Monday, March 10, 2008

Back on the Ball

Writing is picking up. I’m writing the novel 2 or 3 times a week, plus this personal blog and the theatre blog for Gambit Weekly. Blog writing is usually a good indicator of my relationship to writing in general. If I’m avoiding the novel, I’m not writing anything. So it’s good to be back on the ball. Just wish I had, made, gave, more time to writing.

The writer I call my mentor, Dorothy Allison, will arrive in New Orleans in a couple months for the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. I’d like to have something new to show her. One or 2 more chapters.

Last weekend, I read at a literary salon. Marda Burton, a travel writer and French Quarter socialite, has hosted this almost-monthly salon for years. Everyone in her graciously appointed apartment knew everybody else, all wealthy, Proustian FQ denizens, except me. I live on the other side of the railroad tracks, downriver. I was by far the youngest person. The only brunette. Despite all the champagne I kicked back, I felt uncomfortable until I read.

I prepared a 7-minute excerpt from a chapter in which the Pastor’s daughter, Sharon, is a hero. I felt very confident in reading. It was extremely well received by the group. One writer even said “I can’t follow that young man. We’re in the presence of a master.” Oh my. Unfortunately, some people I wanted to impress--a National Book award finalist and a local publisher--were on the balcony also kicking back the champagne and yucking it up.

Anyway, I read. I survived. I did well. And I gained motivation from it, re-discovering my love for the novel and my characters. Sharon felt really alive for me as I read.

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