Thursday, June 30, 2016

Writerly Dispatches from the Month of June

I don't have as much writing time this morning, but I did want to capture some moments from my writerly life in the month of June:

--Yesterday, I sent my full-length manuscript to Black Lawrence Press.  Today is the last day of their open reading period, which happens in June and November; go here for more details.  For $12, you get a book and consideration of your manuscript--I like those kind of reasonable deals.

--Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I figured out an essential part of a short story I'm trying to write--and better, I figured out how to start it.  I will use the water main break incident of a few weeks ago.  Friday evening, I got home from work, and my spouse said, "Well, the tree guys broke the main water line.  I had them turn the water back on so that we'd have water this week-end."  I had this vision of a geyser of water spewing all through the week-end--happily, it was a tiny puncture with only a drip of water every minute or so.

--Yesterday, I spent time reading this wonderful compendium of voices that look back as we approach the 25th anniversary of Tony Kushner's Angels in America.  I already knew many parts of the story about how the play came into existence, but it was inspiring to read it again--a wonderful reminder of the importance of art.

--I still own copies of both plays that make up Angels in America.  Maybe I'll reread them this week-end.  Or maybe I'll check out the DVD from the library.  Last week-end we watched The Normal Heart, which was a very powerful film about the early days of the AIDS crisis.  The week-end before that, we watched How to Survive a Plague, about the early days of ACT-UP. 

--Why am I drawn to this material?  Weeks ago, this line came to me:   I was not the typical person that you would see at an ACT UP rally--I'm still trying to find my way into this story.  It's a different story than the one that will use the broken water main.

--I am working on stories that I hope will be part of a larger collection, the one that came to me as I drove across the U.S. South for Thanksgiving.  I described it in this blog post, but it's changing.  Instead of having the activists all have been part of the same group in college, I'm using the looser idea of activists at 50 as the thing that links the stories.  I'm still trying to decide if I want a stronger link.

I'm taking tomorrow off--I am really looking forward to having a 4 day week-end:  time to write, time to catch up on chores, and hopefully, time to relax.

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