I've been silent for a while on this blog. At VONA writing workshop earlier in the summer*, I decided to focus on my novel completely, and let go of non-fiction, including the blog, for the time being.
Writer and teacher ZZ Packer encouraged me to keep this novel big. Add back all the generations and wars I'd trimmed away this spring. Because of her encouragement, and with the enthusiastic assent of Carolina De Robertis, I gathered the folders above: several years' worth of work. This picture taken three weeks ago.
Pulling through it all, sorting it out into chronological order, deleting duplications, I came up with this folder:
And now this week I've mapped out all the places where I need to fill in narrative holes. 314 pages at the moment, with at least another 75 to write. Then the work of rewriting again.
I'm also reading: Garcia Marquez' memoir; his novel Of Love and Other Demons; Madame Bovary; Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer; Invisible Mountain by Carolina De Robertis; Burn by Black Artemis (met her at VONA, she's so cool, smart and funny. A genre fiction writer and political activist) and many more.
Less time on the internet means more time to think, read, listen and write.
Thank you to my darling cousins George (Abu-Adib) and Nabila, who call to check up on me, making sure I'm still working on the book. I certainly am! George, I'm even going to give one of the characters some Alexandre Dumas to read.
*Hey look at the VONA link! That's me in the red turban, face partially obscured! I'm sitting between two of my buddies from the first week. Tony Khalife, the Lebanese-American musician, is on my left.