Apologies for my holiday absence. I was reveling in holiday joy (i.e., reading). My favorite part of Christmas is getting to watch a stack of new books accumulate in front of me. This was the year of writing. My husband got me an engraved fountain pen which I had been crossing my fingers for. I’ve always wanted a fountain pen but never got around to buying one. And now I have one and have been using it obsessively. My book stack consisted of the following: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer Lynch, The End of the Story by Lydia Davis, A Million Heavens by John Brandon, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Mountains of the Moon by I. J. Kay, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks by Brad Dukes, and The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of The Brothers Grimm translated/edited by Jack Zipes. I already finished The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer and am currently reading Reflections. It’s not the most interesting book but it’s on my pile and thus, I’m reading.
On Saturday, my gentleman and I went to Philadelphia to see the David Lynch: The Unified Field exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. There was also an exhibition on Peter Blume: Nature and Metamorphosis which was fantastic. We got to the museum later than we meant to (the sir thought we should start watching The X-Files and while he ended up drifting into blissful slumber, I stayed up until about 2:30 in the morning watching episodes, then decided to read a book, and so I didn’t get to sleep until 4 in the morning.) so didn’t have as much time as wanted to explore the two buildings but we got through them both and managed to see almost everything (there was a sculpture room that we walked into, glanced about, then ran back out again with me whispering, “We’re running out of time, we’ve got to go.”). I wish I had a photographic memory so that I could look at everything in the museum, take a little mental snapshot, and linger over it while working. But what I remember is still pretty incredible and there’s always the internet to be reminded of a few pieces I saw. When we got back home, I wanted to write but decided to read instead. But the ideas were fast in coming and I’ve been scribbling them down as soon as they pop into my brain. In between the museum and home, we went to Barnes and Noble and I bought a bunch of journals simply for the fact that a fountain pen requires a journal. I got a sky blue Piccadilly notebook, a pink Moleskine, and a purple Moleskine. This is to add to the black Piccadilly and lavender Piccadilly notebooks I haven’t even written my name inside yet. But the purchase was worth it. Plus, my mother is a teacher and one of her students gifted her a journal embellished with flowers and so I took that on Christmas Eve and started scribbling.
And now the holiday is (mostly) over and I’m ready to get back to a few days of writing before New Year’s Eve comes. I’m bouncing between projects and for the last week and a half, I painstakingly went over (what felt like a million) manuscripts, changing the story tenses from present to past. For my writing style, I think the past reads a little better. So I wanted to get that out of the way before I threw myself back into a project. There are few more manuscripts that I’ve started that I need to adjust but they’re not finished and so at the most, there are about 20,000 words to get through which is manageable. I’ve found that it’s much easier to do the edits inside a simple word processor (I’m using TextEdit) than in a more complex program because the long paragraph makes the file a little unwieldy during the editing process. And I didn’t bother converting the writing from 2011-2013. I’d rather spend my time and energy on the recent material which I find more promising.
There were also rumors thrown around this weekend about a potential family vacation next year and so I spent some time contemplating how best to write when away from home. For every other vacation, I’ve traveled with the NEO (which I’ve mentioned in the past is a little heavy when walking around all day) and I decided that keeping a smaller bag on my person seems like a better idea. So I decided that in the event of vacation time, I’m bringing a journal and my fountain pen (obviously—plus, I’ll be bringing along plenty of extra ink cartridges). Plus, I just ordered a bluetooth keyboard that can connect to my phone so that at the end of the day, I can take a few minutes and type up what I wrote down. The way I figured it, it’s not like I’m spending 12 hours a day typing. It’s a few hours at the most and the other time is spent daydreaming and figuring plots out and procrastinating. I can send myself a copy of the writing to my email and feel better that I have a hardcopy, plus a typed/emailed copy. That set-up will save my back some agony (especially since I always have my phone anyway and the keyboard I ordered is pretty small), plus I always end up traveling with books because vacation is prime reading time. I need to buy a new copy of Jurassic Park by Michael Crighton if the trip ends up happening. When I was younger, it was my favorite book to bring on vacation so why not revisit that? There’s nothing like thinking about velociraptors hunting humans while lounging beachside. I’ll post an excerpt later tonight and be back tomorrow.