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If a tree falls in the forest ... should it be used to make the paper for my novel?

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I’ve been working on a novel for the past year and a half, a process which has made doing any kind of creative writing here in this space more and more difficult. I’ve kept up with my book-to-movie blog at Chapter1-Take1.com but that’s a very different kind of writing. When giving out factual information, I don’t require inspiration. 

Now I’ve finished the book and I’ve begun reaching out, searching for an agent. An easy sentence to write, a horrifying, intimidating, paralyzing process to undertake. The first chapter, one I was happy with before, now strikes me as sophomoric, tedious, garbage and any number of cliche criticisms. Is it? Or is that my fear talking? I don’t know. I’m in a place where I can’t imagine my novel is worth the paper it’s written on—about 1/3 of your typical paper-suitable tree. Which is why I still can’t find the energy to get back to memoir pieces. My writing brain needs a break. 

So in lieu of a writerly post, I’m posting photos instead. If you follow me on In…

One more reason to hate laundry...

My son, who shall remain nameless - “Mom, don’t you dare write about me! That’s not fair!” came home today from a week of Outdoor Education in Malibu. Outdoor Education is a program for sixth graders who get to spend a week at Camp Bloomfield in the Santa Monica Mountains. The kids don’t just look at pictures of tide pools, they hike it down to the Pacific Ocean and get their feet wet.They don’t just talk about astronomy. They go out on a night hike and see the stars first hand.
But it's the rainy season here in California so this idyllic sounding time in the great outdoors of sunny Southern California wasn’t quite what you might think.
While “sunblock” was on the list of must-bring items, it had to be the least-used item they packed … unless you count the toothpaste! And when I unzipped his duffel bag to get at the laundry - because, God knows I love to do laundry - I found his extra pair of shoes (drenched), soaked socks (none matching), a dripping wet pair of khakis and his yellow poncho. The poncho was quite dry.There was also a plastic bag full of more clothes.
“Don’t touch it, Mom. In fact, I’d just dump the whole duffel bag in the washer if I were you.”
Easy for you to say, I thought to myself, you’re not the one who actually has to wash, dry, fold and worst of all, put away these clothes.
“Everything’s dirty?” I ask, pulling out a t-shirt from the plastic bag.
“Not totally dirty. It’s just that’s the t-shirt I was wearing when I found the poison ivy.”
Poison ivy?!”“Yeah. They said it’ll take a couple of days before we’ll know if I’m gonna get it or not.”
Standing there, still holding the potentially poison ivy infested t-shirt I can’t help but think Oh, yeah. You’re gonna get it, alright!”

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