poetry, shopping lists, journals, letters, cookbooks, novels. This is for you.
I’ve been here, mostly writing, sometimes folding laundry, often staring out at the frozen world, trying to remember to eat lunch. I sent a big stack of pages into my editor last week, and an hour later, Sadie broke her arm and Rosie got the flu. They’re both okay now, and Sadie’s proving to be a brave wonder (as if I didn’t already know). Now I get to wash Sadie’s hair for her, just in the time I was feeling like she was getting so big, she didn’t need me so much. In the spaces in between, I push away from the desk and read a few pages of this, or this, or this. I’ve been researching the part of my family I don’t know. I’ve been thinking I should probably get to England one of these days. I’m a little scattered. I try to keep the bowl filled with citrus, so I can walk into the kitchen and have something quick to do. I slice the top and tail clear off, and trim the thin or hefty walls, depending on the variety. I pull the sections from their pith, or I slice the whole fruit in star-like rounds. I beg a few leaves from the mint plant in the windowsill and rip them into tiny bits, then I let it snow with a little sugar. It sits in its juice while the water boils for coffee, and that’s it. It’s 3-ingredient sunshine.
A few links, for those who might be writing.
This, on writing even though there will be comments, from the wise and clear-as-a-bell Dani Shapiro.
And while we’re on the subject, this, on praise and blame.
And oh, oh, oh! this on writing for our heroes.
This video with George Saunders. (I know, I know, you’re writing! But this will help- I promise.)
This, from Tara, on not dabbling.
And even if you’ve read this before, it’s worth a reread, on writing like a motherfucker.
Happy Thursday, friends. Hope the sun is shining in, even if it’s only the citrus kind.
Yes, and thank you. I needed that. To know you and others are doing the same, writing. In the depths of winter minus the citrus, plus a warm bowl of oats with coffee on the side. Keeping the word habit. Sending get better soon wishes to Sadie and Rosie and know that I’m cheering for you to write like a motherfucker from the sidelines.
p.s. the top this, this, and this links don’t seem to be working.
Thank you, Nikki. It’s nice to be here with you. xo (and thanks for catching those links! all fixed, now)
Poor Sadie! Thinking of you all in this bitter cold snap!
Rachel @ 6512 and growing says
Good links, Alana. Good luck with all those words. Also, I loved Tiny Beautiful Things more even than Wild. Feels biblical in terms of guidance and truth. xo
Wonderful sustenance for those of us working with words…
Suzi Banks Baum says
Oh dear, I needed this today, settling in, chai cup emptied….I love George’s voice. This is something I read today that shifted me-
both this and the actual essay.
Happy writing day. xo S
My comment isn’t really related to writing your your thoughtful post, but I wanted to tell you something cool related to your book. I was making a batch of sandwich bread- it’s become my go-to recipe for weekly bread, and I was paging through the book, enjoying your writing and looking for inspiration, as I’ve been in a cooking slump. Feeing my boys who have been home from school too-many days because of cold temps has really been feeling like a chore. When I read your entry about popcorn, I decided that I’d look for a popcorn maker, as popcorn is an almost daily snack around here, but I always do it on the stove, usually having to wash a pot first, etc… it’s no fun. Anyway, two days later I found a pristine, almost new electric popcorn maker at my favorite thrift shop for a dollar! I showed my delighted boys how to use it, and we are ALL loving it. It’s changed our snacking routine and our after-school afternoons are filled with the sound of whirring and popping. Thanks so much.