Friday, February 28, 2014

Winter Writing and Living



We just stepped out of the hot tub where we sat with snow falling onto our faces like confetti. This hot tub is one of the many reasons we're loving living in Tahoe.

After all of our traveling last year--not to mention my great, big medical adventure--it's been sweet to be rooted in a house. And since so many friends hosted us, we've been thrilled to be able to do the same. People have been cycling in and out of here, bringing energy, stories, wine, and groceries! And more are scheduled for March and April.

Together we ski, play games, chat, watch videos, read, cook, hot tub, hike, and snowshoe. Oh, and sometimes break out into hysterical laughter.

We've been with friends to two great shows so far: Karl Denson and ALO. Still to come are Railroad Earth, Galatic, and Leftover Salmon.

I've still found time to write. In fact, I write 2-4 hours most days, whether or not we have visitors. It's been powerful to watch this book unfold, as though I'm freeing the angel from the marble.

Crazy sychronicities are occurring, which to me is like getting a thumb's up from the universe. The other day I decided to stay home and write while Dave went skiing. Turned out that at the very moment I was writing about the adventures we had last year in Noosa, Australia, Dave was sitting on the lift with a family who were from, yes, Noosa, Australia.

Just today Dave looked up from the book he was reading--Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil--and said: "We should go do some exploring in the South. It's the one part of the U.S. where I haven't spent much time." Just minutes before, unbeknownst to him, I had been writing about how there's so much of the South I haven't seen.

I like how writing a long project requires patience and presence. Every day before I write I open myself up to the great mysteries, inviting them in to inspire and delight. I see it all as a grand adventure. Even if something I'm writing about is making me cry, I'm relishing the journey.

Sometimes the critic in my mind insists what I'm writing is shit or a masterpiece. It's humorous to watch my ego scurrying around trying to make sense of this sensual, visceral, chaotic splash of words designed by the unconscious.

I feel like everything I've ever lived, written, taught, learned and known is jelling into this book. It's the most exciting writing experience I've had. In two months I've written 75,000 words. That's not far off the length of a complete book but the words keep coming. I may end up cutting a lot. Or I may end up with a long book. Or maybe two or three!

I like to write in the morning when everyone's sleeping. When our friend Debbianne was here, I dug the vibe of two writers in the living room, pecking away at our laptops before the roaring fire.

Sometimes I write in the afternoon. If people are here, I'll write with my headphones on to the Pandora jazz station. Wynton Marsalis and Frank Sinatra keep the juices flowing. I started doing yoga with that station too. Nothing like being crooned to by Bing Crosby as you're bent in half in the plough.

It was fun to check in. Now the blog goes back on hiatus for a while. I plan to return when I've completed a full first draft of the book. So let's hope I return soon! Love to you all.


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