Friday, October 20, 2006

Oops! I Did It Again...

So, it's been a while. Again.

I just knew I would blog about this, that or the other but I guess not. I was really busy with that job - a temp job that was allegedly going to be permanent, but it wasn't meant to be. To make a long story short, I'm much better off.

I have two writing classes and usually writing classes help my professional writing, but not this time. It all feels like a chore. Sometimes writing gets to be like that - always at the most inopportune moments - but I just push through it. After all, I can't give in to the luxury of writer's block. As Joyce Carol Oates once said:
One must be pitiless about this matter of mood. If art is, as I believe it to be, a genuinely transcendental function - a means by which we rise out of limited, parochial states of mind - then it should not matter very much what states of mind we are in.

Whenever I want to chuck it all in, that quote comes to my mind. Or, I'll wince when I remember this Walter Mosley quote:

If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day. The consistency, the monotony, the certainty, all vagaries and passions are covered by this daily reoccurrence. You don't go to a well once but daily. You don't skip a child's breakfast or forget to wake up in the morning. Sleep comes to you each day, and so does the muse.
When I'm finished with all of my wincing and guilt-tripping, I'll go and take a look in my refrigerator.
Well, okay... my house is not that nice and I don't have any furniture - but you get the idea.

The book on my aunt is coming along fine - even with a few dings from a few agents that I submitted the proposal to - but that's the nature of the beast. Many have expressed interest in the novel that I mentioned in passing, so maybe that's the way to go first. Who knows?

And, let's see - what else is going on? Oh! Have I mentioned that I'm thinking about going vegetarian? Well, okay maybe semi, but most likely straight-up vegetarian if they go through with this cloned meat/milk thing. That's right, meat and milk from friggin' cloned animals. Heck, I may even go vegan.


Since my writing has sucked lately, I've been doing a lot of reading. I just started Lost Hearts in Italy, a novel about the aftermath of an adulterous affair between a married Black American woman and an older Italian man by Andrea Lee. I hadn't planned on it, but I was at the Barnes & Noble store at Union Square about two weeks ago and I stumbled upon The New Yorker Festival. As always, I had a ton of bags on me - groceries, books, you name it - and I was on my way out the door when I spotted Andrea Lee going up the escalator. Now, why did I have to see her? I guessed immediately that she was either signing or talking for the festival and I was right. She was going to sign copies of her book alongside Julian Barnes (writers sign two at a time at these events.) So, I spent $25.96 that I really didn't have because I didn't want to miss the opportunity to meet her briefly and have her sign a book for me. Andrea Lee is a very interesting woman. If you haven't had a chance to read anything by her, start here and then get thee to your nearest bookstore at once. Oh, and brush up on your Italian.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Damon Z said...

Nice post. What do enjoy most writing about? And which of your work would you like to see published?

October 20, 2006 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger James Burnett said...

I agree with damon z, good post. And kudos for talking about the writers block. I write for a living too (news), and after more than 10 years at it I can tell you it comes in waves. Every two or three months I hit a rut, where I can't seem to come up with an original story idea to save my life. I'll muddle through the rut for a few weeks - my editors being patient with me - and then something will click. Maybe it's the reading of half a dozen other newspapers each day, or picking up a good novel, or finally finding that one idea that jumpstarts things. Who knows?

And as for the literary thing, hang in there. I've been playing the I-think-they-sorta-like-my-pitch dance with agents over my novels for more than a year now.

October 20, 2006 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Rakishrune said...

Nichelle, I missed you! I thought you were kidnapped!! I was about to call Dogg the bounty hounter...but it turns out you were stalking some chick named Andrea Lee! Is she single?

October 22, 2006 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Nichelle said...

Damon - Thanks and I don't enjoy any one thing more than the other. I like all of my projects and I want them all published!

James - Yeah, I do a lot of reading to come out of my ruts too. I have a lot of other things going on now, so I now that's contributed to it, but it's better now.

Rune - Trippin' as usual! Thanks for not calling Dogg as he is rather strange and creepy looking to me. I would have run back to the kidnappers! As for Andrea Lee, she is far from single - she is married to an Italian count and they live in a 600 year old castle in Turin, Italy with their two kids. Yeah, it's like that...

October 22, 2006 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger girlblue said...

I was just telling my grad students about Andrea Lee but didn't know about her published short. Thanks for the reference.

November 15, 2006 at 11:42 AM  

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