Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April

Woke up at 4 with that awful feeling in my gut. Grief. Every year around the anniversary of Grace's death, this week or even the month of April itself, brings fresh waves of grief. 

This year, I'm in NYC all week and have surrounded myself with family and friends and work--all of which have been helpful in keeping me busy and feeling positive. But today marked the anniversary of losing my dad, and I carried that around all day. No wonder grief snuck up on me while I slept. 

Most of you reading this know that this week is also joyful: both Sam and Annabelle's birthday. So glad to celebrate these amazing kids of mine, which began on Sunday and continues in various ways through the week. 

No doubt I will lie here until the sun comes up, letting this sadness fill me. Then the world will wake up (I already hear deliveries to the D'Agostino's across the street), I will drink my coffee and knit until it's time to step out into that world. For any of you feeling grief, fresh or familiar, we can do this today. I'm with you, and I feel all of your arms with me, holding each other up. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dirty Love

Happy to report that my iron levels are out of the severe anemia range! Not yet normal, but getting there. Today I watched a clip of Annabelle and me on Spanish TV, and could not believe how sick I look. The anemic pallor! Hopefully that has improved too. 

Had a great re entry from my two weeks in paradise, followed by Literary Orange in Irvine. A week spent putting finishing touches on both AN ITALIAN WIFE and final book in THE TREASURE CHEST series (book 10!). A lovely way to spend my days. 

Wednesday night I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to OLLI members (lifelong learners) at the Laurel Lane Country Club here in RI. Had the best conversations at my table and beyond. However, as someone geographically and navigationally challenged, I could not find my way out of the country club. Chose the wrong dark road and ended up ON the golf course. Insert red faced emoticon here. I admit I laughed the whole way home...

Tonight off to a fundraiser for the Providence Public Library. Tomorrow I will be at the Maynard MA Book Festival at 1:30. And Sunday off for most of the week in NYC. 

Meanwhile, reading DIRTY LOVE by the ever fabulous Andre Dubus lll. Read it if you haven't yet!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Countdown

In 24 hours I'll be at the Tampa airport, returning my rental car, scrounging for something edible, heading to Irvine, CA and Literary Orange. It will be sad to leave paradise. This girl can get used to palm trees, sand, and the gulf right outside my door. Not to mention jaw dropping sunsets. Grilled grouper. Tiki bars. And oh yeah. Unlimited writing time. 

But here's the truth. I miss home. Two weeks is a long time away. I just want to scoop up annabelle and not let go. Which is exactly what will happen when I walk in the door Sunday night around 8!

120 pages of a new novel. A good two weeks work. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lots of new events!

Check my website at www.annhood.us to see if I'm coming to a bookstore or library near you!

I'll be in North Conway, NH; Easton, MA; Newburyport, MA; Glen Head, NY; and Newport, RI.

Hope to see you somewhere soon!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On first drafts

I call them glorious messes. Some writers call them vomit drafts or some such, but I think that's not a good way to think about your unformed, crazy, beautiful work. 

Today I reached page 100. I have a heroin addict, an unsolved murder, and an affair with a younger man that all surprised me by showing up. Those things (and others) could end up out of the book. Or they could grow even more. I find this so exciting that I'm awake at 4 in the morning, thinking them over. At some point I'll have 300+ pages, and then the hard work will begin: revision. For now, I'm creating a glorious mess. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week Two at artist colony

On a roll with the novel, despite lingering questions about whether it's any good. Always haunting me during first drafts, that's the terrifying part. The exhilarating part is waking up, like this morning, with ideas pushing to get on the page. And like other hours here, today will pass in a haze of words. 

Yesterday I had to change rooms, which was disruptive to my work schedule (as well as a pain in the neck, not to mention losing my spectacular view!) but I left the site and took myself and the Sunday NYT out for breakfast on the beach, bought fresh Gulf shrimp (they went into yummy shrimp scampi last night), then spent the afternoon reading through my 70 pages, tweaking and fixing. 

Ready to spend today on the next chapter! Only four more days here, but I think I might reach my goal of 100 pages...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sound of the waves woke me

Maybe dreaming, I thought I heard a train. But it's the crazy wind and crashing waves outside my windows. I'm enjoying the sound, even though it's too dark to see the beach. Normally I would try at least to go back to sleep. But such is life at an artist colony that I know I can sleep later if I'm tired. All obligation is removed for awhile. 

What a night last night! Here at the Hermitage Friday readings are right on the beach! I mean, toes in sand. A heron and a skate both made an appearance too. It was a remarkable night, and a delight to share the sand with my fellow reader, the playwright Y York. 

My goal these two weeks--half over now--is to finish 100 pages of a new novel. I think I'll reach that goal, even as the plot, as they say, keeps thickening. This is a challenging one, in the best possible way. 

Meanwhile, here's the cover of An Italian Wife, published in September and already available for pre order!