Yeah, so I’ve been a bad blogger. I apologize profusely. I am thoroughly chastised.

So, what have I been up to?

The magazine job is still going well. Almost 5 months in and it still feels like a great fit. I’ve had two feature articles published at this point–one on the national sleep poll and another on recruiting in the respiratory therapist industry–two topics I’d never thought I’d write about. Even though this is medical/trade publishing, it’s still great experience. I don’t know where I want my career in magazine publishing to go. All I know is that for right now, it’s the right fit for my skills, interests, and strengths. And it gives me a chance to write and edit. (more…)

Dey via flickr

Image: Dey via flickr

Got back into my routine today. With my brother & his girlfriend here for the holidays & my injury, I haven’t been able to do my usual Saturday thing. So, this morning I went to my writing group. No writing today. When we finally did stop talking, I couldn’t get anything out. I went back & reread what I had (big mistake). Thought it was crap & didn’t know where to restart. I’d planned to stay a couple hours after we usually end. I’d fed the dogs early, before I left, & let them spend some quality time outside; so, I would have been safe til about 2. But promptly at noon, I gave up & packed it in.

On the way home I stopped off & got some flowers–yellow gerbera daisies. I’d missed not buying flowers on Saturdays the last couple of weeks. But it wasn’t something I could really pass on to someone else to pick up for me. It’s something I have to do.

Came home, put them in a vase & then opened up the windows & front door & hung out outside with the dogs. It was about 80 today. Absolutely beautiful. I love 80 degrees in winter, even if it is wrong on so many levels! Then, I put the stereo on, hooked up the iPod, and played The National & read. As I was sitting there struggling to write this morning, it dawned on me that one of the reasons I’ve been struggling with writing lately is that I haven’t been reading. I’ve been reading non-fiction, but I haven’t been reading fiction. I realized, I need to be constantly reminded how other writers do it. I need to be reminded that 1st person POV works. I need to be reminded that a reader can care about a fictional character’s life. I’ve read that some writers can’t read fiction while they’re writing; too worried that they’ll be influenced by it. But, I think I’m the opposite. I need to read fiction. I need to get lost in made-up stories, so I can get lost in my own. So, I sat down in the big leather chair, propped the bad leg up on the ottoman, & sat down to finish reading The End of the Story by Lydia Davis. I started this book before my mother died, & hadn’t picked it up since then. For the past 16 weeks I’ve had trouble sitting down & reading fiction. Maybe a fear of letting my mind wander; even if my mind was supposed to be wandering in the author’s world, I was too afraid it would wander somewhere else. I also haven’t been such a big fan of the quiet that I usually require to read. But today, it felt alright. I don’t know why or what was different today. But I could sit down & read & I wasn’t afraid of my thoughts drifting off, & they didn’t.

So, we’ll see if reading gets me back on track with writing. (more…)

I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but I did something I haven’t done since before my mother died.

I went for a drive with no destination & then ended up at a cafe & sat & read for a couple hours.

I love to drive with no destination. It helps clear my mind. It lets me think. It’s usually the best way for me to work through my writing issues & story problems or ideas. I guess I really haven’t wanted to think in a while, so I haven’t done it. But it was a really nice day today & I really just wanted to be out, but still in my own world. I don’t know that I did too much thinking. This drive seemed to be more about just being in the moment & doing something from my old routine.

The same can be said of sitting and reading at a cafe. I’ve had a reallly hard time sitting still & focusing lately, so there has been no appeal in sitting alone at a cafe & reading, & focusing. But maybe the drive brought it on. Maybe this is me getting back in touch with my old routine & finding away to integrate the person I am now, & where my head is now, back into it. It’s not to say that I’m at all comfortable with letting my mind wander. But I guess I’m getting more comfortable with the quiet I used to love & being alone in it.

Progress I suppose.

Image: ‘SeraphimC via flickr