48 days, day 32-33, fried okra focus

{{ 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! }}

Well, the new project won out. Doesn't it always? It's actually an old project that I have been batting around with my agent for at least a year and a half, saying I'm going to propose, and that I have shied away from tackling because it will take dedicated time and focus.

But it's new in that this proposal must be written from the ground up, a structure figured out for it, and a persuasive argument made for it, cogently and smartly. It's a professional document that must include all pertinent facts, history, goals, sales information, curriculum connections, and arguments for.

And it was doable yesterday because I understand what it entails, and because it's finite. Sometimes, when you are stuck, trying to create art out of whole cloth, it helps to tackle something concrete.

Writing the proposal required me to make decisions after all the "what-if" I chewed on for so long with my agent and with trusted friends. It's a relief to make decisions and close doors, even for this eternal processor. Putting words to paper and understanding my motivations better helped me clarify just what it is I want to do with this project, and what it is I want to offer, and what it is I want to write.

I spent many hours intensely focused on this yesterday, and frustrated, too, because I am so disorganized that it's hard to find the photos I want, the statistics I want, the comparisons and the sources I need. But I got it half-done, maybe 3/4, and I could see the shape of the proposal and how it could be effective, before I knocked off for supper with friends.

I had to MAKE MYSELF GO TO SUPPER, which is a clear sign for me that I'm on to something. Whether somebody else thinks so or not, well, we'll see. I was excited to get back to it this morning, and I've been working all day on finishing. I took a break for okra fried by Jim (I loooooove fried okra), and will spend the rest of the afternoon on this proposal, then go swimming (a story for later).

My goal is to have this proposal off my plate and onto my agent's by the end of the week. Which is tomorrow. I can do it. I am almost there. By the end of the day I will have it in shape enough to go swim on it, work in the garden and then sleep on it, and then -- VOILA -- I will be able to say I have FINISHED something. Halleluia, Mississippi! (That is a hint!)
It's mostly spinach. But some days you just really need some fried okra.


  1. As I said on facebook, you blog continues to inspire me. To read and see how you process things makes it easier for me to stay on track. It's nice to know blocks, diversions, and new directions are all part of the art. Plus you have the added element of making a proposal before you start -- although a proposal might be a good way to map out any project, even if I don't have someone to send it to just yet. I'll have to mull on that over the week end. Fried okra is da'bomb! I love the way your Jim is serving it. (my husband's name is Jim and an excellent cook, too, but being from Hartford, CT, doesn't fry okra.) Best wishes.

    1. Thank you, Joy. Someone who is not an endless processor, like I am, would find my ramblings ridiculously pointless, I think. "Just DO IT!" Friends and I have debated for years about the processors vs the task-oriented folks who feel better when a decision is made and they can move on. I feel better in the process, and feel like a door is shut when a decision is made -- a door I might want open later! ha. All that Myers-Briggs stuff. Having someone to send the proposal to isn't so different from having a publishing house to send a ms. to. Just send it. That's what I think, anyway, and it has always been my method. Just send it. And eat some okra. :>

  2. Funny how this is a time of new directions. I find it very helpful to follow your progress, your garden and your lunches. :) I sunk into the summer blues yesterday and put a story away for awhile. I will move in a new direction - re read old writing and see where I want to go. I wrote about it here -https://wordsfromjl.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/mid-summer-blues-and-silent-characters/

    I must say also being a northern gal we are not having fried okra but a good craft beer battered walleye sandwich with coleslaw was great last night. Good luck on the new project!

    1. I wrote about the blues in today's blog entry, maybe not the same kind of blues you are experiencing, but something that I wrestle with from time to time, losses, etc. I will read your blog entry soon! Thanks for sharing it. Your dinner sounds DELICIOUS.


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