48 days, day 28: w.o.r.k.i.n.g.

{{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm! }}

Working today in between bouts of watering new grass in July (crazy). I leave you with this by Jonathan Franzen, from his interview in The Paris Review, because it mirrors how I feel as I write today, as I have shifted gears almost completely to the essay about stock car racing/demolition derby I mentioned here, and because it has grabbed me with such fervor that I'm already thinking, where can I send this? Premature, but an indicator that this piece has sunk in its teeth. Hard.

I understand better how much of writing a novel is about self-examination, self-transformation. I spend vastly more time nowadays trying to figure out what’s stopping me from doing the work, trying to figure out how I can become the person who can do the work, investigating the shame and fear: the shame of self-exposure, the fear of ridicule or condemnation, the fear of causing pain or harm. 

And this from Linda Ronstadt, to keep me grounded, when I worry about my to-ing and fro-ing and how many things I'm interested in, what captures me, what asks for expression, and how I sometimes (as in this 48-day experiment) allow myself to follow it:

Interviewer:  How would you describe your career? 
Ronstadt: Turbulent, I suppose, and eclectic mania. But there's a reason why there was all that rampant eclecticism in my work; it wasn't arbitrary. All those kinds of music I did were in my living room in my family's house before I was 10.  Mexican music, rock and roll, country music, American standards, Gilbert and Sullivan... it seemed perfectly natural to me... I learned a lot of my politics from music...Pete Seeger about the labor movement, civil rights, human rights... there are reasons for us to use our music, to make people understand what it's like to have somebody else's experience. It's a great mirror to hold up to the culture and it's important to use it that way.

This is on YouTube from an interview with Ronstadt last year. I listened to it like it was a podcast, while I cleaned my office.

Back to work, but first.... can you see these tiny baby beans? Be still my heart, I think we are going to have BEANS! It's been so long since we've had sun enough to grow a garden. I don't even LIKE green beans. hahahahahaha. Well, I like them fresh, and we're gonna have tons of 'em. But maybe I speak too soon. Shhhh... they are just babies. BABIES. Little tiny swords, growing and becoming. Just like my little baby essay with its pointy little teeth... hmmm....


  1. Just so you know, I've been skimming quotes here and there for my own blog. Taking the Franzen quote today to share at some future time. Truly loving this series.


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