Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome to 2012: Back to a Writing Life

Hello, world, and happy new year!

I am sad to see I've let this blog languish since last April.

I've been battling an illness that hasn't given me much leftover energy after work and school; an autoimmune arthritic disease called ankylosing spondylitis. In addition to severe fatigue and nasty joint pain, it has come hand in hand with a yet-undiagnosed nasty GI tract buddy which makes life uncomfortable and unpredictable. It hasn't made me inclined to be social, and I didn't fight it hard enough to retrieve the time I needed for my writing life. In fact, last April was probably also the last time I seriously thought about creative writing.

No more, I say! The year is new, a week at home in New York with mom resting helped me feel better than I have in months, and I am reprioritizing. Reading and writing are top of the list, just under work (since writing does not yet pay any bills). And so, I'm back, making a conscious effort to do more reading, more writing, and to chat with you about both via this blog. (I do hope you haven't abandoned it in the deafening silence of the past few months.)

Because I intend to tackle the fantasy novel that has been haunting me despite my lack of training in fiction, the last book I read in 2011 was Martha Alderson's Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. (A bit too much hoodoo woo-woo spirituality beefed up the page count, but the author's take on plot progression and structure seem pretty sound.) To kick the 2012 year off on the right note, I read Charles Baxter's Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction, and am midway through Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times, both excellent collections that have me ruminating on everything from culture to language to imagery, and what differences there are, if any, between poets and novelists as writers. (Expect more on these later.)

But know this: I have books on writing waiting to be read on my shelves, melodic lines haunting me that are begging to become stories, some ideas that want to become essays, and images that are jockeying to become poems. I'm not going to give up on 2012 with these still inside my head and not on a page somewhere.

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