Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On holiday . . . mostly

My daughter and I went to Las Vegas for a long weekend with the sole purpose of seeing a couple of shows. It's just a quick hop from Colorado and they had some amazing travel deals over the holiday weekend. We stayed at Mandalay Bay, where we saw The Lion King. In the picture above, we are walking over to MGM Grand to see KA (Cirque du Soleil). Both shows were amazing. KA is jaw-dropping. They describe it as 'gravity-defying' - which barely does it justice. When I see productions like these, I'm always blown away by the beauty and stories and wonder human beings are capable of creating. Can't we do more of that?

Walking back to Mandalay Bay after the show, we got to see a bit of the city at night.

These days, of course, a vacation wouldn't be a vacation without working on revisions. At least I went a few days without Internet or email. But where does one go to work in Vegas when one wakes up early but doesn't want to disturb fellow family members who are still sleeping?

I found that the bathtub worked quite well! Just chalk this up to one of the weirder places I've written.

Someday, I'm going to take a vacation without my laptop. Maybe someday soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Right Words - Am I done yet?

"Evan Connell said once that he knew he was finished with a short story when he found himself going through it and taking out commas and then going through the story again and putting commas back in the same places. I like that way of working on something. I respect that kind of care for what is being done. That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones, with the punctuation in the right places so that they can best say what they are meant to say."

--Raymond Carver - "On Writing," Fires

I find myself doing this--the removing and inserting of commas. Not just commas. I keep moving words, sentences, parts of sentences, paragraphs, CHAPTERS... just to move them back again.

Am I done yet?

No, I don't think so. I'm still looking for all the right words.

But soon!

I'm closer than I was yesterday. That's something.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


It would have been a nice morning to stay in bed and read. It was nine-below this morning when I drove my daughter into school, and all I could think of was how cozy it would be to curl up with my book and a cup of hot chocolate. But the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the mountains are beautiful still covered in snow... so I would have missed those things had I not gone out.

Home again, I'm back to work. No reading for me until bedtime... or maybe lunchtime if I can swing it. I'm reading The King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner in happy anticipation of the fourth book in this series coming out soon (not to mention the generosity of a friend for loaning me her ARC).

I have my first Skype 'visit' on Friday and I'm looking forward to trying out my first-ever video link Q&A session with the wonderful students of Lynnfield Middle School in Massachusetts.

Okay, time to put on an extra sweater and go back to work.