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Saturday, April 16, 2005

THE BALANCING ACT

"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend." Theophrastus 278 BC
(from Diogenes Laertius, "Lives of Eminent Philosophers" bk V, sec 40)

Spring break is over. Now it's time for the balancing act or, as they say in writing "Balancing the Narrative Modes", spending equal time on all aspects of my busy daily life.

BALANCING NARRATIVE MODES: dialogue, thoughts, action, description, exposition
It is important to examine the balance of the five modes in your writing because occasionally you may favour one over another for the wrong reasons. (You can use too much of one). This affects the "Pace" of your story..."

Just as in writing, it's important not to do too much of one thing, as in the old adage:
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." In the same vein, too much play is not good either, if one has important work to finish, such as me, trying to finish my novel.

"Lost time is never found again." Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

So how do I do it? Here's the run-down of this past week (which is pretty typical).
Monday I started out at the fitness centre for an hour work-out, then I had some errands and appointments. I squeezed in 2 hours of writing before having to leave for my Scribbler's writing group in the evening. (This counts as my writing time especially since that night I was reading some of my new work to be critiqued.)
Tuesday I managed four hours of writing before leaving to work a four hour shift at the daycare. From there I had time for a leisurely dinner at a cafe before going to the school for my first Spring Novel Writing class which I teach. (That 3 hours also counts as writing time.)
Wednesday I spent around five hours making notes and revising and in the evening I started my first 'Prompting the Muse" class. From night school I went to my favourite haunt on the Drive, the Latin Quarter, to listen to some jazz, ran into some guy friends and spent the rest of the evening in interesting conversation.
Thursday morning, up early and on the bus heading downtown to teach my Memoirs group which is a really fun group. Afterwards I did my usual routine of browsing in the shops up Robson Street, bought a Bavarian smokie with saurkraut, chips and iced tead and took it over to the Art Gallery bench where I ate my lunch and watched the passing parade of people and entertaining events that are always going on around the Art Gallery. In the afternoon when I got home, I did about another hour of revisions before a friend came over for a visit and chat. Then it was time to head for the night school Travel Writing class. After which I went to the Drive to a new jazz bar and met my Havana buddy to listen to some excellent music.
Friday I had to work at the daycare all day. I went shopping on Robson street for new shoes after work, came home intending to do a bit of writing but got a message that a friend had comp tickets to a play. Rushed out to meet her. Enjoyed the play, in particular paying attention to the monologues in hopes of getting some good ideas for my Sappho play.
I went over to my friends after for a couple of glasses of wine and an excellent chat, then headed down to the L.Q. to meet up with friends and dance a little salsa.
Saturday, today, I had tidying up to do to clear out the clutter in my work space so I can settle in for some serious writing tomorrow and the coming week. (I hate working in a clutter!)
Then I put together some photos and a story about the Welsh Coal Pits I'm going to give my twin nephews for their birthday gift. Now I have to go shopping. No time for writing today, except writing this blog counts. This evening is the big family gala birthday party and a chance to visit with my sister who lives in another city.
Sunday, tomorrow, I will write. If it isn't raining (as it has been on and off all week!) I will perhaps go for a walk which I find helpful for sorting out thoughts and quieting my mind.
In the evening I will watch a video movie about Cuba that my chileno friend got me from the library.
And, that's my week. A lot of work, a little play, and some good dialogues. A bit of exercise too although I had intended to make it three times this week but didn't and I usually go to waterfit Tuesdays but this week the pool was closed. Will try next week to get more fitness time in. (I've wrecked my back from sitting too long at the computer over the Spring Break when I was writing every day for hours.)

"A little time for laughter, a little time to sing
A little time to kiss and cling..." Philip Bourke Marston 1850-1887

P.S. I didn't get the 'kissing and clinging' in, and I could have danced a lot more than I did!




3 comments:

L said...

i think you feel about writing like how i feel about hooping.
:)

Sam said...

Sounds like a busy, but fun life!
Lots of different places and things to do!
My back was in a terrible state until I took up yoga - the difference is amazing. After yoga class I feel totally supple and ache-free! (which lasts until I have to mow the lawn or vacume the stairs, lol.)

Anonymous said...

wow. what an interesting perspective, to feel you are part of that world, having lived there, as a maiden...