In which I complain and talk nonsense, as usual.

 

Clementine, Clementine, Clementine! She is still not finished. I think part of me doesn’t want to finish – because then I’d have to stop spending time with her. Also part of me (a big, big part) is lazy. I have no discipline in my life. I’m working on that. I think I need to start punishing and rewarding myself, sticks and carrots as they say. But I’m even lazy about feeling bad about how lazy I am.

So AWP happened! As in every year past, I did not attend. Maybe next year? Boston? My book was there and I hear it sold pretty well, so that’s exciting. A little store in Houston, Texas, is going to have some copies for sale. I ran out of copies, but once I get some they’ll be for sale in Pittsburgh, too. Just like a real book! How about that.

I turned another year older recently. I like being 27 so far. I have a really good feeling about this year. It’s going to be great. I’m going to learn how to be discipline and I’m going to attend AWP (even though I have a sneaking suspicion that I will hate it, introvert and all) and I’m going to get a better job and I’m going to get more tattoos and I’m going to move someplace awesome and I’m going to find a great publisher for Clementine and it’s all just going to be great. Probably some of that will happen and some of it will not and other things I do not expect will happen or seem to happen and then crash and burn. Exciting to find out which!

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit claustrophobic. I spend too much of my time in a cubicle, being bored and questioning why I am where I am and what can be done about it. I need to get away for a while, just be by myself somewhere. What I’d like to do is skip out to lake for a month of sun and water and woods and solitude, but this cube-lifestyle doesn’t really allow for that. I’ll have to settle for a long weekend, somewhere. How did I get here? How can I leave?

 I’ve been reading some excellent things lately. I picked up Andee Hochman’s collection Anatomies at the Winter Getaway in January, but didn’t get around to reading it until a few weeks ago. It’s a lovely collection. Heart-wrenching and beautiful and just…meaty. I loved it. Also Jim Shepard’s One Story offering – “The World to Come.” Did you read it? You need to. And then read it again, trust me. I love Jim Shepard and I love historical short stories. It’s a quiet story but also a screamer. I don’t know. I’m too starstruck to talk coherently about it.

Aside from those, I’ve had my nose buried in the Song of Ice and Fire series. You know, Game of Thrones and the rest. I’m close to finishing the most recent book, A Dance With Dragons. Just in time for season 2 of the series! Can’t wait! These books are horrifying and scary and funny and sexy and exciting, and also infuriating sometimes and boring sometimes, but more often than not they feel worth the thousands and thousands of pages it has taken me to get to this point. Which is STILL not the end-end. I’ll have to wait another decade for that. (In other hefty series news, the next Gabaldon comes out this fall, so says my mom! OH YES. I AM SO READY.)

This is a thing I read today, Rebecca Sherm interviewing Wells Tower:

That’s such a good way to think of it — you start with some tiny moment, and then make it matter.

Yeah, and I think that is the important thing in revision — looking at the draft and figuring out what is important. If it is the characters, then have you chosen the right program of incident to subject these characters to? Or if you feel like you have a really great plot, have you chosen the right people, the right point of view? What’s really the emotional goal in the story?

The rest is here. Wells Tower is one of those writers I’ve been aware of for a long time, but have never gotten around to reading. Looks like I’ll have to make some time for him.

My lone 2011 submission is still languishing in limbo. It’s been 3 months, probably safe to assume that’s a rejection. I should probably get my shit together if I plan to take this year by storm. Although, really, all I have to do is send two stories out and I’ve blown last year out of the water. But no! No! This year I make it happen. This year I buckle down and focus. This year…!

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2 comments

  1. Brenda

    Hi, Cate! It’s Brenda, your NM ‘pin pal! I hope this is not at all stalkery, but after our last ‘pin pal letter exchange I thought I’d google your name to find your book and buy a copy in support of awesome women writers. Anyway, I didn’t find your book, but I did find your blog. I hope you don’t mind my reading.

    I’m at: tokyorosa.blogspot.com if you’d like to be stalkery in turn though!

    • Cate

      Brenda! Hello! ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think it’s stalkery at all! It’s so sweet of you to want to find my book out in the ether. I don’t have any copies at the moment, but you may be able to get one from my editor Gina (gina@stampedbooks.com). Otherwise I should have my hands on some more copies in the next month or so.

      OK! Off to stalk you in kind… ๐Ÿ™‚

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