Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Summer of Discovery & Rediscovery

It's been a while since I've concentrated on writing about what I'm doing. It's been since August 19th to be exact. I've been doing things. Living life.

It's been a great summer. I hate to think of it as being over. Technically it isn't, but the kids have gone back to school.

This was my first summer as a resident of Astoria. I enjoyed the peace that my home brought into my life. I've had to remind myself that what I'm feeling these days is happiness. It's been a while since I felt truly happy.

One major thing that has been going on with me this summer is: I've been meeting with my friend Mandy on Tuesday nights to read. We're not reading books. We're reading what the other one is writing. It's been amazing. We meet for dinner and catch up on the goings on in each other's lives over the past week. We talk and laugh and eat. After the plates are taken away, we order coffee and pull out the pages for that night's reading. It has been so exciting and pleasurable to read what Mandy has been working on. It's a funny story and I can't wait to read the new pages each week. I look forward to finding out what new, ridiculous experience she puts her characters through. Sometimes it's just a paragraph or line that is the stand out. Other times it's the entire scene. I never fail to laugh though.

It's also been a confidence boost for me to have her read and critique my first foray into fiction writing. She sort of acts as an editor. She helps me clarify things that don't make sense. She doesn't necessarily know that I listen to her entire reaction though. There were things in my first story, Ocean Point, that I wrote because she mentioned that she couldn't wait to find out about such and such. They were things that I maybe wasn't even concerned with. However, writing those descriptions or explanations made the piece better. So thank you Mandy for just being you and wanting to know.

I have now moved on to another story - 327 Chesterfield Road. It's a different tale than the first. More challenging really. The first one was a challenge, don't get me wrong. When I'm writing about something that I did or experienced, I can give you every detail because it happened to me. I can describe it to the point where you feel like you're there. Writing something that is unfolding in my mind makes the details very difficult.

I think about where I want the piece to go. Then I concentrate on getting the words on the page. Then I concentrate on editing and clarifying and making sure that what it says conjures the image I have in my head. That's why I'm publishing one installment a week.

I'm constantly thinking about whatever piece I'm writing at the moment. The ideas swirl around in my head like water swirling down the drain of the sink after the plug has been pulled. And just like that stray piece of corn or that manages to cling to the sink, instead of going down the drain, I have kernels of ideas that stick. I have pulled out my BlackBerry® on the train more times than I can count and started to write about the people in these stories. Thank God for memo pad or I'd be screwed.

Anyway, it's been a great summer. My blog turned a year old. I went to Newport, RI. I went to Amagansett in East Hampton. I went to Boston - twice. I hung out in Central Park. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge - twice. I ate at new restaurants in Astoria and Brooklyn. I hung out with friends in Astoria. I smoked a hookah for the first time. I published my first piece of fiction. I watched a lot of True Blood, Mad Men and SYTYCD. I reconnected with a cousin and met his family. I started publishing my second piece of fiction. I tried new wines. I cooked new dishes. I read three books. I got new music. I got a couple of new pieces of furniture. I took lots of pictures. I found happy again.

Thanks to all of you who continue to keep up with my life. Keep reading. I'm going to keep writing about me and keep creating characters with interesting stories to tell.