January 2010

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29 Jan Vale, J.D. Salinger

“If only you’d remember before you ever sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself.” —From Seymour: An Introduction.

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27 Jan Intentionality

There aren’t really any unbreakable “rules” for writing—or for that matter, for life. But this is a good one:

Intend every word you write.

Its corollary for life-in-general, of course, would be intend every thing you do.

Harder than it sounds.

The blog post by Eric Cummings on intentionality (yes, there really is such a word) in writing that got me started thinking about this is here, on one of my favorite blogs, Write to Done.

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25 Jan Silence

I love double-crostic puzzles. All-Star Puzzles has wonderful interactive crostics twice a week, and the other day [Spoiler!] the quote turned out to be:

Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence. —John Lahr

Silence, blessed silence! I’m deep in edits of The Second Duchess and I am indeed valuing silence and solitude. I know some people write to music, but I’m not even comfortable with that. Just sweet, sweet silence…

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20 Jan A Rose by Any Other Name

We’re awaiting two new additions to our rose family this year—one of our venerable “Peace” bushes (we had two, from which I cut the flowers I carried when The Broadcasting Legend™ and I were married) gave up the ghost this past summer and we have a spot to fill. Enter “Scentimental” and “Double Delight,” from my favorite purveyor of all things rose, David Austin Roses.

“Scentimental” is the peppermint-striped one—beautiful and unusual, with no two flowers alike. The scent is a very rich rose-spice, ergo the name.

“Double Delight” looks rather like a “Peace” that’s gone over to the dark side—deeper crimson edges to the petals and a creamy-gold heart. It also has a fabulous fragrance (one of our requirements for roses), described as both spicy and fruity.

I’m looking forward to planting these and nurturing them along, although I must say that the names “Scentimental” and “Double Delight” are not as romantic or literary as the names of some of our other roses. How can they compare with “Jude the Obscure” or “Fair Bianca” or “Eglantyne”? Once we have them settled in their new homes, we may have to re-name them so they feel comfortable with their siblings.

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19 Jan A Time to Every Purpose

To every thing there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
…He has made every thing beautiful in his time.

—from Ecclesiastes 3

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01 Jan Kalo Podariko 2010!

“Happy First-Foot” again for 2010, and may the first foot to cross your threshold today bring you health, happiness and prosperity in the new year.

When it’s typed or written, “2010” looks really different from “2009”—more consistent, streamlined and futuristic. A solid, stable, blocky-looking year. I’m counting on you, 2010, to follow through on that promise. 2009 was a very good year for me in many ways (like this, this and this) but it was an exhausting and heartrending roller coaster of a year in other ways, purely personal. I am ready for some consistency. Some solid, stable, blocky-looking days and weeks and months. Bring them on, 2010.

My resolutions: love more, laugh more, read more, write more. Kalo Podariko!

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