Writing is fun again. What a relief!
I don't think I had realized how far I had drifted away from my own process. I don't think I had let myself acknowledge how affected I really was by my novel Immensity being turned down last year. How much self-doubt and fear had crept in, even though my wonderful editor continues to have faith in me. Sure, doubt and fear are still present, but so now is joy. So now is play. And they've pushed the doubt and fear off into the wings.
It helped so much to go to the Sacramento Delta, to steep myself in the world of my novel-in-progress (it especially helped that an incredibly generous pear farmer and his wife took 4 hours out of their busy day to answer all my questions and then some.) I can picture my novel clearly now, and that makes a huge, huge difference. It also helped that a friend let me and my daughter use her fabulous Palm Springs house as a retreat for a few days last week. All that light, all that space, brought forth a ton of writing (I think the fact that the home was once host to a wild party with Hunter S. Thompson helped, too--some gonzo energy must have still been sparkling through the air.) Plus I still feel deep inspiration reverberating from the International Women's Writing Guild conference in Santa Cruz, the CODEPINK International Women's Day training camp in Malibu, the Women Creating Peace Collective's Inspire Hope Event here in Riverside--all amazing, energizing gatherings of women. My students, with their willingness to push themselves and stretch creatively have helped me push forward, as well. And I know I've been inspired by California itself--in the past few weeks, I've been able to breathe in desert and ocean and redwoods and rivers, and it's rejuvenated me. I feel more awake now. So does my writing.
I don't know how long this new creative surge will last, but I'm going to enjoy it while it does. Thanks to everyone, everything, every place that has both brought me back to myself and helped me get out of my own way.