Blocked?

“It was too big for him, that was the truth. It had never really progressed, it had simply fallen apart into a series of fragments.”

~ George Orwell

I thought I’d write about not having nothing much to say. An odd topic for a blog, to be sure.

But there you have it.

This wordless inertia is not the same as writer’s block, as I have plenty of ideas, I always do. More than one work in progress. I feel distracted, but always am; the world itself an unending distraction of unresolved problems, rising tensions, and I’ve often found writing is a good cure for distraction. Writing grounds me, it can be a form of meditation, an escape, I’ll admit.

It’s easy to throw some words on a blank page, fiction-up when reality sucks.

But those times of distraction, when I can get into a world-building mania and think 1398854_10205607049285182_6357952780868727952_oI’m onto something new, invent new characters who deserve to live beyond that initial chapter, tend to….fizzle.

But that’s not what is happening now.

It’s also not the same as giving the work a rest. Where you work like crazy, stuff the work in progress in a drawer, then come back to it with fresh eyes. This “resting phase” is part of writing, essential so you can read your work from a reader’s perspective. But I don’t feel like the writer in me is resting.

It really may be nothing more than the sad, cold, gray fog of November settling down all around. The naked boredom of trees, their leaves shed like playing cards scattered on the table at the end of a game. The players moved on to pretty much nowhere.

My writer’s brain has entered a phase of literary hibernation. To avoid a complete shut down, I’m spending lots of time looking at visual art, allowing my eyes to linger on color and form — day-dreams — instead of constantly world-wording. At some point, the visual fragments I’m collecting may reassemble themselves into poems or prose.

There’s no way to tell whether that will be a day from now — or several months down the road.

October Readings and Signings

Susan Koefod:

Events this week! Come see me!

Originally posted on Susan Koefod:

2014 Events

October 14, 7 PM 

ROSEVILLE, MNUnknown-1

Barnes & Noble Bookstore
Har Mar
2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113

Join me and other Twin Cities Sisters in Crime authors for a Festival of Crime book signing. Books available for purchase! My story, “Iced,” is in the anthology. Books are going fast, so be sure to grab one soon!

October 21, 7:30 PM – 9 PM

IMG_0153ST PAUL, MN

University Club
420 Summit Avenue
St Paul, MN 55102-2699

I will be reading along with other mystery novelists at the October “Readings by Writers” event.  Sponsored by Public Art Saint Paul/Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk and hosted by Saint Paul’s first poet laureate, Carol Connolly. All three Arvo Thorson mysteries - Burnt OutBroken Down, and Washed Up  will be available for purchase.

October 24, 7 PM

All-Mailboxes-Found-344-matches-for-search-2014-08-13-20-57-29-2014-08-13-20-57-32

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

Amore Coffee
Smith Avenue at Annapolis
St Paul, MN 55118

Hear me read my…

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The World’s Least Magical Girl

Mae

Anyone knows that along with acne, menstrual cycles, and teenage angst, your magical power emerges no later than your 16th birthday. That is, if you are anyone but Mae.

Mae will never have a magical power, which means an uncertain and dangerous future, given her potential inability to defend herself from the criminal use of magic by others.

While her friends and peers become seers, invisibles, flyers, and other magically transformed teens, Mae learns the secret her parents have been keeping from her since her birth: she is the only known unmagicked girl her world has ever seen.

So how does a private recruiter learn about her secret? And why does he want her for an exclusive school no one has ever heard of?

Confused feelings about a boy, whose extraordinary power enables him to “borrow” the magical abilities of others, make Mae even more stubborn, more determined to go it alone, an increasingly difficult plan considering she is an unmagicked girl in magical harm’s way.

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That’s the idea behind my latest YA novel, The World’s Least Magical Girl (working title), which explores how being different can be the source of one’s greatest strength. I’m working on it while my unsold novel, Naming the Stars, looks for a home.

Like each novel I’ve written, this latest novel is a new challenge. I want each book to be better than the last, and stretch me while I write it. I think The World’s Least Magical Girl is doing that!

Make Pie, Not War

Susan Koefod:

I have almost no memory of writing this post, making it the perfect reblog. Happy Autumn everyone!

Originally posted on Susan Koefod:

I set out this morning with high hopes of seeing the two-thousand-year-old  terracotta tomb warriors and other artifacts from the Qin Empire (the era of the First Emperor of China) now on exhibit here in Minneapolis.

Except for the cleaning and other Thanksgiving preparations I’d planned, the other part (the relaxation piece) of this time-off hasn’t gone entirely as planned.  Hubby wound up having to return to work early, his time-off eroded by a few sick days. We managed a fine-dining night out (having earlier thought of a weekend getaway), and squeezed in the latest James Bond movie.

All in all, not bad, but I’d hoped for more than a break here and there from the vacuuming and baking. I had one last chance for a bit more culture, so this morning I decided to head out on my own to the exhibit.

As described by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts website

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What They Never Taught in High School

Strange how nearly four decades have gone by, yet last night I recognized friends I hadn’t seen since high school and chatted with them as if it was only yesterday when we last spoke. As if nothing had changed.

We, a group of high school thespians from the 70’s, had a gathering to visit with our high school theater director, JB, and his wife, the high school art teacher, who were passing through town.

It looked for all the world like JB had stepped right off the stage of that last performance in the late 70’s, just the day before. His shirt, some commented, seemed straight out of the 70’s. (Or the bottom of our friend and favorite actor’s steamer trunk, lovingly preserved in the pages of his scrapbook.) His face had a few more wrinkles, for sure, but his eyes were still sparkling, his wit sharp.

35 or 40 years come and gone as if just one day passed.

Yet, far more has happened. Life has happened. We’ve married, split, remarried, (or never married), had children, some of us grandchildren. Some of us childless, by choice or not.

For others, it took those four decades to be legally allowed to marry the person they loved. Everyone knows how brutal high school can be to people who are “different” and theater kids are more different than most.

We’ve each had a share of happiness & heartbreak over the past, almost four, decades since high school. It seems to take about four decades to heal from that tumult of high school — to stop having the nightmares about forgetting locker combinations, the boys or girls we loved who didn’t love us back, or loved us for awhile and moved on to others, the dances we didn’t get invited to… all of that teenage stuff that – to be honest – doesn’t really end when we enter our 20’s.

Or our 30’s.

Last night was a graduation of sorts. We compared the wounds life gave us and the accolades we’d worked hard to achieve. We passed another test, and got rewarded for good results. It was a simple lesson that takes, ridiculously, three to four decades to learn: the greatest joy comes from the community of friends, the shared bottles of wine, the shared experience of art. As simple as that. You’d think you’d learn that in school, but you don’t.

October Readings and Signings

2014 Events

October 14, 7 PM 

ROSEVILLE, MNUnknown-1

Barnes & Noble Bookstore
Har Mar
2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113

Join me and other Twin Cities Sisters in Crime authors for a Festival of Crime book signing. Books available for purchase! My story, “Iced,” is in the anthology. Books are going fast, so be sure to grab one soon!

October 21, 7:30 PM – 9 PM

IMG_0153ST PAUL, MN

University Club
420 Summit Avenue
St Paul, MN 55102-2699

 

I will be reading along with other mystery novelists at the October “Readings by Writers” event.  Sponsored by Public Art Saint Paul/Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk and hosted by Saint Paul’s first poet laureate, Carol Connolly. All three Arvo Thorson mysteries - Burnt OutBroken Down, and Washed Up  will be available for purchase.

October 24, 7 PM

All-Mailboxes-Found-344-matches-for-search-2014-08-13-20-57-29-2014-08-13-20-57-32

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

Amore Coffee
Smith Avenue at Annapolis
St Paul, MN 55118

Hear me read my story in the 2015 Saint Paul Almanac. The book includes fabulous art, poems, and stories, including my “Gift Wrapped.” Books available for purchase!

 

 

 

Your library card “checks out” this great @mnstatefair deal, August 27 only

IMG_0596Tomorrow only (August 27), public library cardholders (age 13 – 64) get $2 off admission (one discounted ticket per card) in celebration of READ AND RIDE DAY at the Minnesota State Fair.

And that’s not all. You can meet Minnesota authors (including me) throughout the day at the MELSA (Metro Library Service Agency) tent in Carousel Park (west of the Grandstand bridge). There will be giveaways, readings, and signings by many authors.

My slot is 9AM-11AM. My three Arvo Thorson mysteries will be available for purchase all day, thanks to Subtext Books of St. Paul. I hope to see you there!