You* may, possibly, wonder what I’ve been up to here. It sure hasn’t been blogging! Well, I’ve been writing and traveling, among the other usual domestic things, like doing ridiculous amounts of laundry, and listening to/singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” for the 4 millionth, trillionth time.**
In June I finished (finished!) the second of two short stories I had been working on for two-plus years. And I’ve been sending it out to a few places. It feels amazing to finally be finished with that one — and I’m fairly satisfied with the result. Shocking. (The first of the two 2-year-old stories is slated to be published this fall, in Clare.)
I also wrapped up a draft of a story in June to submit to the writing workshop I’ll be attending later this month. I just barely got it in shape by the deadline, and still feel like there’s a lot of major work to be done, but hey, that’s what workshops are helpful for — motivation and direction. At least that’s how I’m trying to look at it.
For July I’ve decided to complete a short story I began earlier this spring. I wasn’t sure where I was going with the pages I had back in April, and so I’ve been letting it gather dust on my hard drive ever since. The other day I opened it for some reason and a)felt more excited about it than I remembered being when I originally began it, and b) knew what was coming next. It’s quite a long story, which is making me a little uneasy — I’m not sure I want it to turn into something even longer, like a novel.***
In the last month I’ve made two quick trips to the middle of the country— to Chicago and to the Denver area. Chicago to visit family, and Denver, to meet a good friend of mine for the weekend. She and I were supposed to do some hiking and see U2 perform, but Bono got injured and canceled the concert/U.S. tour, and it poured all weekend. Actually, “poured” doesn’t really begin to describe it. The Denver area saw thunder, lightning, heavy rains, flash floods, a tornado, nickel-to-golf-ball-sized hail, hail fog, and cold temps, all in the one weekend I happened to visit. Really. Meanwhile the Coloradans we encountered exclaimed that they couldn’t believe the wet weather and offered up a mantra of sorts — that Denver has 300 sunny days a year. (A dubious claim.) We made the best of it. Beers were consumed. Soccer was watched. Altitude was gained. I saw snow fall in June.
It was actually the second weekend my friend and I have spent together that’s been cataclysmically rainy. My friend flies from the East and I fly from the West and we try to meet somewhere in the middle and attend some kind of musical event. Last fall we met in Texas and went to the Austin City Limits Music Fest. The festival was great, the weather, not so much. Torrential downpours and six inches of mud. Apparently Austin is also known for being sunny, so I’m beginning to suspect I have some kind of weather curse. Last summer my husband and I went on vacation to Vancouver, and the city was hit by a record heat wave. It was in the 90s all week, even up in the mountains at Whistler — for only the third time in a century.
I have two more trips ahead of me this summer. I’m keeping an eye on the Weather Channel.
** No, really, I love that song. Especially when Dora the Explorer sings it.
***The idea of getting serious about writing a novel scares the heck out of me.