Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today is the day I intended to finish my yardwork for the season--trimming back the perennials and mulching the shrubs--a poor excuse for avoiding the gym.

A lingering diehard

The weathermen had us believing that it would be sunny and mild today. Instead it's 45 degrees and raining. I don't mind working in the dirt when it's cold outside...but groveling in cold mud is a different story. So, this morning, I'm huddled next to my space heater (Don't get me wrong...I'm grateful to have it when some people are still without heat or electricity a week and a half after hurricane Sandy.) and I'm trying to decide what's next.

I have three writing projects underway, all of them refusing to cooperate. They can be such brats! I've been waffling back and forth all week long with the rewrite of a chapter in my novel but it won't make up its mind which path it wants to take. I'm trying to polish up a short story for a submission, but my main character can't decide what to wear. (And here I thought only I had that problem!) And I've started work on a memoir based on a few isolated glimpses into my past that I can't quite knit together. I should be happy to be stuck indoors with nothing but time on my hands but I can feel my frustration level morphing into an impenetrable road block.

So instead, maybe I'll put on another pot of coffee and spend the day reading. Three books lay open on my night stand and I just bought another one this week. I finally got around to reading "The Liar's Club" by Mary Karr.

The story doesn't resonate with my childhood at all so I'm trying to understand what it is that makes me keep on reading. What is it that makes her dysfuctional family so much more engaging than mine? If I can figure it out, perhaps it will help me with my own story.

I'm also struggling to get through "A Hole in the World" by Richard Rhodes, Pullitzer prize-winning author of "The Making of the Atomic Bomb."

This is his memoir of the abuse he suffered as a child. I say I'm struggling with it because it's more expository in nature than Mary Karr's story, not as engaging as hers, and it is devoid of humor, even dark humor.

The third book is Arthur Plotnick's "The Elements of Expression--Putting Thoughts into Words," a "how to..." book that does for storytelling what "The Elements of Style" did for grammar and usage.

As soon as I knock one of them off, I will relax into Anna Quindlen's memoir, "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake."

Faced with an empty day do you ever find yourself spinning your wheels? Do you have a hard time getting started because you're frustrated or blocked...or because you're so excited you just can't decide what to do first??

Oh! Look! The sun just came out! Problem solved...
 "Life is denied by lack of attention,
whether it be to cleaning windows or
trying to write a masterpiece."
Get ready for another vocabulary quiz next week.



  1. The weather was disappointing today. I'm planning on outside work tomorrow and writing in the evening. There's always so many projects to do around here, I sometimes can't decide which to tackle first. Never enough hours.

  2. I'm almost ashamed to tell you how gorgeous the weather is here in GA... low 70s, with wall-to-wall sunshine. But I suppose what I should be MORE ashamed to tell you is that in spite of that gorgeous weather, I still spent a good bit of the day holed up in my office, writing. (I'll get out there and rake on Monday, okay?) That book on the elements of expression sounds really good. I'll have to see if I can find it on my next trip to the bookstore.

  3. Susans--Guess what? Today was wall-to-wall sunshine here with temps in the 60s, so I got all my raking done...meaning that I'll be parked inside writing all day long tomorrow.