Andrew and I, feeling grand before a dear one's birthday party on Isle of Palms.
The last few months I've felt more deeply in love with Andrew than ever- losing James, my brother, has been so hard that its made me deeply grateful for everything good in life.
As Andrew puts it, sometimes you just have to let go and let Donna Summer tell you how it is.
I la la love you, my beem beem.
But I still can't quite juggle!
My cousin came to visit us recently, and another dear friend- T- took us out to see
Drayton Hall and Middleton Plantations, where he foxhunts with hounds on the weekends.
It was extraordinary. The hush of the place, the tremendous beauty, made it feel as though we were walking together through stopped time. And it is always wonderful to spend time with T. He's beautiful to talk with and so much fun. For a little while we were able to meet regularly at St. Albans
to work together but we've both been traveling so much we hadn't been able to align in a while.
I was a somewhat neglectful host, as I still had to finish edits on the manuscript for that agent. Finished it at 2 am last Monday. Deep sense of relief. Happy with it.
But... in discussions with other agents, there seems to be a clear preference for manuscripts written in past tense as opposed to present tense. !
(Here's an interesting article about it.)
So because I made all these delicious revisions to the thing when putting it into present... I've started work on a 2nd version of it which is written in past. The story works well either way, frankly, and I just. want. to. place. it. Don't care.
You've got to be tired about hearing about all this, but hopefully it is helpful to somebody out there. Anyway, this go-round is cake, because I'm not making any more revisions. (Okay, maybe a couple. Am endlessly obsessive.)
Anyway. So I'm doing about an hour a day on Savages, flipping Evening's Land back into past, and trying to stay on top of freelance work as well: no time to do much more than make notes in the journal. So clearly: am awful at staying on top of this place, but even though I'm an infrequent poster, it's helpful to have it niggling away on my to-do list all the time, because otherwise the journal would have fallen by the wayside. Even though I can't put a lot of what I write in there on here, I do source from it sometimes. And when all's said and done, I want to have it, you know? Life goes so fast.
Also, little snippets in it- the explorations of mind and the character studies, primarily- are incredibly helpful for my fiction.
I do think everyone should try to keep one. Yea, we all fall wicked behind on them, but I can't imagine any other tool more helpful for... well... civilization.
If you are very honest with yourself in the pages, and also sometimes use them for contemplation,
you can't help but want to try a bit harder at being a more decent version of yourself. And if you write about others for long at all, you gain empathy. Also- what a wonderful snapshot of mind. Although, as GVG pointed out once, how terrible if anyone finds it!
Well, to paraphrase the immortal Scarlett O'Hara.... I'll just think about that tomorrow.
Meanwhile, dear, you may not see me for a while. No surprises there.
P.Z. West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)