Don’t Be Afraid of My Dark Alley

In Musings on February 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Inevitably, in my blogging life, there comes a fallow period where I turn away from you, hoard all my ideas and insights and treat my blog like a dark alley nobody would want to be caught alone in.

I’ve done it again lately. I could blame it on motherhood or the weather or the economy but the real reason is that sometimes I find the task of constant upkeep daunting. I only recently joined Facebook, after all. I twitter, but still find that more effort than I can handle. I love blogging because I’ve always been the confessional sort, but sometimes even my confessions get stage fright. More so, there are so many blogs out there, run by such amazing people who are basically giving away priceless information for free.

But my friend Maria Schneider over at Editor Unleashed has lit a fire under my blogging kettle again and I feel I owe it to you to at least try.

So I’ll keep it simple today.

What I’m reading: Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. I really held off on reading this for the same reason I often don’t buy popular fashions, watch the hot new shows, or visit museums when a new art show is in town. I’m suspicious of what’s new and hot. Trends frighten me; they feel forced until they’ve been around awhile. I know this is iconoclastic of me and I accept that. It shows that I’m not on The Cutting Edge (to borrow a capitalization strategy from Pessl), Afraid of Change, Set in My Ways. And it took me nearly 100 pages to stop tripping over Pessl’s clever turns of phrase and sink into what is a highly sophisticated, wonderful plot with an ardent and earnest protagonist until I was literally racing through pages (still stopping long enough to smell her prose posies, of course). So, I’m glad I read it, and glad I did, even if I’m late to the party. However, if I were her editor, everything in parentheses in the novel would have gotten cut.

What I’m writing: I’m still working on the novel-in-progress (loosely about a cult that tears a family apart and how my protagonist begins to learn the lies that her life is constructed upon), begun as a Nanowrimo project, which both excites and stymies me. My friend Erika Mailman and I did a n-i-p exchange that re-energized me, and when possible we get together at our “Glass Room of Productivity” at our local library to write. I like this book, but I have given myself some serious plot mazes to plod through.

That’s all for today folks, but I promise to have more of a presence, to populate this blog again with happy people and shiny lights rather than dumpsters and big stagnant puddles of mysterious liquid.

  1. Good to see you back here!

    I started Pessl’s book and put it down even before the 100pg mark because I got annoyed with the drawings and the cleverness. But it’s still sitting on my nightstand so maybe I’ll join the party myself someday, if there’s still any party to be had.

    Also…excuse me for being dense, but what is a n-i-p exchange?

  2. Tracy, I totally understand why you put the book down. The main reason I kept reading was that I had not finished a book in about a month and I was determined to. And after awhile I started looking forward to it. I simply stopped reading anything that was in parentheses and it made for a much better read!

    n-i-p is my version of a wip–novel-in-progress.

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