Well, it’s happening folks. FurtherMo turned five this summer with very little pomp and circumstance. I feel like I’ve spent the last two years lost in my obsession to publish that i’ve ignored the roots and groundings of these journalistic posts. Maybe I should re-name this blog to FurtherMo: The Diaries.
am tuning in to the rhythm of my own creative process. I am learning character from Hemingway and style from Didion, delving into wildness with cheryl strayed and sitting peacefully on the fences of British churchyards with Bill Bryson. I am asking myself the traveller’s questions of Pico Iyer and am suddenly indebted to Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty for their courage and bravery to get up every morning and write.
I know that as a writer, I’m not supposed to obsess about publishing. I’m supposed to put my head down and keep writing, and never to get discouraged when the rejection letters come.
Folding tiny kid clothes? Meditation. Emptying the dishwasher for the fiftieth time this month, putting the groceries away or humming a song on a radio that you don’t even remember turning on? Meditation. Petting a purring cat and having a glorious, momentary lapse? Meditation. I bet Trungpa had big cats.
Ghosts. They really catches up with us up by times. Our ghosts, they haunt us, they involve us, and they embrace us. Usually we go to them.
Where to begin? Let’s see, Beijing. Where Leila and I left off. When I told people I was headed to Xuchang, in Henan province where my husband Mitch was teaching, I was mostly met with puzzled shakes of the head -not a first for me in China – and wandering upward glances. First they would repeat it, then I would repeat it. Had I said it right? Had they heard me right? Welcome to China: so many opportunities to go wrong – before the one that may go just right.
Where the f@&! is Xuchang?
So i’ve ripped and i’ve torn it , shaped it and , formed it ~ and for the moment, I’ve finished my memoir.
Whew! Twenty months of writing, eight months of revising and a pile of edits and rewrites have finally gotten me to this most critical stage: Querying.