite the awful week we had.
What I’m writing:
Freeform Friday: In the Company of Cats : This is a re-publishing of the column I write for my local paper and a piece that I had a dickens of a time writing. I naively thought, going into it, that the process would be a piece of cake. I love my cats. I love writing. how hard could it be to bring the two together and get 600 – 700 words down? Turns out – very hard. I made five false starts before I found an approach that felt like it was working. I almost abandoned the whole effort, but I’m glad I didn’t. The piece isn’t perfect, but it garnered me my first official piece of personal fan mail. Kind of cool.
Because my daughter was on school vacation, I didn’t spend much other time writing. Instead, I played hooky. And I’m glad I did.
What I’m reading:
Partly in honor of April being poetry month, and partly because my daughter just loves a funny book, she and I read Shel Silverstein’s fabulous Runny Babbit. I just love the way Silverstein plays with ideas and language. It was a delight to watch my daughter figure out what was going on and then laugh as though she was in on a private joke. We read part of the book at bedtime one night, and the next morning she got up early and phoned my mom to read a few of her favorite selections aloud. Priceless.
I’ve never been too much for poetry, and I know next to nothing about it, but I have begun to appreciate the way the form boils down an event or idea into its most concentrated self. As a chronically busy person, poetry gives me a nice way to fit some reading in even if I only have a few minutes in my day.
And then there were the blog posts. Here are a few of my favorites:
Say It Out Loud: How David Sedaris Makes His Writing Better by Kristin Hohenadel