It’s Friday!

Writing confession time. Actually, the church now calls it reconciliation. Isn’t that what accountants call it when they settle the books? Anyway, I write about writing over in the page called (no surprise here) “writing.”

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11 thoughts on “It’s Friday!

  1. Did I ask you this before? Didn’t Wallace Stevens’s secretary type up everything he wrote so there’s no record of his handwritten poems? Long live the Emperor of Ice Cream…I’m amazed how you write with all of the things you do.

  2. Presbyterians like me are fond of confessing that we have sinned “in what we have done and in what we have left undone.”

    My writing life has me looking for a miracle. I am in conversation with a publisher about writing a book on the American Church’s response to immigration, and as part of that book I want to write about a Mexican saint, name of Toribio Romo, whose ghost is said to be helping people cross the border. I’m currently on the hunt for someone who has received divine assistance after praying to St. Toribio. No luck yet.

    So what I have done: I’ve learned a lot about Toribio Romo, and I’ve even spoken to a couple of people who pray to him.

    What I have left undone: any real writing that puts my research into the computer.

  3. Ben, For Catholics it’s “what I have done and in what I have failed to do.” A little more punitive, don’t you think?

    Oh, I like the sound of Toribio Romo. My novel is set on the border between West Germany and Czechoslovkia in the 1960s, and there are a lot of refugees in it, and some exciting, dangerous border crossings. So, here’s one for you: my main character (whose name is Ray Kineally — a good catholic name if there ever was one) says a small prayer, the prayer of a lapsed catholic, to St. Alban, the patron saint of refugees, in the third paragraph of the first page.

    So, dude, go put that stuff into the computer — now. Or now-ish, as those things go.

    Hi Mari, You know, I think you must be right. One of my favorite books about Stevens is Peter Brazeau’s oral biography, a book in which he interviewed some of Stevens’s contemporaries, people he worked with and socialized with. It’s a terrific book and sheds a lot of light on his work habits and what he was like among people. I like that kind of stuff a lot, particularly because the book I write after the one I’m working on now will be about Stevens in some way.

  4. It’s interesting to read your description of legal writing. I think the same standards apply to medical and psychiatric records, for the same reason, as someone once said to me, be thorough, document everything but write as little as possible. Imagine you have to defend this note in a malpractice suit in court.

  5. WR, Yes, that makes sense. Too many words lead to trouble sometimes.

    Of course, that is why I love writing novels — you can really go for it with those words, and that is just a huge amount of fun.

  6. I can see so well how legal writing is a great bonus. Academics get very verbose in later years – I know it’s becoming one of my failings that I don’t know when to shut up, and concision really is a virtue. Good luck with this weekend, it sounds packed (if in a good way, with fun stuff), and I’m impressed at the way you carve out time to write.

  7. I enjoy your blog, though this is the first time I’ve commented. I gotta ask you a question because I see your blog listed on oodles of blogrolls. Over the weekend I finally got my blogroll going. Now I’m wondering: How did you get yourself listed everywhere? It is a matter of simply asking other bloggers to include you and you’ll do likewise?

    As a fellow writer, you might be interested in Deanna Cameron’s blog — she’s got a series of posts about how various authors found their audiences; it’s illuminating for the business side of writing.

  8. Hello Lisa and welcome!

    What a great question. I’ve been writing this blog for two years, and feel some connection to everyone on my blogroll –either because we’ve e-mailed, or are work/writing/college friends, or we leave comments on each other’s blogs, or because it’s a blog I want to be sure to be reminded to look at regularly. Over two years, that adds up to a lot of people in my blogroll.

    In the beginning of blogging I didn’t realize that other people used their blogrolls for the same reason and were linking to me about as often as I was linking to them, but then I joined technorati and realized that that was happening. Which makes sense — if you connect with someone, they want to be sure to have a record someplace of who you are so they can go visit you when they have a chance — and that place is often a blogroll.

    I’ve never actually asked anyone to link to me, though — that seems a little bit like walking up to a stranger and saying, “will you be my friend?” — I’ve always found the best approach to making of friendships in life as well as in the netlife is to be friendly, leave a trace of yourself, include people in your posts by linking to them as a way of acknowleding that they’ve made you think, and contribute to the conversation on their blog by leaving comments without hogging the site. Before you know it people will announce that you’re their friend by adding you to their blogroll. It helps too if you’ve already announced your intention to be their friend by adding them to YOUR blogroll.

    One other thing about the blogroll, which as I’ve said I use to remind me to visit the blogs I like, is that many people do this keeping track on blog aggregators, but I don’t use those because they make me anxious. Instead, I just click pretty randomly on the blogroll and know that I’m going to find something interesting (and often, find a month of interesting things because I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read the blogs I like). Which reminds me, many people need to be visited! Including you…

  9. Thanks for including me on your blogroll, and now I shall do that same! (Hey! This is kind of fun!) I find the statistics a bit anxiety-provoking also, yet I’m getting too addicted to checking them. A friend of mine called it “blog-crack.”

    Your insights above are very helpful. I tend toward impatience, so I’m just the type to ask, “Wanna be my friend?” straight out…Hah!

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