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Yes, that’s right. This blog is closed for business. Fermé. Cerrado. Chiuso. But do not fret! I can now be found online, (looking pretty snazzy, I have to say), at a shiny new website! So please visit me there, sign up there for blog updates (you will no longer get my weirdness wisdom delivered to your inbox unless you subscribe again here – sorry).

www.danaalisonlevy.com

What’s so great about it, you ask? Well, it looks like this:

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And it was built by these lovely people and it is full of excellent information about my book, THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER* as well as lots of other random and bizarre ramblings fun stuff.

So come on over to www.danaalisonlevy.com! I’ll save you a seat! (Probably).

*For those of you paying attention, YES, the name of my book has changed! It was THE FAMILY FURNIVAL, and now is THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER. Cool huh?

No matter how mild the winter, no matter how fast it passes, I’m always delighted to see these.

Happy spring!!

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This is Just Like Me Writing. Only Without the Beard. Or the Robe. Or the Quill.

Given how extremely rarely I DO blog these days, perhaps I should change the title to “Why I Sometimes Blog” or “Why I Used to Blog” or even “Why I Mean to Blog Even Though I Never Get to It.” But you know, short simple titles are best, so I’ll stick with the original.

There were a couple of reasons this was on my mind lately. First, there was a lively discussion among the fabulous writers in my super sekrit writer’s lair about blogging. Some of the authors there are published, some are under contract with their first book coming soon, some are in the query trenches, and some are still working away on drafts. But regardless of where we are in their writer’s trajectory, many of us blog. Some do it to gain potential readers, some hope to grab the eye of a roving editor or agent, some want to get friendly with other authors.

Then, there’s the fact that I’m crazy batshit totally nuts busy these days. I have work projects coming out of my ears. I have revisions going on for one book that I’ve been sitting on for a year and I really feel has potential. I have another book out in the hands of agents. I finished another book and reallyreallyreally want to get back to revisions on it, but I am sitting on my hands until I finish the other project.

Then there’s this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah. They keep me fairly busy.*

So why do I blog?

The reason is pretty simple. I like to.

I think about books, and about writing, far more than any of my non-writing peeps want to hear. I like to talk about books I love, to rant about subjects that get me nuts (voting, anyone?) and mostly, to feel like I’m not alone on this peculiar journey I decided on one lovely September day.

Right now, it doesn’t matter if I have five followers or 500, if I keep to a strict blogging schedule or go months in between. I do it simply because it gives me another place to flex these muscles, to talk about books, to write.

So unless I have some compelling reason to either quit cold turkey or start blogging with serious commitment, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. And hope that someone somewhere is enjoying the ride as much as I am.

 

*fairly busy is a code for spending every waking moment shlepping one or another of them to a hockey rink or soccer field. A word you young ones out there? Don’t raise well-coordinated kids. It will only come back to haunt you.

YA author and fellow New Englander Jo Knowles had a lovely writing exercise on her blog yesterday that I want to imitate. (I would have done it yesterday if I  hadn’t been felled by some hideous stomach/fever/virus thing. Misery). Anyway.

The assignment:
1) Find a photo that makes you happy

2. Make a “list poem” of the feelings, thoughts, smells, sights, tastes, etc. of the captured moment.

Bacon pops in the pan
Smoke,
Curling up in the morning air
The dew dampens our feet, wool socks sticking to toes
Not the best night sleep, for sure,
Tucked in the tent with wind howling around,
But
Still worth it
Small breaths near my face all night long.
Children, slowly waking up, change from cuddled bundles to running wild
Chasing chickens,
Chasing kittens,
Chasing dogs,
Chasing each other
While adults watch, bemused, coffee clutched in metal cups.
Baked beans bubble over
Causing a small commotion,
But the Firemaster has it under control before the beans are lost.
Bacon from the farm,
Potatoes from the farm,
Eggs from the farm, and
Soon enough, the farmers themselves, up for hours before us lazy visitors,
Are there to say good morning.
Pajamas fly loud and proud, matched with
Woolly sweaters, fleeces, and wellington boots;
We are clearly rookies at this early morning farm life.
Suddenly, over the hill of the fields, blazing:
The sun! So bright that the dew
Disappears in an instant.
And suddenly, the woolsockshatsstweatersboots are all too much.
It is warm
And the day has begun.
A hymn to breakfast, a cheers (hot chocolate and coffee and tea) to the cook
An attempt to corral the running children,
Bacon eaten while passing by
A bite of egg
On the next go round.
The air is a perfume of hay, bacon grease, coffee, and sunshine
Inviting
All who smell it
Enjoy the perfect morning.

3. Share on your blog and link here or back to Jo’s blog so we can all enjoy.

Remember when I used to blog?  Yeah, I do too.  No, I haven’t been trapped under a large piece of furniture, unable to reach the keyboard to share a  snippet from Swim.  It’s just that November has grasped me in it’s saliva-filled mandible and masticated the ever-loving crap out of me.  I am chewed up and spit back out, people, I really am.

So how does my writing fare in these dark times, you ask?  Well, pretty freaking badly, it turns out.  For the past year or so writing has been the fun part of my day (no offense, family, friends, sauvignon blanc), and even when it was hard it was deeply satisfying.  Last week was the first time in twelve months that I went more than two days without writing.  And even worse, without even wanting to write.  I felt like a dear friend  had gone out for coffee then never came back.

But.  But life marches on, and a rolling stone gathers no moss, and time and tide wait for no man.  Um…oh yes, I had a point.  Life very mundanely keeps moving along, leaving me feeling like writing was a pretentious and overly earnest thing that I should have outgrown along with the bad poetry in my Monet notebook in seventh grade.  Then the next thing I know I am in bed at 5:00 a.m. with my brain spinning in mad crazy circles about how I could add more conflict and up the stakes if XXX happens…and suddenly my dear friend is back from Starbucks, a few weeks late but carrying a latte and a molasses cookie and asking for forgiveness.

So I let her in.  I sit down, kind of sheepish, and reopen the document that I haven’t seen in a week.  I reread a few pages, cringe a couple things, but really love a few others.  Fingers back on the keyboard, butt  back in the chair.  I am home.

p.s. I love this song. Like, really love it.  Love love it.  I want to marry it.  And the video is pretty cool too.

Artichoke Reservoir, West Newbury

I just wrote a great post about the rescued miner in Chile who copyrighted the note he wrote that let everyone know they were alive. Then WordPress went ahead and ate it. Whatev.
So now you all get a consolation prize: look at the pretty leaves! You’re welcome.
xoxo

Kind of like a koan…if you write a blog and nobody reads it, is it still there?  Hmmm….

Anway, I suppose it is necessary to begin somewhere, so here we are.  I am on a journey to move the voices out of my head and my dreams and onto paper, where they will be ruthlessly criticized and edited, and hopefully, ultimately, published.  We’ll see how it goes.