Author: T. L. Sherwood

T. L. Sherwood lives beside Eighteen Mile Creek in western New York. Her work has appeared in Rosebud, Thema, Literary Orphans, and Vestal Review among other places.

Writing & Seasons

Yesterday, I got nine unique pieces sent out in hopes of finding a home. I couldn’t find it in me to get out another one. This year has been one of the lowest “submitting” ones I’ve ever had. I know, there’s still a few months, but I’m okay with accepting different years meaning different things. This one was all about a novel I loved, but since the rewrite, I’m worried over it, and worry takes up time.

The steps leading to the backyard have never been “right” so the most recent project is correcting them. We found out the drainage pipe is damaged, so that snag has delayed progress, but there is a solution and if the weather holds, we might finish this weekend. (And if I remember, I’ll take pictures for the next post.)

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The garden is a disaster – too much rain in the spring, ravenous slugs, and lack of time. I’ve been out there working with the baseball adage of “next year!” in my heart. Not every year of gardening will be bountiful. I did get some nice jalapeños and green beans. I think I’ll have a carrot and parsnip – unless something below the surface has nibbled them away.

I’m not Jewish – that I know of – but this post is sounding like I’m at a new year, doesn’t it? And I’m okay with that. In fact, I think it makes more sense to consider a year right now than at the end of December. I still won’t make a resolution, though. Promising to change isn’t the same as changing.

I do believe in goals and write them out, work toward them, cross them off. There is a list of ten 5-year goals on my fridge and I’ve reached some of them. In fact, seven out of ten is not bad with two years left. The ones not reached? All writing related. Ah well…I suppose I ought to work on the last three so off I go to edit, polish, rewrite and write anew.

Oh! And as a reminder: Saturday, 21 October 2017 at 1:00 there is an author reading. Please join me at the West Falls-Colden Library to hear Kim Chinquee, Barbara Early, Mary Jo Hodge, Gina Detwiler, Mary Akers, Deb Madar and Jeff Schober.

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

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(It finally bloomed!)

 

*These are all my creekside reflections. Your experience may vary.

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Yet Untethered

You know what they say, when you can’t stand staring at a blank page, fold it. Actually, no one says that – as far as I know – but I’ve been folding paper. Like my boats?

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I know, I know, my technique needs work, but it’s a start.

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We got another 5 cord of wood on Sunday. I put up half of it on Monday, as well as cleared the last of the wood destined for the splitter. Yesterday, I finished up, so that bit of winter prep is done.

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It’s gratifying to see an actual end of a task. If only books and stories were that easy. Speaking of which, I’m stepping away from “Near Eden, New York”  until a new set of eyes looks it over. The last revision strengthened it – I know that  – and I think it is “done” – but I also know I can’t read it objectively anymore, nor can I stop tinkering.

I’ve mapped out a few scenes and conversations for “New Book.” Poor thing doesn’t have a title or a POV yet. Last night, I dreamt of Lettie’s fall. I think it’s time to revisit that story and see if I can’t wrap it up. Or I’ll hole away in the library and take a stab at some new flash. Or fold paper. Or laundry. Or stand in the yard waiting for this tease of a flower to finally bloom.

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So many lovely decisions to consider. Thanks for the read and stopping by!

 

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

All of the Things

I’m between books. There. I said it. Excuse me while I hyperventilate. I don’t remember the last time. It feels like I’m in a shuttle, somewhere between Mercury and Uranus. There are vast areas where I could land, a vacuum outside my window, and I have no sense of direction. Not that I ever use hyperbole to describe my anxiety. Completing the revision of Near Eden, New York is slightly wonderful and maddeningly stressful. I know it’s a good book. When will an agent agree and take it to the next step?

 

Instead of panicking, I’m doing all of the things.

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Husband’s birthday was celebrated by going to The Comfort Zone in Hamburg for the Ten Thousand Vines Wine Pairing. The following day, it was off to Fiesta Bamba in Springville for dinner with playwrights and their families. I had a great time with Bella Poynton, Donna Hoke, T J Snodgrass, Mike Fanelli, Matt Boyle, and the rest. Afterwards, it was off to my least favorite place to watch the 2nd Annual Springville Center for the Arts Staged Shorts. Sunday afternoon, we went with Kim and Paul to The Sportsman Tavern in Buffalo to hear Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials.

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Monday, I visited Nina Fosati at her home for coffee and a lovely chat. Later, I was at Immaculate Conception in Eden where Husband is working to watch the partial eclipse from the telescope he made.

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Yesterday, Husband came home with a kazoo from the factory and today, I woke up to find I’d won a copy of The Science of Orphan Black via retweet courtesy of P. S. Literary. Tonight, a Cutco rep will be at my house.

Oh, I won a Write Well Award for Men at Science. I look at that story now, and want to change so much of it! At Hamburg Writers’ Group, I haven’t read in weeks. Jim Miner teases that I’m sashaying in and resting on my laurels, but what it really is, is regrouping and refilling. I’m filing, querying, admiring the flowers,

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studying the frogs,

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and with the encouragement I got this morning from Tara Isabel Zambrano and Maureen Langloss, I’ll be entering Split Lip Magazine’s Flash Contest.

Next week it’s time for the novel critique group with Mary Akers and Gina Detwiler. Finally! I’ve missed them both over the summer. And on 2 September, winter hours begin at West Falls Colden Library and I’ll be back for my Saturday morning shifts. And if you’re reading this, make note that on Saturday, 21 October 2017 at 1:00 there is an author reading. Please join me to hear Kim Chinquee, Barbara Early, Mary Jo Hodge, Gina Detwiler, Mary Akers, Deb Madar and Jeff Schober.

So yeah, that’s what I mean by “all of the things.”

All of the things but writing…

Grabbing a paper bag!

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences will vary.

Reunion time.

When last I posted, I was preparing for the reunion. It’s over now.

Many thanks to Kate

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and Ernie, our gracious hosts. Ernie brought beer that he brewed. It was fantastic and how cool is it that he inadvertently named one after me? (It’s not the first time I’ve been described as “toasty”)

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A group of us went to see the Essex Theatre Company’s production of “The Birds.” It was such fun to walk back up the hill and discuss the plot and motives. The cast party was at the schoolhouse so I got to touch base with Ted Cornell (the designer, director, and “Tierney) and Kathryn Cramer (the dramaturg) and to meet Martha Swan and Rob Farkas.

There was an excursion to swim.

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Croquet.

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Flights and corn hole at the Ausable Brewing Co.

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Paper flower making.

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And many, many meals

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and conversations

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and laughter.

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Rachael and I had a lovely chat across from this embroidered coverlet that hung in the room Husband and I shared.

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Once home, I went to both nights of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” tryouts. I have no idea if I got a part. The director said one of my readings invoked guilt in him, which – I think – was a compliment. I spent several lovely hours visiting with Nina Fosati at her home. Husband and I had a fantastic early supper with Bob and Teresa at Julie’s. And today, I hit the shops before three when the car had to go back.

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Today was the last bit of the “vay-cay” where I sadly turned in the rental. I hated that car but loved the bit of freedom it provided. Now all thoughts are on finishing up the revision, preparing for the reading I’m hosting in October and freaking out over how badly I did at the audition. Real life is such fun!

Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences ought to vary.)

Oops! It’s Friday and I’m in love with Iced Lemon Biscotti!

Apologizes for my tardiness, but I have fantastic excuses. The first is that the rewrite is going well so I’ve been focusing on that, but the biggest focus has been figuring out the details of our trip to Essex for the family reunion. The car rental is reserved, tickets for the play we’ll be seeing while we’re there are bought, and a cat sitter has been found. Now I’m down to packing, making pasta salad for 40 and cleaning the house before we leave. Piece of cake.

Yesterday there was a tornado in Hamburg. I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it to Tamara Grisanti’s place for her soy candle party, but I did and it was lovely. Iced Lemon Biscotti and Beach Linen were the two Hemlock House candles I bought and would recommend to everyone. We also got to sample some masculine scents that Tamara’s husband created for a bachelor party. I hope they make more of those soon. Kim Chinquee was there, too, and now I have a copy of Veer that will be traveling with me.

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There’s a novel critique group coming up and I’m psyched to see Mary Akers and Gina Detwiler again. It’s been too long! Tonight, I’ll be at Comfort Zone for the Hamburg Writers’ Group. Last week, I had the truck and spent time across the street at SPoT Coffee writing two new flashes. Yes, I’m back to being active in Hot Pants on Zoetrope.

Also, I want to say I was so happy to finally accept my first piece for Literary Orphans as Fiction Editor. Congratulations Tara Isabel Zambrano! Her stunning piece, Measurable Hours, will be in the September Issue.

Gardenwise, the hydrangea is blooming

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and the yellow flowers that attract so many different types of bees are opening up.

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Writing is a strange process. The more time I don’t have time to write, I write more. A friend of mine was lamenting that he’d just been given a chunk of time and space to do nothing but write and he’s written next to nothing. I’m thinking about ordering him a candle from Hemlock House so the amazing scents will reawaken his imagination.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences will vary.)

Same circumstances, different pictures.

Well, here it is 6 July 2017 and from the looks of things, my life isn’t much different from the last time I posted. Book revisions are ongoing, I’m still looking for stories in the Literary Orphans queue to accept, and the kitchen is still a mess. In reality, progress was made and good times were shared.

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This is the state of the shelving. The trays are made, the glides in place, and I’ve given the cat several rides in and out. She likes it, I swear! We ended up on a road trip to PA in order to plane the maple for the fronts and got to spend time with Husband’s Twin and Amazing Rachael who’d cleaned and painted before we got there. Did I take pictures there? No. Once we left, we were off to the Tuttle’s for a tent raising good time and I got to see Alana for the first time. Do I have pictures of that? No. What I do have pictures of are these gorgeous flowers and limited data left, so please excuse this truncated post and remember, I think you’re awesome for stopping by for the read. Cheers!

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*These are my creekside reflections. Yours ought to vary.

Tearing myself away from honing #amwriting

Kudos to the wondrous Kathy Fish for hosting the Fast Fiction Reunion on Zoetrope this weekend. I met some wildly talented writers and had a blast. Plus, I wrote two new flashes. Yeah! It hasn’t been that long since I finished a piece, but it feels that way. Now, if I could just make time to submit…

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I’m in the middle of a minor kitchen project and when I say “I,” I mean Husband is doing the work and I’m coping with the displacement of things so of course this morning, Allison suggests coming round to drop off the “appreciation gift.” My life resembles a sit-com at times.

I’m honing “Near Eden, New York,” based on great suggestions from Nina, Mary, and Gina, plus my own thoughts after leaving it alone for a few months. My synopsis needs work, too. Being a writer is such fun, let me tell you. But I do take time to enjoy the roses.

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Literally. This is the sight that greets me on my way out the door.

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Sadly, the peonies are already waning.

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The bulbs that I can’t remember the names of are thriving in these days before the official start of summer. I hope you’re enjoying your time, no matter what you’re doing. As for me, I’ll be diving back into Tara and Pete’s story. It’s a lovely place to be.

Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

 

(These are my creekside reflections. No sense getting worked up about them if they don’t agree with yours.)