In more ways than one, I’m back on track. I started the actual rewriting of “The Swan Harp” yesterday. The first two chapters had to go, although scenes from them will be reincorporated into the book later on. I’m hoping to write or rewrite 2,000 words per day and have the third draft finished before the end of May. I’m planning to go to Acton at the end of May to choose koi – even though I’m no longer in the pet store, I still get to choose the koi, hooray! – and I’d like to make a little side trip and meet this agent. (I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m not saying her name. This is because I’m superstitious enough not to want to do that unless and until she signs me!)
I’ve wangled some paying writing for the Sault Star, doing stories on the Thessalon-Wharncliffe district. I’m gradually learning the art of newspaper writing, which is different from any kind of writing I’ve done for anyone else. Fortunately the editor I’m working with, Jeffrey Ougler, is really patient with me. If I can keep the Hydro or phone – or both – paid with this work, I’m a happy puppy!
Speaking of happy puppies, I’ve also started taking better care of my body. Frankly, it’s pretty hard to be a writer without spending a lot of your day on your ass. Over the last year, since I quit working in the pet store, I’ve been in need of exercise. For the last couple of months I’ve been doing low-impact aerobics, and gradually increasing the amount I do from week to week. this week I added a stiff – for me – walk. (Hence the happy puppy – I take Sky and the ball-chucker along, and she’s in doggy heaven!) My goal is a six-kilometre walk every day.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to turn into what my husband calls a “body Nazi”, and this blog isn’t going to become the rural Northern Ontario version of Richard Simmons. (Or is that “Simmonds”?) But I expect that improved joints, bone strength, wind and overall fitness is going to have an impact on my writing. For one thing, I’ll have more energy to put into it.
It’s gorgeous country up here, too, and I may as well get out into it. In the spring there’s a stand of lilacs blooming along the highway; more than likely it marks where there used to be a farmhouse. I always cut a bouquet, just one, per year. Somewhere along that stretch is also an apple tree that produces miniature apples that look and taste like MacIntosh. Not to mention the wild flowers and brambleberries, and, if Sky is lucky, a grouse or two to chase.
It feels great. It all feels great. I’ll keep you updated.