31 August 2015

What I am doing (or, why no blog posts lately)

I had a conversation with a friend and writing mentor this weekend, which basically went like this:

Her: "I've got this blog..."

Me: "You have a blog? Me too!"

Her: "Wait, you have a blog?"

Me: Sheepishly, face turning pink. "I do. But I haven't written in it forever."

Her: "Me too. Why haven't you written in yours?"

Me: "Well..." (Mumbling, thinking of a good excuse. Muttering.)

And then she stepped in and saved me, explaining that she'd just closed out her own blog, because the theme of it had changed. In fact, her story had gone from point A to point B, and frankly the journey was complete.

Now, I'm not exactly ready to put the kibosh on Amy Dishes. But I can tell you (and you probably know) that what once was such a passion has become something less. It's not that I don't love to cook - I do. It's not that I don't love to eat - I very much do. And before you go thinking I've stopped posting because I don't like to write, don't think it. I've actually been writing more lately than I ever did when I first started the blog so many years ago.

It's just that the subject matter and the way I'm processing words have changed.

I took a children's writing course a few years ago at UCLA Extension. I've had an idea for a picture book for a decade, and when my friend (the one with the blog, above) mentioned she was taking this course too, I thought it was just the incentive I needed. What I didn't realize would happen is my creative floodgates finally opened. For years I'd scratched my head, wondering how my husband could be so creative and prolific with his fiction ideas. The UCLA course changed all that. When I started the class, I had one idea for one story. When I finished, I had a dozen or more starts of other picture book ideas. Today, I have a growing list in my phone's notepad with ideas and concepts and sentence fragments. I'm now the person who has to rise out of bed to jot down an idea before it flies away. One of those ideas was the premise of a novel, which I've been slogging away at for the past couple of years.

I've thought about how to turn this blog into something that features snippets of what I'm working on, but it's a different kind of writing, the kind I can't easily wrap into a tidy and digestible blog post. And, frankly, I'm not ready yet. There are many words (70,000+ of them), but I don't think they're ready for primetime yet.

I may be back. (It seems every time I assert that I'm "definitely not" going to do something, inevitably that idea swirls around in my head, calling like a siren, tossing me about in a tempestuous sea until I succumb.) But I can't promise how soon.

Please be patient!

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