novels take me a long time to write. dorothy parker once said that for every 5 words she wrote, she changed 7. that’s pretty much my method. but I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel on this new book. that light is illuminating a peaceful pond on a sunny/cloudy day. and I am heading there with my inner tube under my arm.
I spent june in amsterdam, writing, but also biking [fell 3 times; definitely getting better at falling] and watching the skies, which are higher there, the clouds always on the move over this land by the north sea.
Carry the One has been shortlisted for the St. Francis College Literary Prize. The prize is for writers at mid-career and is $50,000. Just making the shortlist is an honor. The winner will be announced at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sept 21. I’ll be there. Here’s a link to the announcement: http://www.sfc.edu/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=387
on the paintings page, I’ve put up a couple of new canvasses in my series on vita sackville-west, with more to come. I’m trying for something like a biography in paint. it’s all narrative to me—the writing and the painting.
my least favorite parts of writing a novel are:
a] the very last go-over when I’m alternately weary with the manuscript and jolted with electric fear at seeing a character wearing yellow socks when a few pages earlier I’ve had them pulling on red ones
and where I am now, which is
b] the early roughing out when all my characters look like claymation figures and I’m still wondering where they’re all going.
at least I have been able to do a good bit of this here in amsterdam, looking over a canal, leading a much smaller version of my regular life.
I can see that some readers have come here looking for illumination on the ending of cto. what I would say is that the last word of the book offers a clue.
the podcast is called Write the Book. Shelagh’s show is on WOMM-LP – The Radiator – a noncommercial low-power FM radio station located in downtown Burlington, Vermont. here it is: