Multiple workings this week. We’re in chapter 10, 4th draft of a new novel, making slow progress. I sent out queries for our last two, got one expression of interest from a publisher I think is a shyster. Started a free online writing course, more like a writers’ circle, and did a rewrite on an unpublished short story as my first submission. Sent responses to two friends on drafts of their playscripts and did my best not to respond to multiple posts on Facebook. And wrote this week’s Sunday blog on Monday.
And continuing to struggle with poems. There’s a local poetry salon, 15 to 40 people, that’s run like a Quaker meeting, people rising at random to share a favorite poem or sometimes one of their own. Now it’s outdoors and distanced. I’ve started a series of poems drawn from my year as a child in South Dakota, recited one a couple of weeks ago, preparing another. I’ve had spasms of writing poems but never found a voice. My work for stage and page has always been “in character,” very indirectly expressive of what passes for my soul, but with these I may be finding a character in myself. Fairly terrified, but feel something’s pressing to emerge.
Meantime, Elizabeth is plunged into work on her memoir. Covers much the same span as our 2011 memoir but finding her own story to tell and adding a new decade. With luck and a good tomato crop, she’ll have the first draft by Christmas. I read and encourage and provoke, as she does with me.
We have the advantage, for the first time in our lives, to have sufficient time and money. We have the disadvantage of being 78 and 80, learning a new art form as the world slams its doors. The blessing of not having to go on the road; the curse of being hog-tied by the plague.
But we’ll stand in line in the heat of the sun and pay full fare for this very short ride on the roller-coaster.