Tuesday, July 7, 2015

C'est la LIFE


My MERCY, life flies by. It's July and I have the most baffing feeling that I've been some sort of hideous fake this whole spring, calling myself a writer. The truth is, what I've written this spring wouldn't fill a wide-ruled, spiral-bound notebook. I have not logged into my publishing account in four months. My Twitter is a ghost-house. I'm doing horribly with self-promotion. I'm not sure I should even be telling you this, but PR has never been my strong suit. Actually, scratch-that. Public Relations are where I am GOOD. Selling books is where I don't give a horse-fly, even when I ought, which is why I still work as a nanny rather than a full-time writer. Life has been giving me a workout and in a fist-fight between my family and my books, family wins out. That is not to say I haven't wished to write and even written a (very) little. I've started a secret thing that I can't whisper about yet because I don't want to announce my lipstick-taser before firing. I've worked a (very) little bit on Scotch'd the Snakes. I've worked on a few pieces of worthless flash fiction to keep my mind limber, and have plans to write a very quick piece of humorous fiction in honor of something I misheard a couple of weeks ago while in church. Cottleston Pie is marinating. I am not sure what to do with it yet, but murmurings of a rewrite are in the nearest corners of my mind when I stop to think about it. Historically, just about forty or fifty percent of the reading populace, after reading one of my novels, suggest I write a children's book. I have never quite decided how I feel about this reaction. Did they not enjoy my novel, but find my tone amusing and therefore feel I should tackle something of less import? Or did they like my story and/or tone so much they want it in short-order form? Or do they think I am entirely on the wrong tack and ought to pin my sails and try for something that will harm no one if it flops miserably? I cannot tell. But I love Cottleston Pie and I think I'm on the right track with it and when I take it out, it is always so much a better project that I remember it being. This is my update on personal writing. I was vicariously thrilled with my friends, like Mirriam Neal, who managed to do JuNoWriMo. Brava!

I've had a little more success. Suzannah Rowntree's Pendragon's Heir is marvelously well-written but a little too brocade for summer wear. I find it slow but pleasant going. I picked up Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally after going on a blitzkreig-speed tour through DC's Holocaust Museum. I want to go back and spend more than fifteen minutes on each floor, but what I saw was enough to convict, impress, and sober me. So far, Keneally's book is thoughtfully researched and reads much more like an interesting history than a novel, which is rather the point. Lurking behind-hand in the book-wings are a book about the children of the Holocaust (also a Museum purchase), The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers, two cookbooks, and a book about the history of maps. No, it's not The Island of Lost Maps which I read earlier this year...I just have a strange fascination with cartography since the day I first watched National Treasure. The influx of reading material happened when I made the trip to our dinky library which is hardly ever open to renew my card which had expired at least a year ago. What do you know? They have books at libraries. And I'm terrible at resisting a book.

I don't listen to music while writing, generally, but I do have a list of songs that have been in my heart and head recently and here is as good a place as any to share them! :)
  1. "Geronimo" - The Sheppherds
  2. "Bright" - Echosmith
  3. "You Belong With Me" - Taylor Swift (Come on, it isn't summer till you've had some T-Swizzle)
  4. "Almost Like Being In Love" - Nat King Cole
  5. "Out of an Orange-Colored Sky" - Nat King Cole
  6. "Shut Up And Dance With Me" - Walk The Moon (unashamed)
  7. "Budapest" - George Ezra (heard the most beautiful female-vocals version of this done by two sisters I know.)
  8. "Take Your Time" - Sam Hunt
  9. "Lay Me Down" - Chris Tomlin
  10. "I'm a Believer" - The Monkees
  11. "Christ Be All Around Me" - Leeland (my prayer, always)
My taste is eclectic, as you can see and ranges up and down the scale from standard pop to country, to big-band, to Christian contemporary. I love having varied tastes. Keeps things interesting.

Lavender Soda. It's a beautiful thing. Like drinking a vase of flowers steeped in Sprite...only less perfume-y. Also, anything boysenberry. After three years, our patch is doing prolifically well and my hands and lips are stained with the sun-soaked gems. York Peppermint Patties. I bought a bag to share around my wing at a camp...and ended up taking the whole thing home. Now I really, really want to try making s'mores with York instead of normal chocolate. Parmesan from the block. MmmHMMMM. You heard that right. Cheese is bae. If I talked that way. And I don't. Moving onnnnnn. Cherries. Dark, sweet cherries. Divinity right there. And whenever I eat cherries I am reminded of an anecdote about Oswald Chambers which you probably don't have time to hear, so I will refrain from sharing it.

I'm off to bury my nose in one of my neglected writing projects. Ciao, darlings!


Anonymous said...

I just love your writing period. Whether in story form in here, a blog post. And what's great is that it's (pretty much) how you talk! You're awesome. Your transparency/genuine-ness is inspiring and I love the snack-sized updates in this one big blog post. :)

Emily Ann Putzke said...

Love this update! I've been wanting to read Schindler's List ... let me know how it is! I've been to the Holocaust museum twice. Definitely a sad, yet, important place to visit. Glad to have you back around the blogosphere! Good luck with your writing projects!

Unknown said...

Lavender soda? Where does one get lavender soda? (Or how do you make it?) it sounds delicious. :)

Emily Chapman said...

I absolutely love your writing. Your style just makes me smile. (Hey, look, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it.) And I think it's a truth universally acknowledged that one cannot go through summer without listening to some T Swizzle. Also one can't go wrong with "Shut Up and Dance." One just can't.

Hayden said...

At the moment our music playlists are eerily similar...

Rachel Heffington said...

Meghan: you're a darling. <3
Emily: I will definitely let you know what I think when I've finished the book!
Emma: you live in NoVa, correct? I found this at the Purcellville Harris Teeter right across from PHC when I was up there last week! :)
Hayden: O.o

Suzannah said...

Oh hey! I'm easing myself back into reading friends' blogs, and am thrilled to discover that you're enjoying my book. Hope it continues to please.

Don't feel bad about not writing--I always find I come back from such breaks with a brain positively whizzing with ideas.

Lady Bibliophile said...

Rachel, so good to have you back. Your blog is my cup of joy, and I have missed it! :) Lovely and inspiring summer happenings....


Jamie said...

I agree that your style would fit well in a children's book, but I don't think I get that sense because of any unsuitedness to adult readers. Rather, I think it's because your writing has a freshness and enthusiasm that is hard to limit by age ranges. I feel like a children's book of yours would be not really a children's book, but a family book -- the kind everyone reads together and quotes to each other at random times. And then as the kids got older they would start saying, "Did you know Rachel Heffington writes mystery novels too?"

I think that's what that comes from.

Jamie W.