I suck. I have reneged on my blogging duties. After months of guest blogging on various sites, blogging here and reviewing, I just couldn’t quite get back here. I even sadly, fell off the Gone With The Wind read-a-thon. (I hope that Erin Blakemore will forgive me.) Rumour has it though that she may guest blog for me here so hopefully I will somehow make it up to her.

Coming back from residency was challenging for me this time around. I couldn’t quite get grounded or back in the rhythm. I felt like I left half of myself on the mountain of Montpelier and the other half came back. I was chasing time, constantly trying to catch up. Feeling completely overwhelmed and excited all at the same time about the work that I couldn’t wait to start. I am thrilled to be working with Mary Quattlebaum, who is asking me all of the right (and difficult) questions and forcing me to really focus.

Man, do I need focus. Oh look a pretty shiny thing over in the distance…I think that I’ll just go and take a peak.

So much to do, so little time. Life is short, so am I. (Ha! Really I am short…5″2)

How will I chose to spend my time? Will I act with authenticity and integrity when I write and work? I hope so.

Suffice to say, it has not been an easy few weeks. Lots of changes forcing me to let go of old ideas of what I thought my life should be and re-evaluating as to how I get it to where I want to be…sound familiar? Yes, I know…

One could blame Mercury’s retrograde, but that wouldn’t really be fair to the planet. Although I know people who say that they are practically useless during the three weeks the planet changes course; I feel that I’m one of those people. It was a good time to revise things and so that is what I focused on, both in writing and in life.

Still, I pushed through somehow…although I think that I regressed to some bad habits (writing habits) that I must expel from my repertoire. Also, having to balance the U.S. and Canadian spellings and grammar rules can get a bit confusing for a person such as myself who has always been weak in that department…

Those following me on goodreads can watch me jump from book to book. If you look to the right, you will notice that I’m reading three craft books right now and two YA novels, plus GWTW (although August is over, I will continue, Erin!) Maybe, I’ll start posting my reading habits on the blog, so at least you can all see why I’ve abandoned you…

Poor boyfriend, he’s had to put up with some moodiness…He’s rewarded me with good dinners though. I am very lucky to live with a man who likes to cook…otherwise I think we would both starve. My neighbour picks our tomatoes (that they planted for us in our backyard) and leaves them on our picnic table. A friend was staying with us this week and cleaned the house! Yes, I’m that unorganized that I cannot even clean. I think that I’m becoming one of those absent-minded professor type people. Head always in the clouds, never on the ground…

I think that part of it is that this new WIP forces me to deal with dark Melanie issues. It seems that is my lot to write from my deep dark stuff. This is what writers do, I think. Find our traumas and write from there. Good times. So, I haven’t been all that pleasant to be around.  The revision has been challenging because there is so much about this new novel that I don’t know yet and I wonder if the writing is any good. Most of the time I think that I’m just treading water. I keep going. Learning who these new characters are and hoping that I’m somehow doing them justice.

I think that maybe things are going okay with the WIP because when I was editing this week, I had one of those out-of-body experiences in which I wondered who was it that wrote this because it couldn’t have been me? When I experience this, I know that I’m going in the right direction. That doesn’t mean that I’m done. I’m far from done my friends.

In six weeks I will be speaking at Leaksdale and I’ve started really putting the pieces together for that paper.  I am in a panel with some of the best Montgomery scholars. It is amazing to me that I’m going to be speaking with them. I will be speaking on the Saturday at 11:40 A.M (they will be adding Vermont College of Fine Arts to that list of universities I think shortly.)  If you find yourself in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, I hope that you will come by. The other speakers will be fabulous. In fact stay the whole weekend if you can.

In the meantime, I’ve sent out another proposal for the Montgomery conference next Spring and was asked if I would be part of a panel for another conference in May. Maybe I’m taking on too much? Remember what I said about those shiny lights? They are so sparkly…

This weekend, I will be concentrating on my critical essay and annotated bibliography. I have another round of revisions for a short piece that I’m working on which I almost like as well. There are only three weeks in between this packet and the next one, so forgive me if I go into hiding again…but you know that I love you.

For today at least, I’m feeling like maybe that part of me that I left on the mountain top has decided to join me here at the bottom. And that maybe, just maybe, I can have the illusion that I’m in control again…

About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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