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May 12, 2020: The Writing Life: Forwards, Backwards, and Sideways

A question that well known writers are asked is, have you published everything you’ve written? The answer that follows is usually no. I haven’t read a follow-up question, which, if I asked it, would be, how do you mediate between going backwards, spending time on old work, and going forwards, which is spending time on new work?

I’m attempting to figure this out. I am now nearly at an impasse. I am categorizing all the essays and poetry that I have on hand. I’ve listed each of the items and put them in categorizes. Tomorrow, I am going to put the nonfiction files in my categorized order. And I’ll do the poetry the day after. Then I am going to go through my publication shelf and see what I have listed in my vitae and what I’ve left out.

After all this is done, I am going to send stuff out again.

In the meantime, other things are not getting done. I’m not writing grants for the Bright Lights Book Project. And I haven’t yet begun putting the changes in If Wishes were Horses that Pete recommended.

I’m going to have to prioritize. I’m going to have to start moving sideways up and down the trail.

132 Pete adjusting Alys's derailleur
Pete adjusting Alys's derailleur

Like most people, I live in three dimensions. There are some out there who live in four dimensions. Their lives are very complicated because they have more space in which to lose track of things. However, those who live in four dimensions have more time to get stuff done, and for this I envy them. And those in five dimensions, their lives are a lost cause. They wander around, happy, no questions asked.

Here, in three dimensionia, spring has sprung big time. The leaves are on the trees and the grass is growing fast. The patches of remaining snow are miniscule. The air is fresh and fragrant. Tonight I heard a robin singing it’s heart out. He badly wants a mate. And at about the same time, Pete and I saw a gaggle of geese heading south.

The outside world beckons – in winter the indoor world beckons. Right now the very best that I can do is to breathe deeply and focus on the tasks at hand. I will become adept at moving forwards and backwards.

I guess I’ll do this by sticking to my regular schedule. I have spent time in the past two weeks at the recycling center. I am thinking that the work there might be winter work. We’ll see. I’m going to need some guidance.

My muse is now bald from having to deal with me. She’s pulled all her hair out. I am thinking about getting her a wig and also a set of ear plugs. This way, she won’t have to listen to me, and her real hair will grow back. It used to be red, bet it comes back in grey. Yes, I’m one tough customer. She’s quick to remind me that she did not chose to live with me; rather, she was assigned to me.

Tomorrow, I will move forward, work some on the book. And backward, continue the major reorganizational project.

Next: 133. 5/13/20: Doing Close Readings

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