Death of grandmother
Death of boyfriend’s best friend’s 14-year-old son in freak accident (he literally fell off a cliff)
Death of amplifier at the beginning of a show, which was a relief because it was #3 and I could stop worrying about who else was going to go.
Death of relationship (technically we are “on a break” because I’d like to date someone with feelings that are expressed outwardly and he would like to date someone calmer than me and also more spontaneous)
Death of my ability to say things are all right when they are not. Hurray, anti-depressants!
What I’m taking away:
June, July and August are performing months, not writing months. I can get a little bit done here and there, but it’s my peak show season, the schedule is very irregular, and I’m a writer who thrives on structured time (see above, re: spontaneity).
Mercifully, anti-depressants do not put me in an uncreative haze; nor am I less emotionally sensitive (still crying at Hallmark commercials and the kindness of strangers). But I’ve stopped wanting to walk into traffic or drive my car into a tree.
What’s coming up:
After noticing that my friends who are successful writers spend a lot more time submitting than I do, I’ve partnered with a writing friend to spend September polishing our existing pieces and October submitting work.
The first step was organizing all my documents into folders where I can find the pieces I want to polish and send. There is now a Writing folder on my desktop, with subfolders by genre and whether the work is in-progress or done. The hope is that pieces will flow from the In-Progress folder to the Done folder to the Published folder. Just like that!
I’m vacationing in beautiful southern Ontario, staying with lovely writing friends and resting a lot. I’m also starting to get excited about getting more organized for writing and submissions next month! My performing and teaching in the next three months will follow a set schedule, so I’m going to carve out writing time every day.
Did not win the Gulf Coast Literary Magazine contest, in any of the three categories I entered. Better luck next time!
A new CBC Radio show, Intersections (I'm at the beginning of Episode 9), picked me up for a segment on using race-based humor as a white comedian. Let the record show that, despite my sensitive interview, I totally bombed a race-based joke last weekend. Fortunately, the black family in the front row let me apologize after the show.
OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
Ever thought about just going somewhere to write? Res Artis has comprehensive lists of writing and artist retreats. Some you pay for, some pay you, some are free but you get yourself there. Browse around and see if one is right for you!
ME ME ME ME ME: THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSION(S)
Actually, this is what I got done in June, July and August.
- Short essay, “The Break-Up Scene” submitted to Triquarterly.
- "Ladies Carriage, Second Class" to Railonama, a cool contest for writing related to travel on Indian Railways.
- Emailed the Front Street Writers in Traverse City, Michigan, to find out how to apply as a writer-in-residence.
And the one I’ll break down, Hedgebrook, a residency outside Seattle for women writers.
I was so productive at Writer Camp, I’d like to have that experience again. Gently structured time, beautiful setting, fellow writers to have dinner with and check in on work.
Online application through Slideroom.
Basic data and essay questions. I worked on it on and off for about two weeks, writing down notes about my answers, thinking about them, and then writing them out. I sent my essays to three writer friends before submitting. Interestingly, one declined to give feedback because she’s applying for the same thing, so I wished her well!
And then I hit ‘send’. WHICH IS LIKE WALKING INTO YET ANOTHER WALK-IN CLINIC TO EXPLAIN NO INSURANCE AND NO FAMILY DOCTOR NOW PLEASE GIVE ME SOME DRUGS.
LINK OF THE WEEK
The Paris Review’s Windows on the World series. Flash essays by world writers on what they see out the window from their writing place. Lovely to read, and a good prompt!
Do bad things really come in threes?