Blurry on the Edges

What can I say? These kids are the best. Sure, most of them were “required” to attend my faculty reading at Interlochen Center for the Arts. They are, after all, Creative Writing Majors. But they’re also some of the brightest, curious, most genuine teens I’ve ever taught…anywhere. So reading to them always feels like a special privilege and brings a smile to my face. This photo is blurry around the edges, but I think you can get a sense for their keen writer-listener skills, their grand goofy-awkwardness, and their oh-so-blue uniforms from this shot:

I wish I had been able to get this photo in focus, but as I reflected after the reading, I realized that most of this summer is going to be blurry around the edges for me as well. There’s just too much going on…and new things keep cropping up every day. It’s not a problem to complain about, as each new thing is for book promos or literary career moves and lasting relationships with other writers. But my, oh my, my calendar is FULL.

The good news is that I’m 100 pages into my first read-through of the novel draft. The tough news (the news that makes me edgy and grumpy, the news that makes me not pay attention when people are talking because I’d rather be writing, the news that makes me want to go on a run for six hours and then laugh and cry and throw my entire body into the keyboard) is that I’m just FLAT OUT not getting the time I need this summer for the novel. My heart is there. My skills are there. I know what I need to do and, though I don’t know exactly how I’m going to make it happen on the page…I do know that the only way to make anything happen at all is to get writing. What’s missing is time, and as each day passes, I realize that every week of this 8-week stint seems to be less like a “normal” one and more and more like yet another exception.

In other news, an archived radio interview is ready to go, via WordPlay on Asheville FM (don’t be fooled by the first 2 minutes of garage band music) and newest blurbs and reviews are right here. I’ve got a TV slot booked in two weeks, another radio interview coming up, and things are slowly coming together for the fall portion of the PacNW book tour. Movin’ and shakin’ folks, and tryin’ not to go nutso in between. Yowzah.

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