Owling About

25 October 2013

You haven't seen much of me around Literary Lane of late, I'm afraid. The truth is, I took a short hiatus so as to focus on studying for the PSAT (so happy to have that out of the way!) and general getting-back-into-scholarly-habits (still working on that one . . .). My reading has been eclectic, as usual: Huckleberry Finn for my American literature course, Dragonwitch for fun, and The Count of Monte Cristo, at which I've been plugging all summer and still have a good three hundred pages to go (why are the French such verbose creatures?). We also threw my sisters a rather large party for their respective October birthdays, and between shopping, planning, and working, my time was stretched thin. The party had a Roaring Twenties theme, which means our attire included significantly more feathers and pearls than usual, and all around, it was quite a splendid affair.

With November creeping up on us, my thoughts have turned rather predictably to NaNoWriMo. No season inspires me to pick up my pen like autumn with all its spice and flame tangling in every breeze. I cannot think of passing by such a month without casting my pen into the fray, but that seems to be the best decision at present. NaNoWriMo will not help me in my goal to finish Rifles in the South Field by year's end; on the contrary, it would probably hurt it. I hardly need say that I don't work well under stress. Every year when November rolls around, the blood tingles in my veins to go full steam ahead on whatever project I'm currently working. Breaking that habit is hard, especially since Bree will be venturing out on her own this time. But when I was planning my schedule in August, I resolved that the wisest decision would be to pull back and not overcommit, no matter the urge to do so come autumn. I'm infamous for joining too many projects, overwhelming myself, and leaving various tasks incomplete as a result. When the month of noveling arrives, though I won't be NaNoing myself, I'll still be standing by the sidelines, cheering each of you further up and further in.

that part where the post title makes sense:

Whenever his daughter Louisa was locked away in her room, either reading or scribbling, Bronson Alcott would say she was "owling about." And that's what I'll be doing this November: stretching my mind through reading, writing, and deeper thinking. Specifically speaking, that will mean

Staying diligent. School continues ever on, down from the institution where it began, but I've made my peace with this semester's workload, and I don't think we'll be butting heads any longer. If I can only manage to keep Spanish and French verb conjugations from tangling together, all will be well.

Writing regularly. Rifles will not be abandoned or dreaded — as it is so apt to be when left to collect dust — but attacked with much prayer, tea, and steady persistance. "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."

Reading authors new and old. Sutcliff will soon join the ranks of authors to occupy my mental shelves, as the library copy of Eagle of the Ninth constantly reminds me from its place on my desk. I'm nearly finished with Sayers' Letters to a Diminished Church and I'm already excited to finally dive into The Mind of the Maker. My to-read list runs about a mile and a half, which is no surprise. Thankfully, our library is more than up to the challenge.

Keeping Literary Lane stocked on fresh material. Rather than focusing on NaNo and leaving my blog to various guest posts, I've resolved to post with better regularity. Several new book reviews, writing snippets, and general updates on life can all be expected in the coming month.

Life will move onward, decidedly more inky and apple-scented than usual, but all the lovelier because of it.

3 epistles:

  1. Why, you have been very busy, Elizabeth!! :D A 1920s themed birthday party sounds like so much fun too... :). How did the PSAT go? For all I can do, I am hoping I will not have to sit the SAT after I graduate but go through the online route of Open Universities Australia and then shifting to the university and bachelor of my choice which does not require such exams before entering - SAT is FULL OF MATHS!!

    I think it is a wise thing to take the choice of doing NaNo or not in your stride in regards to Rifles of the South Field, seeing that you are 'into it' already and like me - stress doesn't bring about very good productivity in situations like that. I do believe that in my case last year, joining NaNoWriMo on a work-in-progress novel was not the wisest choice for that particular project (The Crown of Life). In fact, I became so stuck and entangled I had to lay it aside and start out on a new novel. This year, I am basically pulling the long-brooded threads of my novel, A Love that Never Fails, for the first time into November's project so we'll see how that goes ;), I am excited but keeping my fingers crossed because my sisters and I are part of a family music concert at the end of the month of Nov which demands loads of practice and time... so I don't know how good I will be at scribbling out a good and noble word-count :).

    Did you read Dragonwitch, Elizabeth? I read it all during a one week in August and it was AMAZING! I am sure you'll enjoy Sutcliff - especially The Eagle of the Ninth and The Silver Branch =). She's quite alive and rich in her prose. I have been meaning to crack open The Shield Ring, The Lantern Bearers and The Shining Company but other books such as North and South, Kidnapped, With Christ in the School of Prayer and Tolkien's Tales from the Perilous Realm have taken up my free hours.

    And a little off subject, I was absolutely THRILLED that you started watching the LotR movies and have been enjoying them. I'd love to hear when you watch the Return of the King, how you liked it fully ^_^

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  2. Ooh, Eagle of The Ninth! Such a good book! I'm looking forward to hearing more about Rifles.

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  3. I always love your blog posts, Elizabeth! : ) "Owling about" ... I'll have to remember that phrase. I agree with you about NaNoWriMo ... I've never tried it, but I don't think it works with my way of writing. I'm afraid it just wouldn't do my projects any good. Maybe one year I shall try it when circumstances seem favorable. However, I do plan on trying to make a lot of headway on my work in progress; I just don't want to commit to being an official participant! It really sounds like you've made the right choice. I look forward to when you publish Rifles in the North Field, so you mustn't do anything to delay it! : )
    Oh, you're reading "The Mind of the Maker"! Do you think you'll review that? Ever since Abigail Hartman recommended it, it's been on my reading list, too.

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"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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