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September Reflections

“when I connect with a good book, often by somebody dead, and they are telling me a story that seems true, and they are telling me things about myself that I know to be true, but I hadn’t been able to put together before—I feel so much less alone than I ever can sending e-mails or receiving texts.” Jonathan Franzen courtesy of Madame Librarian’s blog

Trying to keep that quote in mind but got really caught up with my new iPad for awhile!! And yes, got back to three times a week yoga and (finally) to doing a complete Primary Series but then lapsed and lost it all over again while traveling. I did a lot of walking & meditating but feel like all my upper body & core strength have ended up as flab storage around my middle…

September Reflections:
1. Mystery Novel–no, I didn’t reach my 15,000 word target but I’m comfortably just under 10,000 words and to my surprise I’m enjoying it! New stuff is in there, yes, and it’s feeling more and more like a complete rewrite given that I’m re-writing everything (not just changing POV the characters are starting to ‘tell’ me who/what they are!)

2) Children’s Book. Outline is done & again here I’m just under 10,000 words. But I like the outline I’ve done and the writing is good when I sit down to it but the problem is sitting down to it!!!

3) Yoga. Dropped out again thanks to traveling and a minor eye problem that’s making it difficult to do inversions & balance poses. But that’s getting seen to next week so hopefully… synchronicity coming into play though–met Monica while walking dogs this morning and she’s interested in finding people to do self practice with right here in Varsity Park!!! If this comes off I’ll still try to go to Back On The Mat two to three times a week but I could do regular home practice here!

4) Reading: Finished The Artist’s Way Journey (in Paris, no less!!!) and enjoyed it tremendously. I loved the people who were taking this journey with me and I’ve learned so much from them and what they are all doing with their lives. Read some other books too–was in the mood for old ‘classical’ murders so read Black Plumes, Christmas Guest, Death at La Fenice (my favourite Donna Leon I think!) and Monsieur Proust by his housekeeper of 9 years, Celeste Albaret. I was very impressed by her picture of how hard he worked and how obsessed he was with finding models for his characters. I end up observing people too & desperately scribbling down ‘pointers’ to help me remember. A warning to myself though… I don’t want to end up spending all my time in bed writing–though the temptation is very very very great!

5) Travel: Geneva and then Paris for almost two weeks was really, really wonderful. What struck me most were the monks’ working/sleeping quarters discovered in the archaeological site of the Cathedral of St Pierre in Geneva. They had one room with a large table and chair downstairs where they did their work and upstairs a smaller room and bed with external steps linking the two. All this was against the North wall of the Cathedral so they were part of yet not inside the Cathedral. And what’s really great is they had heating! Pipes carrying for conducting hot water were found beneath their cells! I liked the simplicity yet with heating & ‘running’ water that must have been luxury in that time!!

My dream writing lifestyle–monastic simplicity with heating & meals provided!!!

6) Blogging–Haven’t been doing much writing here but what’s sadder is I haven’t been following any of my favourite blogs–there just seems so little time especially as reading for any length of time makes my eyes hurt & leads to headache… but after the (minor) surgery planned for next week I hope things will get better! Haven’t been watching television or reading the newspapers either; yet when I do make an effort to flip through a newspaper (before putting it beneath a doggy bottom) I haven’t found anything I want to stop and read.

7) I have an iPad now!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


Focus Switch

The ‘Current Book’ is on hold for a week, maybe two, because of something totally unexpected…

Some time ago I spoke to someone at Epigram about getting some of my plays into print. Much as I Want to, I explained I’ve promised them to Enoch at Firstfruits (well that was like two years ago) who still wants to publish them… some day. I love Enoch dearly and like what he’s done with his other publications so that’s great.

So when Epigram got in touch & asked how things were going that’s what I said. But then I asked whether they would consider looking at detective or literary fiction. I didn’t think there was much chance because their previous publications are cookbooks/poetry/plays but they said Yes, they would like to see what I can send them!

So I pulled out some of my old stuff to look through again. I’m hoping to send them ‘Dead Wrongs’ as my mystery manuscript and ‘Man Groves In The Lion City’ as my ‘literary’ manuscript. But even though I thought they were both ‘finished’ (I’ve hit 3rd draft on both of them and thought they’d dead-ended) now reading through them again I’m finding tens of thousands of things I want to change.

So… I’m working on Dead Wrongs first, transferring it over to Scrivener so I can check at a glance what goes where. & I’m working on double screens for the first time today–have my draft 3 in doc.x on the laptop (sitting on my tissue box. My nose has miraculously dried up due to excitement or stress) and the draft 4 in php on my big screen.

I thought it would just be a quick run through but it might take longer than I expected even though I’ve got the story & characters worked out (I thought…) but more and more things pop up needing to be changed…

Well, at least I’m alive and functioning and should be grateful for that!

Tried to walk in Kent Ridge this morning but fire ants were migrating due to last night’s rain & poor Princess got several caught in the fluff of her tail. Every now & then she had to stop to sit & clean out her poor bitten little underside when they crawled up through her fur & onto her skin!

Evening walk went better–we met ‘Monster’ the whippet and for the first time he & our dogs got along fairly well, almost to the stage of playing–anyway no more growling. But maybe it’s a Vesak Day special?

Anyway I’ve redone the first 3 chapters today (slow slow slow!) at almost 10 thousand words in between killing zombies (have fallen in love with Plants vs Zombies) and it’s time to take a break before my eyes die on me!

Library Thing & Sayoni happenings

Signed up for an account at Library Thing in attempt to get my books in order–I like the site, it’s a very low interference zone or rather you can interact as much as you want to while analysing/paring/cataloguing your own books at home.

So far I’ve only managed to put in about 50 books so far, but I’m enjoying the process. Maybe I’ll finally get my books ‘in shape’ here as well!

And I got nominated for the Sayoni ‘hot list’ (!?!)

Must say it’s a thrill to get on the nomination list–wish I knew who these people are, (jen? jj? think I’m falling in love!)

And the nlb called back & were totally sweet so I also apologised for making a fuss & though my initial tantrum ranting desire was to get my manuscripts back from them now I’ve submitted my copy request for 5 stories by email, they’ll get them copied within 2 weeks & let me know how much it costs & I can go down/have someone go down & pick them up for me.

But does this mean that sometimes you have to be irrational & freak out? Because if not I can imagine still being there in the queue, especially if closing time came (for the photocopy room, not the library) & I had to start queuing again this morning?