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Monday, July 04, 2005

RETURNING

"A wise man travels light on the road trip of life.
Wisdom is his map, wonder, his fuel,
and a good story, his favorite souvenir." Hallmark

I've landed with more than a few good stories to tell. Both feet on the ground again. Over the jet-lag. Not quite over the culture-shock. But generally, I'm back in the groove after indulging myself for the first few days after my arrival home. It happened that the International Jazz Festival was on so I made it a week of music. The highlight was seeing Cuban trumpet player Arturo Sandoval perform. Not only is he a trumpet virtuoso, but an accomplished pianist , plays timbali and keyboard too and his scat singing is simple wild! There were lots of other good groups performing too, including my favorite local Latino band, in concert with fourteen instead of the ususal three or four musicians who play every weekend at the L.Q. where I like going to meet friends and dance salsa.

By yesterday I was ready for some physical exercise, a need to clean out my head and get my thoughts focused on the work ahead: my novel! At last the sun was shining, so I headed for the beach. Had a little picnic at the place where once we used to have Sunday bbqs. Then a long, delicious swim in the pool. I sat at pool side all afternoon, even though it was sun/cloud/sun/cloud. The air was warm enough. I was relaxed. I did a lot of thinking, sorting things out, clearing out the negative thoughts that had crept in over the week. I wanted this new week to be fresh and clean!

When I got home and was preparing dinner, a friend dropped in to surprise me. We had dinner together and spent the evening talking about my time in Greece, listening to music (mostly my Greek music). It was nice. A good way to end the day.

So this morning I got up fresh and with new resolve. I simply must focus on getting the novel finished as soon as possible. How to begin again after such a long absence? Well, the best tactic for me is to go back over previous chapters, do some editing, get into the cadence of the prose. It happens that the first part of the novel was not written on a computer, so I still have a little bit to type into my Word program. This is where I started.

Funny how when you go back to things you've written a long time in the past, you see quickly what needs changing or, in this case, what can be cut. (As I have to cut a lot of the novel, this isn't a problem for me. I just just mark in red the parts I think can be eliminated, and edit the rest.) I only worked for an hour or so before I had to go on a grocery run up the Drive. But it was a start. And tomorrow I'll do more. Before the end of the week I should be in the groove enough to get on with the new parts.

Tonight was my writer's critique group, here at my house. There was a mistake about me reading tonight. (I was in such a coma when I dropped by there straight from the airport last Monday I guess I was misunderstood.) Anyway, I read one of the two Morocco stories which have recently been published on the internet.
"Rambling Around Morocco" www.justsaygo.com
and "Marrakech: The Red-Rose city." www.magiccarpetjournals.com

Now, besides my novel, I must send out more travel stories...and write a few more. So much work to do...so I really have to concentrate and make the time!

"Not the poem, which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834 "Biographea Literaria" 1871. ch1

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