Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pictures and Reflections

Here's how it looks outside the windows today…



I left the endless rain of Northern California and came home to the snow of Eastern Massachusetts :o). Weather is so good for writing. I wrote two and a half pages this morning while curled up in blankets and watching the snow fall. (I consider two pages to be a good day's work – though some days I only managed a few lines, and some days I manage 12 or 15 pages.)

As I prepare for the release of Jane, Unlimited next September, I continue to plod through my new novel, which is the eighth I've ever written. (Two unpublishable; Graceling; Fire; Bitterblue; Jane, Unlimited; a mystery/boarding school book currently in revisions; and this new one.) How does it feel to be writing my eighth novel? Pretty much exactly how it felt to write novels one through seven: pointless, hopeless, stupid, exhausting, a waste of time, torturously slow, and with an endpoint so far in the future that I'm sure I will basically feel like this for the rest of my life. And also an inkling that maybe I'm being a touch overdramatic; occasional bursts of motivation and actual enjoyment; and a certainty that there is, in fact, a book in there somewhere, and I will find it. Not today or tomorrow or next month, but maybe next fall, or winter, or maybe in Spring of 2018… I will find it. Provided that today, I try to write my two pages.

My life for the next few months will be full of disruptions. Mostly trips, though I'm also moving again. This time will be different – I'm only moving a couple blocks away, and I can do it flexibly, over the course of a few months. Still, trips and moves make me reflective. They lift me out of my routine… which is the best position from which to examine one's routine :o). What do I see ahead? More writing. More trips. More reflection. More fun and sociableness. And more activism. What would I like in my life that my life doesn't currently contain? Less anxiety – though, with the current political climate, some of that is out of my control. More structure to my days. I think that one is mostly in my control.

For now, I'm choosing small writing goals for the time in between trips. I'm home again until Presidents' Day weekend. Before I go away again, I would like to finish the chapter I'm writing, plan the next section, and wade ever so slightly into that next section.

Here are photos from the rest of my California drive. I woke up Monday morning to the news that the road I'd been intending to take was blocked by a landslide. So after a little more driving up the coast, then down again to Medocino, I went inland, through forests so thick with trees so tall, and the rain so heavy, that I felt like I was driving through the forest where all the fairytales take place.


That is some red wood.


There's a mysterious statue atop the Masonic Hall in Mendocino.

Interesting houses.

Behind me was the Pacific Ocean.


Closer look at that statue. She broke the pillar with her ball-on-a-stick? While a reaper angel kept her from falling off?

Alas, my photography skills. I meant to focus on the lamb, not the fence.

These sheep were calmly grazing as if they had no perception of how massive that tree is.