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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
JUN
05

The Best Kind of To-do List

Last time I talked about reading, which I confessed I didn't devote as much time to as I wish I did. I have to split this time with writing, see, but that means I don't devote as much time to writing as I wish I did either. Especially in the early months after one of my books comes out, I become a bit lax. (Although Yuppie came out in October, soooooo I'm not sure I can keep using this as an excuse.)

Sending out a survey related to my next book project has re-energized me, and I spent last weekend writing several pages. It was a long weekend because of Memorial Day, and I had added three check boxes next to the "write" item on my to-do list, meaning I was going to write each of the three days. The best part was, by the time the third day rolled around, the only thing left on the list was the third "write" check box. In case this is in any way unclear, what I'm saying is that the only thing on my to-do list for Monday was WRITE! It was truly a writer's dream.

I'm pleased with the direction this new project is taking, and if it ends up being about the same length as most of my other books, then I'm about 30% done with the initial draft of the manuscript. And so progress is happening, even if it will be a long time before I get another chance to write for three days in a row. I'll take what I can get.

AUG
05

This is My Jam

I recently acquired some fruit trees. The lemons and oranges are pretty straightforward, and the only issue I run into is that I can't really use them fast enough. I always wondered why people would bring in heaps of home-grown produce to the office with a "take what you want" sign, but now I know. Also, let's be real. Many of the things you can make with lemons require a ridiculous amount of sugar. It's like seeing how the sausage is made, but with lemonade. And you can only make so many pitchers of lemonade before you start asking yourself if you should really be drinking so much of it.

The apricots are another story entirely. For one thing, in my head I was confusing them with peaches. Or I was at least picturing peaches in my mind as I watched them grow from small green spheres to small peach spheres. "I just need to wait for them to get bigger," is what I thought every time looked out at the tree. Nevermind that they were the perfect color. Nevermind that the branches were already weighing heavy from the small spheres. Nevermind that they started falling OFF the tree. I thought they would get bigger, so I waited. Luckily I realized they were as big as they were going to get and perfectly (if a bit over) ripe in time to harvest the entire tree's worth.

Of course, what does one then do with an entire tree of apricots that pretty much need to be eaten immediately? Naturally, I turned to jam. Nevermind that I had never made jam of any kind. Nevermind that I had to ask the store clerk where to find the canning jars (wouldn't you assume baking??). Nevermind that I only bought about half the jars I ended up needing. Nevermind that I came very close to only putting in a fraction of the required sugar. In any case, the jam got made, and it's more delicious than someone with no experience should have been able to produce. Really. And it delights me that both the apricots and required lemon juice came from my own backyard.

I guess it's jut refreshing to be trying new things, even if those new things require "working" tree fertilizer into the soil, far enough out to cover the "drip line." (Cue Moira and David Rose trying to fold in cheese.) Here's to next year's harvest!

FEB
15

Back in the Saddle

I always give myself a nice long writing break after a book comes out. It's relaxing. So much so that when I start thinking about starting the next book, it makes me feel a bit stressed. Like, am I ready for that? Do I want to do that? Do I really want to do that? And so I stall. Until I can talk myself into putting my big girl writer pants back on and getting on with it.

Which is my way of saying that I have officially gotten on with it and begun a new book. I'm only a few thousand words in, but it's been a delicious reminder of how much I really do love writing. It's not a chore (aside from actually finding the time to do it), and each topic gives me the chance to delve into a different chapter of life and remember what it was like. This one I am particularly enjoying, but for a completely different reason than why I enjoyed writing Newbie so much. 

This book is not without risk, which is something I'll have to evaluate as I get further into it, but for now, I think there's a way I can write it and keep myself out of trouble. One can only hope.