The clogged duct…

The clogged duct cleared up last night (after a painful day of pumping every two hours, fun), so I'm in a much better mood today. It's beautiful weather outside, and I spent the morning hanging out in the backyard with Kavi and the dogs, trying to get caught up on e-mail. (I made a very small dent in it.) This afternoon, Jed's coming by to hang out, and I'll hopefully get some writing done (along with laundry). I did manage to revise the first two chapters of the YA earlier this week, but there's a lot of revision to go, plus adding new stuff. Lots and lots of new stuff. :-)

I moved the action (and the fantasy element) up to the front, as recommended by writing group, which I think works okay, although it does mean that there's now a fair bit of flashback in those two chapters. Hmm. We'll see how the rest of the draft pans out before reworking those again, I think. Next section is the wandering through the forest bit -- we're adding an encounter with demon monkeys, along with an elephant funeral. Fun. :-)

Tamil classes are going pretty well, although I'm feeling a bit behind; I need to spend some time seriously memorizing verbs and adverbs this weekend. But we now have enough parts of speech to make simple sentences. Kevin and I have been saying things like, "Our small daughter is a good girl," and "Our beautiful dog eats," and "Daddy studies; daddy does *not* sing or dance." I don't think I'll be writing great literature in Tamil anytime soon.

I call my parents and try to talk to them in Tamil, and they laugh at my pronunciation. Well, first they say, "What? What are you trying to say?" And then, once I've managed to explain it to them, then they laugh.

In baby news, in the last few weeks, Kavi has discovered how to grab things. She started with grabbing her hands -- "Look, I have hands! Left! Right! Two hands! Did you know?! I have hands!!" -- and has progressed to the toys on her bouncy chair, her bottle, and mommy's hair. I have given up wearing earrings for the moment.

Below, just a few views of the backyard where we're working today.

I likes it.

7 thoughts on “The clogged duct…”

  1. Oh my, I have total patio-area envy! I love our house, but our backyard consists of a small rectangle of concrete within a larger rectangle of grass. Oh, I forgot, there is one small tree. But it’s very much a blank canvas.

    Turns out landscaping costs money…. It will have to wait until after a new roof, I think.

    In any case, those photos just inspire serenity.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    David, she’ll usually do about ten to fifteen minutes of focused grabbing, but then intersperses that with staring up at the sunlit leaves moving in the breeze (baby tv!), and will happily entertain herself between the two for a couple of hours at a time. It’s very nice. 🙂

    And Amy, I know exactly what you mean — our rooftop deck in Chicago is just a big flat surface. I’ve tried to add a little variety with plants at different levels, but still, is sad. I love tiered patio/gardens, esp. if they have little hidden nooks (and waterfalls :-). Ah, someday…and for the next few months, we can enjoy this space.

  3. I’m so jealous!! Our backyard is pretty much like Amy’s but it’s a new backyard (new house) so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with it. I’m sure this wonderful environment will inspire great work!

    It sounds like you’re busy but I’m still going to ask…can you post about your novel-writing process? Where do you start when you have an idea? Do you outline or just free-write? How do you stop yourself from nail-biting when it’s something (novel writing, I mean) you’ve never done before, never been trained to do but you so badly want to give it a shot?

  4. Oh good. Ignore my earlier cranky fussing about the use of the word “magic” and ornery suggestions of wholesale overhaul. Moving what you were doing anyway to be earlier in the book is a exactly what I really meant to say.

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Well, I did also add the demon monkeys. And some carnivorous vines. And I think in the next section, there’s going to be a book that writes itself. And the demons that the peasants are scared of are actually real, though they’re not going to be a major focus of the story.

    The main problem in the previous draft was that some of the characters had powers, but the world/landscape/animals didn’t (other than sort of glow slightly). Now it’s more evenly distributed. 🙂

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