Update to Joe and Max


Hello Everyone,

I’ve not had as much time to write on the YA novel, Joe and Max.  However, I’ve gotten to Chapter 7 and what seems to be happening is that Mel (the young girl that Joe seems to be getting to like) is morphing into having a major part of the story, so that I really have to re-think about the Joe and Max title.  I am liking Mel’s character more – she seems to be the character with the most interesting situation.  I’ll leave it there and I hope to continue with the novel as the days go by.  I am having to keep up with reading assignments for my Nonfiction class, and it seems to be crowding my schedule out of the office!  However, priorities are needed.  I even had to make an appointment with myself to say my evening prayers (lol) each night!

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend.  Let’s see all those sunburnt faces!

No pain, no gain

Right now I’m getting into reading more of the assignments for our MFA class. I’m reading  David Sedaris and Joan Didion, and a smattering of other essay writers.  I wrote a couple of chapters of my new book (oh, did I not tell you I’m writing a book?) so that I’ve progressed and now am into Chapter 6.  It’s going well – getting a lot of ideas as I think of the different scenarios for my protagonist, Joe.  Suffice it to say, it’s a YA novel.  I’ve stumbled into YA as a result of an online class (not the MFA one) that I took in May.  I posted a story (the beginning of my novel) and the instructor (Dr. Eva Shaw) and my classmates liked how I developed the characters.  So – Eva said “You should think about writing YA.”  And so I am.  I’m actually writing a few other first chapters of novels.  It’s all crowding in my head.  Interestingly, last Sunday, I was a wreck.  I hadn’t written in a few days.  I needed to write a bit more on my class project.  So I decided to settle my anxious thoughts by doing three things first:  One, I went to Mass; Two, I read a passage from the Bible; and Three, I said a decade of the rosary.  And then I went ahead and wrote.

I’m always amazed at how settled I feel after reading the Bible, or after a period of meditation/prayer. I think that at the first moment of consciousness one must commune with God.  To get one’s head right.  Or before starting something new, prayer to the Holy Spirit is good.  This is straight out of my dear Mom’s prayer guide.  She told me to say 7 Our Fathers (the Lord’s Prayer), 7 Hail Mary’s and 7 Glory Be’s at the start of a project, or before a test or when I’m driving out of the house for the first time of the day.  And I’ve done it since she told me many years ago.  It helps.

I posted an excerpt from my novel on my Patreon page.  If you wish to see it, it’s here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/story-chapter-6468359.  I sent the link to my cousin and she found a few typos.  So please excuse those.

So I’m off to read a few more essays to get into the groove of writing MY essay for my class.  Next time, I’ll post the first chapter of my YA story here.

I hope you have a peaceful evening.

The writing goes on

Yesterday was the first day of my next class in the MFA program.  It’s all about creative nonfiction.  I am excited to start this new class – as much as I was excited at starting the previous class.  I’m a bit more upbeat, this time – none of the anxieties from the last one. Not sure why that is.  Maybe because the texts are manageable – you know, they aren’t needing to be read in seven days – all 400 pages or 600 pages of them (ha ha).  And I’m looking at the writing assignment and it doesn’t seem too hard to do.  But what exactly do I write – something about a place in my past where something significant happened.  But there are many of these places.  And the common theme to them and what significance they had seem to be an unhappy event.  Like, in the kitchen – where things, events, scenes happen.  I can picture some movie where there’s a midnight conversation between a couple. What do they discuss at midnight?  Not a good sign, right?  So, I am still mulling this assignment over.  I have a few days to work on it.  I don’t really want to write about something depressing on my first assignment.  I think maybe I’ll write about our kitchen – the scene where I first kept my small puppy Duke when he joined our family. The crate, the gates at the entrances and exits.  His eager way of jumping and asking for treats. Once, my Dad dropped his blood pressure med on the floor and Duke, being so mouthy, pounced on it and ate it.  Oh, that was a hard day. It happened to be a Sunday.  So we had to take him to the ER at the vet hospital.  Let me say that it was a long day.  They said that they didn’t see anything abnormal with his blood pressure and heart rate.  They offered to observe him for four hours.  I didn’t want to do that – I was worried about the bill.  So, I said that since I used to work in a hospital, I would watch Duke.  And so they gave him some activated charcoal and let me take him home.  He looked pretty much like he wanted to vomit and fortunately, he vomited on his big oversized bed instead of my car seat.  I called my cousin Erwin and asked his advice.  Erwin said, “Walk him every half hour. That might help his blood pressure.” So we sat in the kitchen. For each half hour I’d take him for a walk in our neighborhood.  I’d watch him when he would start dozing – and I’d wake him up, and take him out again for a walk. I felt so tired by the end of the day.  I held him in my arms most of the time.  He was such a cute puppy.  And by the end of the day, almost midnight, Duke was still with me.  Yes, the vet said that the time span to watch Duke would be till midnight.  The kitchen was our little nest for Duke.  These days, if anything dropped to the floor accidentally, Duke won’t be the one to catch it.  He has learned his lesson.  Well, I think I already started writing my class assignment.