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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Friday, October 28, 2005

This is not just the Weather Channel..

I'm actually writing too. And reading.
One of the best gifts of being here (and there are so many) is the time to read, and really read, immersing into books and stories. I’m learning from many mentors: Alice Munro about slowing down, really understanding people from tiny small gestures and moments. Russell Banks is helping me veer away from sentimentality -- I’ll never write like him but I need a shot of the darkness and despair he captures so well. My own friend Michael who writes with such heartbreaking beauty, long intertwined stories that can take a disjointed week to read at home, but here, I can just sink in, take a whole morning, and absorb so much.

A few people have begun to leave early. The snowman who was born during the blizzard is melting down. There is less than a week left and I’m feeling simultaneously urgent, bereft and glad to be going home.

Meanwhile, it has taken me this long (weeks) to fully immerse in my own work, to wake up and feel inhabited by the story all the time, to feel like finally know it, know what I’m supposed to be doing.

I think I will do NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), just to try and keep up some sense of momentum when I get back. We begin next Tuesday, November 1st although I’m not starting a new novel on that day; I’m just going to keep going with what I’m already doing. Any other takers out there?


Anonymous Amy said...

I'm in for Nano...but like just about everyone else, I'm not strictly following the rules. I have one chapter left to complete the first draft of my current novel, so I'll do that first, then I have another book I want to write too. I figure if I hit 50K words, it doesn't matter how I did it. :-)

Your writing retreat sounds heavenly...I hope someday to be able to do something like that.

Friday, October 28, 2005 10:54:00 AM

Blogger melanie said...

I think I may sign up too. The discipline of 1500 words or so a day will be good for me. I have story in my head that I haven't started yet and maybe that can count.

I'm glad to hear you've gotten so much reading and writing done. (And I've enjoyed the weather reports, as well.) :) You sound rejuvenated.

Friday, October 28, 2005 12:40:00 PM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

Susan I always look forward to your posts!

Anyway--I was thinking the same this morning. My schedule somehow works out that I have this big stretch of time in November to focus on my novel (which I have neglected for too long now). So I thought about just using November to charge through it.

I'll be a part of your virtual writing gang.

Friday, October 28, 2005 12:41:00 PM

Blogger Susan said...

Christine and Mel - hooray! If you sign up for Nano, we can not only be a virtual writing gang, we can be a Real Life writing gang, too. Melanie I remember the first time I did Nano and one of the best writing days I had that months was tip-tapping along with you and Beth at World Grounds....

I offer my house, and extension cords, if y'all want to come over and Nano together.

Friday, October 28, 2005 2:00:00 PM

Blogger melanie said...

I remember that day! I think I got to 10,000 words that year but I was also applying to the MFA program, so decided I'd better focus on that. But Nano'ing definitely helped!

I should email Beth and see if she's down for doing it this year...

Monday, October 31, 2005 1:28:00 PM


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