Friday, July 9, 2010

Writing Reaction

Summer has brought hot temps and activity. The past couple weeks my writing schedule's been thrown off track, but a writer is supposed to find time to write anyway. Right? It's all about balance, as I've droned on about before. And it's true, no matter what I'm doing, I try to bring my writing life to the table. Every action has a writing reaction.

That means when I go away for a few days, I bring reading material and maybe my laptop. That means if I sleep late Thursday morning instead of getting up to write, I've been at a Grub Street class the night before.

I'm enrolled in a summer novel writing class. Each class three students read five pages of their manuscript. So I've been workshopping some early chapters of my current novel-in-progress. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about showing work so early in the process, but I knew I needed ideas and guidance in terms of structure and plot and all those things that make a novel cohesive. Plus, it's got me thinking about how best to open a novel with four main characters.

I'm always reading. Right now I'm reading Iris Gomez' wonderful Try to Remember, about a teenage girl from Colombia growing up poor in 1970's Miami. She has a crazy father and a mother in denial. When she's not typing up illegible letters that her father writes to corporations and the government, she's figuring out ways to escape her oppressive family situation and discover what she wants for her life. It's a glowing debut novel, and I'll be posting a full review soon.

I've got a lit mag review in the wings, ready to help launch Becky Tuch's reboot of her site The Review Review, which constantly answers the question Why do literary magazines matter?

My story Casey is indeed slated for Fiction Magazine issue 56 hitting the shelves in August.

I continue in good stead over at Beyond the Margins, which is gaining momentum and lit cred.

So, my writing life is still fairly balanced. Or, unbalanced in a good way. I love being involved with all this lit stuff. And I hope there's more to come.


Robin said...

Hi Dell -- I love your idea of balance. For me, as both a poet and (struggling) fiction writer, I sometimes find I choose one genre when the other has a missing muse. And, I love to read when I'm not writing. Thanks for a lovely, inspiring entry.

Dell Smith said...

I like the idea of switching up genres. If I don't have a novel going, I feel lost. And reading helps ease you back into the writing.

Cynthia Sherrick said...

Love the picture of Chester. He looks like he comprehends the mammoth book in front of him. :)

Dell Smith said...

That book is a Writer's Market I think. Chester's got a chapbook he's hoping to publish. I encourage self publishing but he's holding out for an agent...we'll see what happens.