In The Writer's World

The state of the state

The stock market is up; James Comey’s Trump/Pence sign has come down from his front yard. Life is ambling along nearly normal in P-town, aside from five post-election nights of marching and a couple of riots.

I haven’t actually been able to do much over the last week or two. I worked two days for the Multnomah County Elections Office leading up to the election. One of them was an all-nighter on November 8. It was so impressive to learn how our voting system works from the inside, and how extremely safe and well-organized our elections are here in Oregon. I was grateful to be able to participate in this awesome democratic process and work with the people who make their livings ensuring that all our votes are counted fairly and securely.

On Thursday, November 10, I boarded a plan to DFW to attend a great friend’s 80th birthday parties, a luncheon and a formal dinner. Renie Steves and I met on a press trip to Italy in 1988. Also on that beautiful trip was Lila Gault, whom I’d known since 1982. The three of us bonded on the trip, and because of Renie, we were together again in Ft. Worth to enjoy the festivities. I wish you could have been there to experience it with us. Beautiful food in a gorgeous setting, old friends brought together to

Renie Steves with her daughter Stephanie Burns at her birthday luncheon.

Renie Steves with her daughter Stephanie Burns at her birthday luncheon.

celebrate friendship, graciousness and abundance. A Thanks-giving, for sure, all held together by one amazing steel magnolia. I was honored to be included.renie-candlelight

The state of the novel

There is nothing to say here about the novel. It has been on vacation. Life is so very uncertain on so many levels. So much negativity and hatred, sensation, surprise, and change. So much fear and uncertainty and craziness. It has rained down on us for months. Like the rest of the world, I am caught up in it. No one is immune.

As a novelist, I get my ideas from what’s going on around me. One of my favorite phrases is, “You can’t make this stuff up.” Life is indeed wilder, more surprising, more sensational than anything most of us could imagine on our own.

As we move into the holiday season, my focus now is to tune out the noise. Nothing can be gained by obsessing over what may or may not happen next. This does not mean I have gone inactive, that my brain has stopped working, that I don’t care about a great many things. Rather, it has more to do with regrouping, focusing on what are our choices and priorities, the things my tribe and I can and cannot change. “…And the wisdom to know the difference.”

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  • Jennifer says:

    I always love hearing your voice!

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