Coming in out of the Cold

Monday afternoon, cold still hanging in there, but negotiating its exit strategy. We will see how that goes. No idea right now what I want to blog about today, so I am going to jump in and blabber and it will go where it goes. Which is, of course, the magic seven hundred words for the mandatory entry. I could bump this entry back to tomorrow, as I know I get two hours of uninterrupted time after my weekly meeting with N (note to self – bring Mont Blanc and standard cartridge so I can figure out what the heck I’m doing wrong in inserting the darned thing. Seriously, I’ve tried both ends, and nada. Scratchety-scratch on the paper, but no ink after I ran through the mystery dregs of the old ink that somehow missed getting rinsed out when I flushed it during a rare moment of clarity over the weekend. That’s flushed with warm water in the kitchen sink, not in the bathroom bowl. Even at prime coldbrain, I would not do that.)

Okay, pens. I can talk about pens.  The Pilot Namiki cartridges did come on Saturday, and went into the Plumix like a dream, so I have my very first fountain pen back in action. Possible review to follow, because that feels like a natural progression, and it really is an easy to use pen, plus the sepia ink is gorgeous. We will not talk about my adventures trying to put the Jinhao (international standard size) cartridge in the Mont Blanc, even though that should have fit. It probably does, and it was operator error. Hence plans to consult N, who actually knows what she’s doing with the whole fountain pen thing.

I promise that I will talk about things that are not pens, but can be done with pens, namely, writing, once I get my full brain back. Going through the process of writing down anything, as with both my morning pages and blabbery blogging, even without a plan set out beforehand, is a big help in that direction. As a once upon a time writing group facilitator, J, used to remind those of us in her group, the practice begets the product. Or something like that. Like I said, I am not fully back yet. Too fuzzy, don’t remember version – put pen to paper and/or fingers to keyboard and write something. Anything. Sooner or later, writing will kick in and something will start to make sense, fictional or otherwise.

One step at a time kind of thing, the left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot kind of thing.  With the conference only a matter of days away now, there are going to be questions asked by new friends and old, and the answers aren’t always what I wish I were giving at this stage of the game. Am I signing this year? That’s one of them. Answer I give, with game smile: “Not this year.” Answer my Hypercritical Gremlins want to give: :hysterical laughter, breaking down into wrenching sobs that give way to sniffles: They, obviously, are not my biggest supporters, and are quick to remind me that my current crop of titles are A) not all that current, and B) electronic exclusives. Neither making it all that easy to sign, but that’s okay. That’s this stage of the game. That’s this year.

This year, I am at work on one novel and one novella, and cast periodic glances at the post-apocalyptic medieval novella, suspended in mid-revision. Next year, I can have up to three manuscripts ready to make the rounds. That’s pretty darned good. Yay, me. This is not a race. Success and happiness and all that other good stuff are not finite quantities. All the hundreds of other writers and publishing professionals in attendance are proof of that. All the books laid out at our seats every meal and given away as prized in baskets and at workshops and for sale at the literacy signing are proof of that. Every one of those was, at one point, butt in chair and fingers on keyboard. Every one of those was an idea. Every one of those was a “what if?” Every one of those was a “I wonder if I can…” Every one of those was a “I’m going to show up and put something on the paper/screen today.” I can’t think of anything more encouraging than that.




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