Welcoming February 2014 with a glass of wine.
It was a long, cold January, one for the record books and one to be treasured, in that strange way writers cherish the excuse to stay in doors, curled up, tucked away, warm and writing.
The working title of my next novel is Red-winged Black Bird on a Joe Pye Weed. It's set in 1950's-60's rural New England with an important scene on Guam during WWII. It concerns a boy whose father and mother had abandoned him to the care of a nurse-midwife. As of Friday, I was 171 pages into it, or about 47,000 words. If you're lucky when you write a book, the plot, the characters, the setting all fall in together in a glorious and wonderful stew and this has happened now. I, for the first time, I am totally absorbed in and obsessed with writing: I want to do nothing else. I have to pull myself away for a weekend break. I tease myself; it's like foreplay.
Speaking of writing, I was about to send in my February piece to The Prague Revue (an essay on Kurt Vonnegut and the effect that his being in Dresden as a POW during the firebombing in WWII had on his writing). Just before finishing the piece, I happened to visit TPR's website, as I do several times each week. And so, of course, I find that the Universe has conspired against me with a cosmic coincidence. There was a very nice piece, written by the editors, about Kurt Vonnegut and his experiences in surviving the fire bombing of Dresden. Pure bad luck for me. So, I regrouped, dropped back and punted them another piece, this one on the mythologist Joseph Campbell and his impact on 20th century writers, film makers, and thinkers.
Today is Super Bowl Sunday and we are going to a neighbors for the game (Denver-Seattle). Terry flies to Atlanta early tomorrow, so we'll have to be careful tonight. She has six more months in this job.