Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, and personalities, and have them relate to other characters living with him.

Mel Brooks

Amen, Mel. (Ahem, with the addition of “her skin,” “her ability,” and “with her,” thank you very much.)

Ever have one of those weeks (or months) when you feel like you’re juggling too many balls–but also too many names, identities, and personalities? And not only on the page.

I am a creative writer (“dang it,” she pounds fist on desk), but I am also a writer and editor for modest pay universities and etc. It is this latter personality that lately has taken precedence over the former (because the fruits of this personality can buy actual fruit, or veggies, or ice cream from the truck that smartly parks itself at our neighborhood pool.)

Fear not, one of two looming work deadlines met, I am seeing the light. (Sometime, I’m going to see how many myriad scads of mixed metaphors I can cram into a single post!) Back to my creative endeavors I WILL BE (soon-ish).

In the meantime, I enjoy my work that allows me to pick the brains of academics young and seasoned and learn things I’d never come to on my own, like the powers of biofilms, the miracles of flexible solar cells, what rotorcraft even is. Really, I remind myself, it’s all creative, right? Who knows, maybe this work will create burgeoning new identities in my fiction.

I talked in my last post about list-making, reining in those cows. (Another metaphor gone awry.) I’m trying to be better about writing it all down, so I see what I must do, and what I AM DOING. (Sleeping past 8am, now that the kids are out of school, for one. Big, big win!)

Creative right now:

Reading: A Gentleman in Moscow (read me gush about it on my FB page.); next up, Warlight

Listening to: Above Us Only Sky, audio novel by my uber-talented author friend from my MFA program days, Michele Young-Stone

Submitting: yesterday, a travel-ish short story of mine set in India to the literary travel mag, Nowhere; agent query submissions coming soon (see next line)

Editing: that last 40 pages of my historical novel manuscript–woo to the hoo!

How’s your creative list looking? What are you reading, writing, loving right now? Let me know here or at FB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Me, my selves, and Mel Brooks

    1. Every sentence of _A Gentleman… and I think, “oh, I wish I would’ve written that.” It’s been a great education, and I’m only halfway through! I admit I had to look up _Ordinary Grace_, and I hadn’t heard of that author before. Seeing that his novels take place in MN–I need to try him! Thanks for the recommendation!

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      1. You are in for a treat, A Gentleman in Moscow gets even better in the second half … and you will love the ending. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, how does Towles do this?
        Then after you’re finished pick up Ordinary Grace. Totally different but very well crafted.

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  1. Oh! We are totally on the same creative wavelength. A Gentleman in Moscow is on my reading list and I’ve also been stewing over an entry for Nowhere! I didn’t feel it was up to par before the May 31st deadline, but now that they’ve extended it to July I might give it another go. Good luck to you!

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    1. Totally same wavelength! I feel like eventually we’ll meet up at the same writer’s conference. (I might see if I can be a reader at the conference in Youngstown in Sept.–that’s kinda in between our ‘hoods.) I’ll be so interested to see what you think of _A Gentleman_. It breaks many “rules” but is still so compelling. Yes, the July 1 _Nowhere_ deadline saved me, though I rarely enter contests. But I got good feedback on this story from a journal once though they thought it was too travel-y. And most travel mags want nonfiction, but this one takes fiction too. So, I thought I’d try. I always feel like, well at least my $20 is going to a good (literary) cause! Good luck back atcha! You should enter!

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      1. Who is hosting the conference in Youngstown? September is a bit nutty for me, plans wise, but I may have to check it out.
        My entry for Nowhere is nonfiction. I think it gives a good “sense of place” (as per their requirements) but I worry about the flow of the piece. I had dismissed the idea of entering because I was struggling with my words, and then I accidentally deleted the email with the entry link, so at first I thought I just wasn’t meant to enter. But I got another email about the deadline being extended and you mentioned it here so … hmmm maybe I’m meant to enter after all! Haha we shall see what happens!

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  2. I also love the Mel Brooks quote, and it’s something that I’m hoping to experience in the very near future. This fall I will be taking the leap and writing my first children’s book. I’ve dreamed of doing this since I was a little girl, so I figure there’s no time like the present.

    Wishing you the best of luck on your submission, Rebecca! Oh, and I think I should start a list of my own. It may help keep my priorities straight, especially since my writing has recently taken a back seat to the summer craziness. I don’t like it when that happens. Wonderful post!

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    1. A children’s book–how exciting! Best of luck and happy writing. My fingers are crossed for your invention and management of all the characters therein! Have you found Kathy Temean’s blog yet–for writing and illustrating for children. You’ll love it: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/

      Thanks for the well-wishes. I need to submit more, but it’s always low on my list. YES, so many lists required in the summer with the many activities! I’m enjoying a rainy couple days here to regroup. Have a great weekend!

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      1. Rebecca, thank you! I knew nothing of Kathy Temean’s blog, but I am very excited to check it out. I need all the help I can get. 🙂

        Enjoy your rainy days – they really are the best for writing. If it’s sunny, I always feel the need to be outside. Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks again for the contact!

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  3. Going through your posts and Mel’s name jumped out at me. I love him. Creative right now, I’m preparing interview questions, brainstorming future post ideas and trying to get an editorial calendar in place so I won’t feel so haphazard. Reading is refueling for me and right now I’m refueling on The Search for Anne Perry. I’m a mystery fan and Anne Perry is one of my favorite authors. To say she had an interesting childhood is the understatement of the year. My sister would have loved this book.

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    1. I just adored your post about reading after the loss of your sister. I lost my mom a dozen years ago, and I still feel like I read for both of us. Thanks so much for your interest in my blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts, and to chatting with you in Lorna’s group!

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