Here’s an article I wrote for The Read, about one of my favourite people on the planet, and an occasional guest poster on this blog – Tara Laing.
I’ve walked and run for cancer, bowled for kids’ help, read for MS. But this year I’m following my personal passion. Yes, I’m writing for literacy. Adult literacy in fact. Though editing my current manuscript has taken years, I’ve signed on to write a fresh novel in a mere 3 days (that’s 72 hours – between July 12-15) with just a 1 page outline as compass. I’ll go forth with Anne Lamott’s descriptions of the oppression of perfectionism versus the liberty of crappy 1st drafts to sustain me. That and the company of 34 other highly caffeinated, creative, and competitive writers.
I hope you’ll consider sponsoring me in this endeavor, and supporting literacy programs for adults who cannot read or write.
A propitious post number (44) for this coming month.
I spent the afternoon with my twin who had a few last minute things to buy before a full year of buying nothing begins tomorrow. It was fun and rushed. I was inspired to get a new library card after a hiatus of 14 years! This is a big change for me. I love buying books – they’ve become my most frequent indulgence. I will never stop buying books because I want to support authors, just as I hope they’re going to support me one day. But, borrowing books on occasion will hopefully enable me to pay down some debt and to participate in library culture. I’m enthusiastic. More enthusiastic than the look of the tiny library I just joined might warrant. But I can order library books online and go to any branch with my new card. I didn’t even know how to use the internet the last time I had a library card!
We ended the afternoon with a pint at a nice pub and did some Resolution Focused Freewriting. I know, really I do, that resolutions don’t all get kept, but I still think there’s some additional power in the writing down of things. Lists, ideas, thoughts, paragraphs, notes. And sharing them is even better. I’ll only include a few of the long list of 32. I’ve already ticked off the library card, now to get on with clearing clutter, taking my vitamins, stretching, writing every day no matter what, saving, and writing regular letters to my three living grandparents.
My self-imposed deadline is to finish the last (actually it’s the second last – I’m already done the last) scene of this recent draft of my novel. Oh, did I mention the deadline is tonight? I REALLY want to be done this before the end of the year. Not that there isn’t always more to be done, but this part, this part I want to be done, so I can move on to the next stages.
We had planned a big extravagant night out to blast out the end of the decade. (I rang in 1999 at an incredible Barenaked Ladies concert in Buffalo) Instead? My husband and I are hanging out inside our house, alone for the first time in weeks. We are excited about doing almost nothing, watching movies and ordering in sushi, and we’ll probably have some champagne. In the background, I’m going to peck away and finish THAT LAST SCENE!
Cheers, and Happy New Year, Everyone.
As of today – our joint memoir – first draft – is done. I won’t go into a lot of detail right now. It still needs significant revision and rewriting, but what an unimaginably glorious thing to have completed it! I can honestly say it was no work at all. It took time, but it was pure pleasure. I think it was an essential ingredient to refreshing my interest in my longer solo project as well. A project which I am still revising.
The joint memoir was begun in earnest just this past March, and sharing the writing with my twin blister, Tara, made it go very quickly. It was the source of a lot of mutual nostalgia and hilarity and I am so happy we made time for it.