Friday, May 25, 2007

The Greatest Thing in Life

I have a whole beautiful batch of pictures Todd took yesterday at Rainier National Park. What an amazing mountain. We even spotted climbers headed to Camp Muir from the lookout.

All the snow melt yesterday had the waterfalls in the streams running full! It is my favorite part of spring in the mountains. The roar of water as it thunders down from glacier ice packs. And it's clear blue water. I could even see the very old water in the glaciers glinting blue in the sun way up toward the summit. Incredible.

It was a very nice day of vacation. We drove everywhere we could in the park and then got out and hiked a bit. So much flooding damage that we couldn't go past Paradise, but we'll be back after the snow melts and they can see the total damage that happened last winter. And after the roads are repaired and reopened.

We live so close! We'll be back to hike and camp for sure.

It was a great day. Today, back to work and then tonight is Pirates 3! I can't wait.

Keep moving forward.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hello? Anybody Home?

My writing muse is bewildered with me this week. She's trying to tell me (I picture some Julia Roberts' Tink character, so bear with me) what to write next and I'm not listening. It's one of those weeks. Everything conspires to keep me from the writing. They say taking a new job is one of the most stressful things in a person's life. Yep. I agree. But it will be so worth it!

I'm heading out today to hike Mt. Rainier with hubby. We're scouting camping spots for this summer!

Keep moving forward!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cultural Literacy.

Thinking a lot about engaging with our culture lately. I know people who don't read fiction (who don't know the difference between fiction and non-fiction) and yet attempt to change our culture.

Please excuse me while I go laugh out loud.

This is not the way to change anything. If you don't yearn for cultural literacy, and then seek to find out how people view the world (from their viewpoint, not yours), you'll get nowhere.

Please don't settle, people. When we think we've got a grasp on our culture and don't have to read fiction (and non-fiction) in order to know how to interact with other people . . . because we know it all already . . . we need to wake up. We are deceiving ourselves. I didn't say it. E.D. Hirsch Jr. did. Read the book.

Keep moving forward.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Striving For Perfect

So, hubby is finishing a class paper for his last class and I get to edit (I'm delighted to help him in this way; his professors have no idea that he's married to a professional writer and editor) and last night I started to edit his fine writing that talks about how Henry Ford exhibited or did not exhibit the 21 Laws of Leadership in building Ford Motor into a powerhouse company. I started to developmentally advise him on how to make this stronger here, how to soften his intention here, and he stopped me and said "hey, you don't have to make this perfect. I'll take a B. We don't have to get 100% every time."

And I took a breath and relaxed.

What is it with me? I am going to have to lower my expectation threshold significantly in the next few weeks due to a huge change in my business and focus. I'm going to have to calm down and quit trying to make everything perfect.

I run at such high levels that I am a bit concerned that I will know how to slow down.

As a writer though, especially one who HAS TO THINK to write, this is so vital. When faced with multiple projects and magazine queries and novel writing, it is so easy (for me) to just take it all on and try to conquer the goals I've set up by brute force. That is not the power of a writer.

Someone told me a long time ago, "If you can't beat it straight up, just be a heck of a lot smarter."

I think THAT is a writer. I can't do all the goals I have AND write amazing prose. I have to choose. Well, I've already chosen. And now in the next two weeks, I will be learning how to DO that. On a daily basis.

I learn something all the time. I'm so glad.

Keep moving forward.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A New Day.

No, I'm not singing Celine Dion songs on this blog. It really is a new day. Hubby finished the first draft of his final school paper. He's off golfing to celebrate. In the rain.

My writing work has begun in earnest again. Book reviews, essays, non-fiction, fiction. I'm excited and will be sharing more on this blog in the coming days.

Writing is thinking, you know. If you're trying to write something and you find yourself having a hard time thinking, you need to step back and think before writing. Does that make sense?

Especially in non-fiction, it's not so much about the news (I'm talking about expository or persuasive writing, not so much journalism) as about expressing your viewpoint about the subject. People appreciate a strong viewpoint that has something to say. Even if it's contentious, people would rather hear it said strong than "I think . . ." or "If I could say . . ."

So write firmly, with conviction, and keep moving forward.

I sure am.