Outside looks pretty winter-stunned here in the Hudson River Valley. Trees are budding enough to have me trying out that "body hack" that's all over the internet where you press your thumb into your forehead and rub your tongue around inside your mouth. This is supposed to drain your sinuses. Take it from me--a decongestant works better.
The tiny daffies whose bulbs I flung over on the water company property next to our place are blooming. And on our side of the stone wall, snow drops have made their way up through the prickly furry stuff that comes down from our cedar trees when the wind blows.
We've had a few warm--very warm--days. One night, Ken and I had drinks on the deck, hooray. But we still want a fire at night.
I'm between seasons as a writer, too.
Submitted Bean 2. That's super-exciting. I love writing novels for young people, and I love my cast of characters in Bean 1: Bean, Zak, Sam, Suzanne...and Bean's mom. Yay time travel! And gosh, do I like the new villain in my new book. Watch this space for further developments! Bean 1, Time Runs Away With Her, is still very much for sale here, and here.
But with April on the way, I'm also revising a ton of new-ish poetry, and shaping it into a manuscript. I intend to do the poetry marathon, too. I'll be over with my old friends at The Waters, and I'll be reporting on that as it happens. Have my chapbook of poems about rail travel, Sleeping on a Train, out to a few places, still. That one's a tough sell. I intend to keep on keeping on with it, though; I like those poems.
The new, full-length poetry MS is probably going to be called Unforgetting. It's very much about childhood, memory, and my mom (who is facing memory challenges in a big way right now). What you remember, what you forget, and what you make up are very important things to a writer: central to both fiction and poetry. That's New England Journal of Duh stuff, as a doctor friend of mine would say. But one really profound thing that I've learned from trying to be with my mom as she deals with dementia is how we create our own realities. Mom often tells me that she's been places I know she never was. She takes the scraps of memories that she can recall, and weaves them into something that's a kind of truth without being literally true. If that's not what a writer of fiction does, I don't know what is.
I wrote a poem called "Unforgetting," about it which was in Eclectica last spring. That's the title poem for the book. I'm psyched about that because my other two poetry books didn't present such a strong theme when I was compiling them. Jumping off from my mom creating her memories into what I can remember myself, and conversations I had with my late dad at the end of his life: that's going to be a solid collection. And lots of it, oddly enough, was inspired by writing Time Runs Away With Her. There's a whole bunch of Westchester in the 60's and 70's, stuff that started out as process writing for the novel and turned into poems instead. I love the MS. Kind of feels like the stuff I did before it was spring training!
I've got some poems that'll be included in the new book coming out in Ithaca Lit this next month. I'll give a shout here and on Facebook when they're live.
Anyway, happy Easter! Happy National Poetry Month a-comin' up! And stay tuned for a cool interview with a fellow writer of YA fantasy right on this blog next week!