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The End is the Beginning is the End

Fall is upon us. The trees are just starting to turn here in the Mid-Atlantic. I’ve never really felt like fall is an ending, just a change. After all, new TV season starts now. (Btw how good is the Good Wife right now? I think it’s the best show on TV. Although Person of Interest is a close second followed by Sleepy Hollow.) In some ways nature is like a circle. It ends and begins and ends again and again. I think I’ll take this month and wrap up any outstanding projects I’m still working on.

As a writer, I’m constantly creating something new. I think up a new story, essay, or blog post. A big problem I have is finishing what I start. Heinlein’s second rule always seems to get me. So as we deepen into fall, I’m going to remember that I must finish what I start. I need to end before I can begin something else. I’m still off from work, so this is a good opportunity to write The End on a few things.

Also, I did say I wanted to finish a longer piece. So far, I’ve just stall out on the story. This is going to require a big push to get it done, but I only have a few more months to go before the end of the year. I can see the goal ahead. I’m heading toward it.

And yes, I stole the title of this post from the Smashing Pumpkins song.

Writing and Reading — February 2013

Even snow days look pretty at my new place!

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

It has been a little over a month since I moved in to my new place. I still need a few more bookshelves, a chest of drawers, and some nightstands, but all in all, I am moved in. The biggest change has been how much more productive I have been. It may not seem like it, but I have actually done a lot more writing.

Which is good, because my class this semester is a fiction workshop class. Over the course of the class, I have to turn in three pieces. All of them cannot be things I have used in workshop previously. So I went through my stuff and found one finished piece that I haven’t looked at in a few years. I have one that is about 1/3 finished. Finally, I have a new piece that I just started, but is so interesting, I’ll be done writing it in a week or so. I’ll save that one for the end of the semester.

Almost as exciting is the news that I have been steadily working on my novel. After years of believing I had no more novels in me, last year I found myself wanting to start a new one. I tried the NANOMO. But we all know how that ended… Still I’ve been plugging away and now have a few thousand words.

It’s amazing what a little piece and quiet will do for your writing soul.

I do have one more work that I am almost finished, but I don’t want to talk about that too much. It is not for class. It was just something fun I decided to do, with a very personal motive. Once it is done, I’ll make an announcement.

I didn’t talk about this last year, but I did have a reading list. After sorting through all my books, I realized that there were a few I never got around to reading. Kate Vaiden was one of them, but there were quite a few more that I read and crossed off the list. Let me give you a rundown of those I can remember:


  • The Windup Girl – by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy – Philip Pullman
  • Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
  • Origin Stories – Kelly Link


And of course there were the five I read for class:

  • A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
  • Charming Billy – Alice McDermott
  • Isaac’s Storm – Erik Larson
  • Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
  • Kate Vaiden – Reynolds Price

Of those, my favorite was Flowers for Algernon. I thought that was a wonderful, unique story. For those who don’t know, it is the story of a man with a very low IQ, who volunteers for an experimental surgery to make himself smarter. The story is told through his diary entries and charts both his joy and sorrow in his new life. It was a great read and I recommend it.

Infinite Jest is still sitting in the to be read pile. I packed it early and just didn’t pick it up over the break. Now? I just started reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. She is one of my favorite writers, but I never got around to reading this series. I’m only thirty pages it, but I’m having a hard time putting it down.

But I must. I have writing to do.

Anyone else found a new favorite book last year? Let me know!

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