In The Writer's World

The State of the State

Yes, well, it’s been more like April than early February around here, which is more than a little scary. Trees are budding out, and I saw daffodils blooming today while on a walk. Eagles won the Super Bowl. Robert Mueller continues his silent quest. I head for Tucson in a few days. So far I have managed not to eat myself to death–a constant struggle in these dark and turbid times.

Tucson flora.

The State of the Novel

The good news: the first rewrite is underway. The bad news is that I don’t have an ending yet. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I know the rough outline of the ending, but it just got too hard to write it so I decided to take a break and actually work on something I could accomplish.  There is so much work yet to go, and somehow the ending always eludes me until the very end. Sitting and looking at the walls wasn’t getting me there.

At the point, I’m guardedly optimistic. About the novel. The times, not so much.

Other Stuff

January was rich with plays. Rich with world premieres by amazing local playwrights. Chris Coleman and E.M. Lewis knocked it out of the park with their plays Astoria (Parts One and Two) and Magellanica, respectively. Both are long, dense, and populated by unforgettable characters in untenable situations. I hope you get a chance to see them.

MAGELLANICA Artists Repertory Theatre

Through NetGalley I was able to read and review an wonderful new mystery–Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna. This is the best mystery I’ve read in months, and I really couldn’t believe it had ended so soon because I was reading to intently that it seemed it just started. Luna has written several young adult novels. Her writing is crisp, characters vivid and unconventional.

The other most amazing book was The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Quite simply, this is a literary masterpiece and a rockin’ wild story beginning with the evacuation of Saigon by the Americans in 1975. Nguyen’s “sympathizer” is a North Vietnamese mole who finds his way to southern California and hangs out with South Vietnamese army folks who intend to return to Vietnam and retake their part of the country. This is stuff none of us knew about or even dreamed about. It’s a harrowing tale.

Until next time. Judy


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