Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vacation, Crosswicks, and Re-Vision

Vacation: a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday

I don't write when my kids are on vacation, and I am out of my routine.

Therefore, I am on vacation too: a vacation from my vocation.

I have to remind myself that writers need "a suspension of work" too: after all, we are with my mother up in Crosswicks, the family homestead in Northwestern Connecticut. This is where my grandmother set A Wrinkle in Time and the early Austin books. (And even she needed time to decompress and let things marinate.)

The winter has been strange with nary a snow flake - the trees are bare and the grass a yellowish-brown.  Climate change brought us a white Halloween and then sixty degrees in February.

We always have to keep what we think we know in check.

Crosswicks has undergone so many permutations since I was a child, running in the fields. There have been additions and renovations. In my mind's eye, I still see the weeping willow that was in the front yard during my childhood.

This picture, above, shows me that another tree has been in it's place for the past twenty years.

Vision is a funny thing. Can I really see what is in front of me, here and now without my whole life intervening?

This is why re-vision is so important, changing our perspective, our point of view. We have to deal with what's in front of us and accept it. The willow tree isn't there anymore, my childhood is gone but I have so much more than I ever dreamed.

And the author Patricia O'Brien finally makes it under a pen name at the age of seventy.

Who is Patricia O'Brien, aka, Kate Alcott? I was blown away by this article in the New York Times yesterday: this author has thirteen rejections of her sixth book, in large part because her previous books don't have a stellar track record. Her agent sends the same manuscript out under an alias, and voila - she gets a 6 figure deal in THREE days! Talk about a book being judged by it's cover!

The fear-based state of today's publishing industry had Patricia O'Brien re-visioning her career. She (and her agent) gave her book a chance to judged on it's own merit.

This post comes about because I have a very big revision of a manuscript looming large, one in which I am taking a "vacation" from, and will relish sinking my teeth into.


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26 comments:

  1. Please make sure that, if you choose a pen name, you let your fans know, um, er, secretly of course!

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    1. Oh Britton, thank you for that psychic hug! xoxox

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  2. What a wonderful connection you make between revisiting a place and re-vision. Re: pen names, I can't say it any better than Britton. I will add this, though, there's an apocryphal story about a writer who retyped a Jerzy Kosinksi book and submitted it years after it was published, in manuscript form, to various editors and agents who rejected it.

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    1. That Jerzy story is an important one too Deborah - thank you! Nothing is one-size-fits-all is it?

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  3. First, I'm totally stealing "revision" for one of my Word-in-a-Word Wednesdays! (I'll give you credit though.)

    Second, you're blog posts have really taken on new life lately. You've injected care, passion, reality, vulnerability into them. It's what makes great fiction. And great creative writing, in general. Keep! It! Up!

    Third, may I read the latest draft of the manuscript you mention above? I'd love to help however I can.

    Fourth, I'm gonna miss you in Mobile this weekend! It's my wife's birthday and we're out of town. We're going to connect eventually though!

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  4. Keith! I love your comments and your encouragement! Thank you for mentioning the progress I've made as a blogger. This makes me want to keep up with the practice!

    Happy B'day to your wife!

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