The Letter Project

May 31, 2013

Special Delivery (541)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 3:28 pm
Tags: , ,

15 March 2013

Dear Whitney,

The short story I sent you also needs work. I’m still searching for my narrative style. What a great idea to focus on writing one scene @ a time for your story.

At AWP I found a copy of NANO Fiction for you. I also need to read more flash fiction. There was also Nouvella @ AWP & they publish novellas. I’ve read a handful of novellas, but now I’m actually considering to try it myself. One of the panels I attended was on e-books for children, & one of the panelists participates in 12×12, where the goal is to write 12 picture books in a year, one a month. I’m going to check it out. It would be cool to tell stories about music & retell episodes of Don Quixote for kids. At AWP I had the thought to approach the page only w/ the story in mind. The length, & ultimately the form, will come out during the writing. So then I don’t worry about the length. For flash fiction I’m going to use small sheets of paper like this so I can fill the page & that’s my flash. Because flash is shorter, it needs tight9er0 language & some kind of structure or element to tie it together. Most of the flash in NANO Fiction is one paragraph, but it is certainly not limited to one paragraph.

I’ve certainly become less judgmental of my appearance b/c I’ve edited the videos & looked @ me. Even listening to the voicemails I’ve left on my parents’ phone, I wasn’t convinced that’s what I sound like. Though when I’m excited about something, my voice conveys it. Sometimes I worry I don’t speak w/ enough infection & use monotone. I think it would be interesting to learn what others think about me, but I’m not sure if at the end of the day I’d truly want to know.

Honestly, I would love to sleep 8-9 hours every night, write in the mornings after I made my breakfast, eat a light lunch, & read in the afternoon & start making dinner. Then eat & watch a movie or take a walk or play a game. Of course have time for day trips & days @ a time for extended travel. That would be my ideal schedule. & to work in my garden if I have one. & in the afternoons I can work on other arts like painting, drawing, charcoal, & crochet & knitting. So I can be creative & adventurous every day!

What kind of Irish materials are you looking for, for your sister’s trip? There’s got to be stickers for Ireland. Sounds like your sister gets to do all kinds of cool things! Snowboarding & skiing is on my bucket list. Especially since I want to go to Finland someday & ski there, & of course ski on the Alps @ least once.

I’ve been eating more fish recently too. It’s a shame that only 2% is checked. I’ve been trying to eat fish once a week, w/ vegetarian & chicken meals the rest of the week. My sister knows someone who had arsenic poisoning from taking too many vitamin supplements, b/c even if they’re made in the US, the materials are not checked. Scary, huh? The doctor said he only gives his family Flintstones vitamins & Advil b/c they are checked. I’m relieved I’ve been taking Flintstone vitamins since I was a kid.

I’m glad you’re eating healthier & on your way to reaching your goals! I need to make exercising a better habit, like aerobic walks & yoga. I get the weights @ work.

I do write my dreams down in my journal. That is, if I can remember them or piece some of the images together. Mine have been fragments of old dreams & images I’ve never seen before, so it’s been fun to ask if I’ve seen it before or if it’s completely new. I like the puzzle & mystery of it. If I write down part of it & then go to work, sometimes I’ll remember more details throughout the day.

I haven’t read “Atlas Shrugged,” but I would like to read Ayn Rand someday. That is a great combo! I’ve been reading Sherman Alexie’s short stories & poems, but I’m going to start on George Saunders’ collections next. I finished a book I borrowed from Emy, & it was so nice to live in a fantasy world for a while b/c it has been so long since I’ve read a fantasy novel that wasn’t Harry Potter. I’ve also been reading Prairie Margins issues. There was a Limerick contest in 1979 & Isaac Asimov submitted an original limerick. He didn’t win, but it was included. Nate, one of the staff members this year & the webmaster next year, is trying to make e-books of them. I’ve been helping him w/ my Kindle, & I was wondering if you would check them out on your Nook, please. It’s funny how even w/o reading previous issues of PM that we’ve published similar content.

Golly, I’ve been reading a lot lately, which is great b/c when I was a kid I devoured books regularly. I don’t remember the two books I finished, but I’ve written it down somewhere. I finally read The Hunger Games Trilogy & was impressed w/ the pacing & world building. I saw the film 1st, which I rarely do, but the movie sucked me in enough to start reading. I finished the 3 books in 4 days, & actually read the 2nd & 3rd on the Kindle—the 1st books I’ve read completely on it. & I’ve owned the Kindle for over a year now! I’ve also been doing research for Charlotte, like Missouri & interpreting her dreams & how to recover from rape. I started reading Les Miserables, but I haven’t gotten very far. It’s the kind of book where I need to stop & ponder. I am also anxious for Matt Bell’s novel. I wasn’t able to attend his partial reading of it in Boston, but I did find a proof copy & got to read the 1st page. I made myself put it down b/c I know I would’ve stood there & finished it if I read any further. He’s working on his second novel. The beauty of reading a book is discovering more like it! I got a lot of books @ AWP, mostly lit mags & poetry collections, but on the 3rd day I purposely stopped & looked thru short story collections & novels to augment my fiction reading.

AWP in Boston was fun! Are you planning on going to Seattle next year? I would like to go w/ you & Aretha. It’s a great experience & there’s so much to do. This year I decided to live at the bookfair & not really focus on sessions like I did last year. But I did go to sessions about children’s e-books, teaching book arts, how to use video & audio, & how to learn to not hate your writing. Turns out I was on the right track for video & audio! & the e-books talked about interactive & enhanced e-books, which sparked some ideas I didn’t really have a form for. The book arts made me eager to dive into bookbinding, so Mary & I are going to Ann Arbor tomorrow to buy some supplies & get started. I’m so glad she took a summer course on it so I have a mentor. & I think it’s going to be an AWP tradition to attend a Richard Bausch panel. He told great jokes last year & he did again this year, featuring limericks. I got free stuff @ the bookfair & got subscriptions to Kenyon Review, One Story, & AGNI. It was so cool to tell Kenyon Review that they were the 1st lit mag I ever saw—b/c I was taking Spanish lit in High School that teamed up w/ Kenyon. We took a trip there & it was lying on the coffee table & I read one of the stories. But one of the best parts of the bookfair was meeting previous contributors of PM & having conversations w/ ppl at their tables & booths. One guy took book covers related to Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” & made a quilt! The mustaches at PM were a hit, & several tables had fortune cookies. Here are mine:

Wading knee-deep in muck, searching for a pen.

Every bridge gives the traveler two destinations, though one is always retreat.

You will finally find time to write but choose to watch TV.

& driving there was an adventure b/c it snowed/rain/snowed on repeat there & on the way back there was a detour around Cleveland. It took 6 hours to cross NY, but the scenery of the hills & mountains was so pretty. When we got to Boston, it took an hour to find our hotel b/c we landed across Charles River in Cambridge instead of Boston. So glad we were able to get help @ a hotel. & the 1st night we got lost & one of the natives gave us directions & walked w/ us. Around Harvard there were several bookstores but I didn’t get to stop in. getting lost always frustrates me b/c I get lost easily, but @ least it’s been practice for reading a map & getting unlost. One of the best parts was discovering that the convention center was connected to the mall’s food court so we didn’t have to go outside to eat! It was a fantastic mall.

My goal is to finish typing my novel before we have lunch on Sunday, so wish me luck! I can’t wait to see you!


P.S. I started reading the bio by Dittman. Definitely had an interesting life, Jack Kerouac, that’s for sure.

P.P.S. Cheeseboy was my favorite place to eat in Boston—gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches & tomato soup on the go. I still feel like a part of me is in Boston. I can only imagine going to Europe & being dragged screaming & kicking when it’s time to return to the States. Although I don’t want to lug 10 pounds of books around the city in the snow anytime soon. 😀


1 Comment »

  1. […] Whitney received another letter from me. Check it out here. […]

    Pingback by The Letter Project–Letter to Whitney | Suzanna and Writing — May 31, 2013 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

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