Monday, August 30, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Hello again! It's been a while. Mainly haven't written because there was nothing to say. I mean I got contacts and last twenty pounds and have been backpedaling into my forties, in complete denial that I am approaching mid-fifties. It’s sobering - this aging business. This summer I've gone to baby showers and family picnics, played badmitten and SET (a mesmerizing card game), cat sit for my daughters' cats and driven back and forth to the airport to pick up my son who just returned from a year away, traveling around the world.

I've watched my mentor venture to Scotland where he can caddy for world-class golfers on the course at St. Andrews and figure out how to write books for the masses. I've fought with him too. He says sex-sex-sex and more sex sells. That's what the publishers want, he says. Now, I respect Don Snyder deeply - he's really the first person who taught me the CRAFT of writing - how to write a scene and know what you're doing. But I draw the line at explicit sex. Don't get me wrong. Sex can be the most beautiful thing around and Don is after HOW to write about it perfectly. I hope he achieves it. If anyone can, he can. But after the sum of all my experiences, I'm not sure I could.

Oh, and I've also finished my sequel to LOSING THE WAY. It's called WALKAWAY: CONFESSIONS OF A LOST DAUGHTER. There's a fair amount of sex in it, too. It's really a story of reconciliation between a daughter and her estranged mother after the daughter leaves a cult with her two young children. It's fraught with sex and heartbreak, custody fights and violence. Sounds like a winner, huh? That's the other thing I've been doing this summer - writing and revising, revising, revising, revising. They say all writing is revising. But as far as sex, I've gone the suggestive route and left out the panting and the groping.

Last thing on my mind, just to bring you up to date was that I truly overdosed on religion. I think after my friend committed suicide and I went to that monastery, I fell off the planet temporarily and lost my bearings. My church got a new minister who's a little too gung-ho for my tastes so I've stopped attending. I'm not meditating or journaling like I used to and amazingly, I'm still alive. I haven't been smitten with the botch of Egypt. I mean as far as I can see it, meditating makes you a better meditator, praying makes you a better prayer and writing makes you a better writer. All the praying in the world won't make me a better writer. I have to work at it. I'm much happier now.

I still believe in God, though I prefer the Jew's YHWH (or is it JHVH) no vowels and unpronounceable. To me, that's honest. For whatever we call the higher power, we're sure to get it wrong. Still "IT" understands, I'm sure and looks on us poor bumbling mortals as extensions of its immortality and light. I believe that. So hurray for faith in something. I read Christopher Hitchens book GOD IS NOT GREAT about all the reasons that "religion poisons everything." He had some good albeit hackneyed arguments. But a good faith, a solid bedrock of trust in something unseen (not the IRS), something beyond ourselves that is good, that makes me happy. And happiness, I'm coming to learn, is really all we have. To do our work and enjoy the portion we've been given. I think Solomon said something like that. There's the Bible again. Can't get away from it.

Anyway, that was my summer. I'll try to get back on my horse, Blog, and start riding again. How about you? How was your summer? It's good to be back.


jeff said...

I'm happy for the new book Kristen, can hardly wait to read it. :)

It sounds like it's been a challenging time for you. Will always be rooting for you!

Anonymous said...

I've shared your book, Losing the Way, with many people, with many different reactions. I am looking forward to reading your new book. How do you decide when you're finished? I started to write my life story, and am having trouble getting through my childhood, however writing on the computer is great for editing purposes. Thank you for your openness. Carol