Back at the turn of the century, at my first teaching post which was a Benedictine Abbey and Academy in Illinois, I introduced a movie buff club where students and I watched a film once a month on a Thursday evening. I would have 12-30, seventeen-year-olds crammed in the “movie room” on campus. We watched a wide range of classics from Apocalypse Now to A Rebel Without a Cause. Thrice our club went to Chicago for field trips. At the Esquire cinema on Oak Street, we experienced Kill Bill: Vol 2 and Being John Malkovich. Once we went to the Gene Siskel Film Center and saw Pollock followed by a conversation with actor Ed Harris. Our club lasted for six years until I relocated to Virginia. Today, I know that blogging about movies is a similar experience except we are all adults here with sophisticated experiences and opinions about the industry.
When I wrote my first novel, I had ideal writing conditions. I lived alone with no mate or roommates. My children had grown and pursued their own adventures far from me. I lived in a condo at a four season resort in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. My computer screen waited each day to chip away at the historical fiction manuscript. I was enrolled and working on my MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College, Vermont. Professors mentored and edited. Deadlines ruled my life in the low residency program. So, I taught students during the day, and the rest of my time was devoted to exercising, reading, and writing. I have to confess it was one of the loneliest chapters of my life. But, under those circumstances, I had no distractions. I was focused, and after a three year gestation period, out of me came the finished product, The Knife with the Ivory Handle. It was a bittersweet time, gone now.
I moved to Arizona. I have been told by writing experts that you are supposed to have a blog to promote your book and market yourself. I found maintaining a blog is time consuming and rewarding with instant gratification. For three and a half years, I have been writing about films, photography, writing, and aspects of culture. In that time, I’ve researched and have written one third of the second manuscript, Inside the Gold Plated Pistol. Ugh!
This chapter of my life is quite different. I’m surrounded by people I love claiming my time. I have two jobs, and in my spare time, I watch movies and read books and try to create interesting posts. There seems to be no time for writing the novel and now my head feels pregnant and overdue. In truth, I’m irritable and depressed. I know the reason why. I’m not doing enough physically, and I’m irregular with my creative writing. I appreciate all our many conversations. I’ll be back, but I don’t know when. I have too many stories that need to come out before I’m too old to remember them. Cheers, my friends.