It feels a bit like confession: ‘Dear God, it’s been 6 weeks since my last blog.’ Well, I’ve been busy. Doing what, you ask?
* recovering from throwing my son and new daughter-in-law’s wedding
* flying to California to help my son and new daughter-in-law settle into their new home
* organising the next round of workshops for Writing Through
* running the first fundraiser for Writing Through (I’m happy to say!)
* reading some books, like Kent Haruf’s beautiful paean to the importance of intimacy and conversation, Our Souls at Night
* going to the beach and having some much needed and well-deserved downtime with my husband
* thinking about my next novel and wondering when I’ll get to write it
it’s been a good, busy, beautiful summer. So the obvious question is, Now what?
* My NGO, Writing Through, continues to take up most of my time. I am thrilled to say we have now hired a part-time Programme Coordinator, and she will definitely help shoulder the burden. It seems my humble writing workshop is turning into an international organisation, complete with staff, volunteers, clients, outreach, evolving programmes, a new website, a fundraising strategy, a growing Board of Directors. To do this right, it’s a full-time job. And I’m determined to do this right. If you are reading this, you are likely also following all that Writing Through is accomplishing. But if not, please do check out the website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (of course).
* I am still Chairman of the Board of Theatre Delicatessen, a company very dear to my heart. This is also growing and evolving, and helping the staff and the rest of the Board keep an eye on this and ensuring it becomes all it can be, also takes a lot of time. It’s funny though. Although Cambodia and the rest of SE Asia take up a lot of my thinking and activity, theatre is still my original love. I can’t imagine not being a part of it, even in a small way. Theatre Delicatessen is not so small anymore. Again, you might well know all about it. But if not, check it out here and you’ll see that, actually, what I am doing here is quite similar in purpose to what I’m doing with Writing Through…..hmmm….
* And there’s another momentous family event on the horizon — my other son’s wedding in April. No, this doesn’t take up all that much of my time just now. But boy, it takes up a lot of my heart!
* What about your writing, you might ask? Good question. The next novel is completely in my head, and mostly outlined in my handy Black n’ Red notebook. The next poetry anthology is about one-third written, with a long list of poems waiting patiently for their own chance to be written. This is my big goal for the next 12 months — figuring out how to balance the work and family commitments above, with my writing time. The ideas already exist. Many of the words are also there in my head. But finding both the chronological time and, what is more difficult, the ‘head time’ needed to write them, is the difficult part. I know I am in desperate need for another stint at Anam Cara, the retreat where I have written so much of my work so successfully in the past. Finding the 10 days in my calendar is hard, though, because it looks like this year will see me on airplanes jetting between continents just as much as last year. Trips to Asia for Writing Through, several to the States for family, one or two to the continent for various reasons…it’s a crazy life. But a good one.
* Oh, and what about my blog? Will I get back to my weekly posts? I certainly hope so. And apologies for this one being so long. I guess it’s in the nature of catch-ups.
So, thanks everyone for hanging in here with me. And as I tend to say — ever onward!