It has been a whirlwind of a week, consumed by many non-writing activities, the most annoying of which involved standing by while my extremely patient and long-suffering husband (who also happens to be our house’s IT department) got to the bottom of a virus problem that had been plaguing my computer.
You’d think that would make me feel gray and rainy, but it hardly put a dent in my good mood. Here are the sources of the sunshine.
1) I found a writing partner. Or, rather, she found me. This reminded me of one of those situations where an extremely skillful salesperson alerts you to a need that you didn’t even know you had.
When her e-mail arrived with the brief and intriguing title of “free?” I opened it immediately. It was to the point: “What are you up to for the next couple of hours? Do you want to meet somewhere to write and edit quietly together?”
The thought of sitting quietly with another writer and working on my craft had never even entered my mind. Writing has always been a solitary pursuit for me. Even when I was hired to do it and worked in an office, I would always shut my door when I had to get down to the actual writing. But something made me respond to this e-mail in the affirmative. While I wasn’t available right then, we decided to meet a few days later.
Before we settled down to write, we had lunch and talked a bit. We discovered that we share a fictional sensibility. We like many of the same authors. We enjoy the cadence and what I think of as the “taste” of language: the poetics, the feel of the words—sometimes at the expense of plot. About halfway through our salads she asked, “So… do you think we should exchange manuscripts?” Again, without knowing exactly what I was agreeing to, I answered definitely and immediately “yes.”
Hours later, she had e-mailed me a copy of her manuscript. She is further along with her work-in-progress than I and needs immediate feedback (for a publishing deadline!) What I have read so far confirms my intuition that we are well matched as readers and editors of one another’s work.
Having made this commitment gives me yet more momentum toward finishing my first draft. Which leads to ray of sunshine #2.
2) ROW80 update for the week: I didn’t miss a single day of writing Thursday-Wednesday and pumped out 6,100 words, whittling my goal amount down to about 20,000. And I wrote 1,500 of those 6,100 sitting across from my writing partner in a cafe… proving to myself that I don’t need to be in solitary confinement to work.
3) Someone thought I was worthy of sunshine. Thanks to the delightful Joanne Phillips, who graced me and four others with a Sunshine Award. When she did this on May 3, I was feeling anything but sunshine-y, having just written two gnarly blog posts about my Facebook travails. The weather looks better all around now.
So here, briefly, is my tip of the hat to the award, which—in Joanne’s slightly shortened version, stipulates that a recipient should:
- Write five things about yourself
- Include the award’s logo in a post
- Nominate 5 other bloggers
- Link to your nominees
- Link the person who nominated you
Five things about me: 1) I have a postcard of Picasso’s “Cat Catching a Bird” hanging on the wall in front of my computer; 2) I have a piece of paper that says “Not everything requires a response” hanging directly in front of me at my workspace; 3) I drink about 5 cups of really strong tea every day; 4) I become extremely irritable when overtired; 5) I usually experience a deep existential crisis every two or three years.
And now to spread the sunshine… wait, this is hard! Two of my favorite blogs, The Write Transition and Kourtney Heintz’s Journal have already won. Somehow passing the award back and forth like a cold sore doesn’t seem right. Can I get a break and list just three? Of course I can. Who’s going to slap my wrist?
- TeacherWriter – Because: couldn’t we all use a good teacher… and she’s one of the “nice” ones
- Cyd Madsen – Because: the blog subtitle is “Diggin’ Story, Lovin’ Language” AND Cyd has great taste in WordPress themes
- Short Little Bits – Because: I wish I’d come up with this idea — “Five minutes of daily writing in the raw.”
Thank you so much for nominating me for the Sunshine Award! Truly, it’s such an honor!
I am happy that you’ve found a writing partner! I’ve never had one myself, but I imagine that would be awesome! It’s always nice to meet someone who “gets” the value of writing and is passionate about the craft.
It’s nice meeting you! I look forward to getting to know you better!
Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
Great news about the writing partner, and congrats on the award. I am curious about how she found you.
My new writing partner is a fellow member of the California Writers Club. We had heard one another at readings and she had asked me to help out with an editing project, so it didn’t come totally out of the blue!
Congrats on finding a writing partner. I remain skeptical to the idea of writing groups or partners, but that only stems from my fear of inadequacy. Well, that and my introversion. But you have made me see that it might not be such a hurdle to hop.
And thanks so much for the mention. I appreciate it. And I loved the cold sore analogy. I mention cold sores in my recent post as well, but I think you know it is no where near as sophisticated as yours. 🙂
A sympathetic, gentle, but firm writing partner might be just what you need. It’s a lot easier to hear criticism from someone who has your best interests at heart than someone who has just paid for your book and is disappointed in it.
As for the cold-sore analogy, I think it may have been subconsciously prompted by my reading your blog. You have such a distinct voice that I find myself imitating it at times. The cold-sore comment is definitely something I can hear you saying!
Well, thank you! You just made my day. And boosted my immune system with those endorphin-producing warm fuzzies. Thus, no cold sores for me today. 🙂
Thanks so much for the sunshine award! I appreciate it!
You are very welcome!