People who read my blog: So, Marilyn, what have you been up to (instead of writing blog posts)?
Me: Grab a beverage, sit down. This might take a while.
First and foremost, sometimes I feel like I’ve got nothing to contribute to the world of literature at large. Other times I have lots of ideas but don’t seem to get them down and in the ether before they slide away. Either way, there can be a long pause. I apologize to my teeming masses of adoring fans.
Of course, there are other things in my life than writing blog posts. There is the eternal struggle with my garden, for example. Cloud, our opera singing cat, has taken it upon himself to keep the bunnies and chipmunks in hand (paw?) which my growing things much appreciate. At least those of the growing things that could be bothered to come out of the ground. I have discovered that our house is too cold in the winter for seeds to germinate. Maybe next year starting in February or March we’ll all snuggle together under the electric blanket. Then in the spring, out of doors it was first too cold, then too wet, then too dry, then too hot. The seeds stayed in bed. Not sure I blame them. But there is always one showoff—the cucumbers are going berserk. I have so many that pickles are inevitable. As for the rest? The tomatoes keep losing focus, the radishes have forgotten that they exist for roots, the cantaloupe and watermelon have all the vines in the world but not much else. I may have potatoes some day, but I’m afraid to look. I’ll just believe and hold out hope until I’m forced to dig them up. Schrodinger’s potatoes.
In other adventures, when I couldn’t get glasses to make things pretty and clear, cataract surgery it was. Since the worse of the two eyes is always done first, for a week or so you get to walk around switching eyes and saying, “Holy mackerel! I had no idea I have been looking through pond water!” Now I get to see without glasses for the first time since first grade, except when I want to read. Putting on glasses instead of taking them off to read is sort of weird.
And finally, what have I been writing instead of blogs? Query letters, synopses, cover letters, the things I hate most in the world. I know Stephen King says he loves all aspects of writing, but honestly, these are harder for me than anything. I’ve now sent off my father’s memoir to a publisher and The Gingerbread House, as well. I should be getting rejection letters in a few months, and then I’ll do it all over again. But now that those odious tasks are out of the way, on to the fun stuff.
First, I get to write a blog post moaning about my garden and the agony of trying to get things published. Next I’ll start working on my very first screen play, which I’m pretty pumped about. Mind you, I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, but that has seldom stopped me in the past. Between the scenes, I’ve started working on a nonfiction book. I’ve written way more nonfiction than fiction, so this should be easyish. Maybe. Perhaps. We’ll see. After those, there is probably going to be a Gingerbread House sequel, I need to finish Wickham’s Daughter, there is still The Iliad in Space (working title), and Jocasta of Thebes hasn’t even loaded into the starting gate. If I have a great time with the screen play (I’m doing my friend, Dennis Young’s, Mercenary because the tutorials say you should never do your own adaptation first), I will go on to do a screenplay for Beloved Lives.
So that’s what I’m doing on my summer vacation. You?
Image: Cloud taking a break from bunny wrangling. By Jonathan Hutchins.