"Love passed, the muse appeared, the weather
of mind got clarity newfound:
Now free, I once more weave together
emotion, thought, and magic sound."
Alexander Pushkin 1799-1837 "Eurgene Onegin" 1823 st. 29
My life has been rather hectic lately. First that marvelous, serene trip to Paradise (Malaysia), then the big come-down of landing back in reality plus the jet-lag and a very naughty bird who drove me stark raving mad last week (to the point I really thought of opening the window to let him fly away out of my life!) I resorted to bird psychology and advice from the experts on cockatiel behavior and so far the new tactics seems to be working. (Poor birdie was traumatized because I'd left him with strangers and he punished me by being as shrill and annoying as possible.) On top of this I had to quickly organize all the handout material for my nightschool classes which begin this week and rush it off to the VSB office 2 weeks late!
So by Friday I was ready for a stress break and, as Maurice Sendak wrote in his kid's book "Where the Wild Things Are" "Let the wild rumpus begin!" It started with 'Beers with Peers'
at the Sylvia Hotel, a gathering of some travel writer associates, and then I progressed to making my debut appearance at the Latin Quarter showing off my gorgeous new blue Indian top and gleaning many compliments. The next day I went with two friends to the Cottage Bistro to hear my son's band play Blues. Several jugs of suds later I toddled off again to the L.Q., imbibed a couple of ouzos and somehow eventually made it home. Of course, that pretty well took care of Sunday, but still it was worth it!
By Monday Mr. Cheeky had begun to behave much better with a little more cage time and treats (I didn't want to 'jail' him for punishment as he needs to learn he belongs inside the cage at times instead of pestering his mommy.) I've also been able to put him outside for awhile so he's getting used to communicating with other birds. (He thinks he's a person!)
Monday night was my weeky writer's critique group here. And yesterday was the first night of the private workshop which I've started with some people from my classes. It was very successful and has proved profitable as well. (I did this in lieu of teaching travel writing as the School Board wanted me to cut down one class this Spring.)
Yesterday at noon I attended a media event sponsored by Finland Tourism which included a very interesting gallery exhibit and lecture on Finnish Architecture and Design. I have a friend who is an architect in Helsinki, and two other Finnish friends, all Classical Scholars who I met in Greece and who have been so much help with my research. After the gallery show we were treated to a delicious luncheon at a nearby classy hotel. (I'm getting spoiled with these classy hotel events!) Meanwhile, one of the travel writers who attended, the edtior of a small local newspaper, handed me a cheque for an article of mine she had just published. That really made my day!
Later last night I had an email from someone who wants me to edit their novel so that's another bonus. Of course I will have to pace my time because I have so much work to do between writing up the Malaysia stories, working on the back-log of travel material I already have, and progressing with my novel plus teaching classes. So today I began to work on my projects. And thank the Lord birdie is being exceptionally good (so quiet I thought he was ill!). Now is the time for some serious discipline on my part too, otherwise I'll never get things done and will end up in a dither.
Tonight is the Prompting the Muse class. We're going to plot back-stories from paintings. Tomorrow morning is Memoirs and tomorrow night is Travel Writing. Thank goodness it's a long weekend coming up (Easter) so I will try to stay on target and get things at least something started.
Having kept the blogs while I was away is helpful as I write them in a way I can use some of the material in the travel articles. And I'm working on putting together my photo scrap-book with lots of information added for my research. I also have a collection of slides as I've been asked to present a slide show on Malaysia in June. Ah...the busy life of a writer!
"One should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice and keep good time to music; and, lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him." Yoshido Kinko 1283-1350 "T surezure-Gusa: Essays in Idleness" c 1340