Saying Thanks

Status report: Today I finished the draft of my introduction that I’ve been working on. I still need to add some footnotes. But then it will go to my readers. And then we’ll revise it some more, and then it will be done. All I have to do, otherwise, is add some footnotes to Chapter 2. And then the whole dissertation goes together, hopefully by September 1st. I actually feel quite good about this. I feel, perhaps for the first time, as though I really am close.

And I want to thank you all for being so wonderful. For all the people who read yesterday’s post, and the people who commented, and who encouraged me on Facebook. And the people who told me it gets better, and how it gets better. And even sent me a poem. I honestly don’t think I could do it without feeling as though there were people out there who cared and who had gone through some of the same things. I think there are a lot of us who go through these sorts of tough times. I do think it’s more difficult for artists, too. Although artists also have something that other people don’t have. We have our art. When I sit down to write a story, I go someplace else. I love that, the feeling that I am completely absorbed in the story I’m telling. That I’m a traveler in space and time.

Tonight I’m packing, because once again I will be out of town for the weekend, in Asheville, where I will be critiquing our YA novel chapters with Alexa and Nathan. I think traveling is good for me. It’s good to get out of town, breathe the air of another place. And I can’t wait to wander around the antiques stores again, and go to Malaprop’s. It’s been years since I’ve been to Asheville, and it’s quite literally one of my favorite towns, the one I based Ashton, North Carolina on in “The Wings of Meister Wilhelm” and “Lessons with Miss Gray.” I want to set a whole suite of stories in Ashton and publish them as a book. Well, someday. Right now I have so many other things to do.

Like pack, and make my lunch for the airplane, which will include chocolate-covered pretzels. My usual traveling treat, that I don’t get any other time.

But I will leave you with one pretty image:

That’s a chair I found at Goodwill, and to be honest it’s a little battered. But doesn’t it have nice lines? I had to buy it and bring it home, simply to rescue it from a place where it so clearly did not belong. And it goes with the upholstered chair I bought recently.

That’s all I have today, just thanks and a pretty picture and I’ll write from Asheville tomorrow!

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3 Responses to Saying Thanks

  1. sarah says:

    Congratulations on making such progress with that introduction, it’s become almost a living thing to me through your writing about it – and I’m left imagining a great hulking thing, monstrous if you will – a beautiful monster, but almost impossible to tame.

  2. Nivair says:

    I LOVE “THE WINGS OF MEISTER WILHELM” OMGGGGG. Which is to say, um, have a great time. I hope you get some ideas for that Ashton book, because it sounds awesome. 😉

  3. The Journey
    Mary Oliver

    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice—
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old tug
    at your ankles.
    “Mend my life!”
    each voice cried.
    But you didn’t stop.
    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff fingers
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    was terrible.
    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen
    branches and stones.
    But little by little,
    as you left their voices behind,
    the stars began to burn
    through the sheets of clouds,
    and there was a new voice
    which you slowly
    recognized as your own,
    that kept you company
    as you strode deeper and deeper
    into the world,
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do—
    determined to save
    the only life you could save.

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