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.

Projects, Procrastination, and Self-Censorship

If you’re keeping tabs, more work was to continue in the kitchen. A dishwasher wasn’t exactly promised, but darn close. Anyway, that has been shelved because of a touch of mold in the bathroom has led to chaos, repainting, and tile. Or will soon.  *Sigh.*

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I completed Kathy Fish’s fabulous Fast Flash Workshop and highly recommend it. In the writing I was doing there, I went deeper than normal, which was a little unsettling. I didn’t post the “object” prompt because that led into something longer.  I thought I was being brave when I sent it to the incredible Nina Fosati for her thoughts. Her response was to go even deeper . . . so I’m considering it.

Let’s say it involves a messed up situation and I’ve self-censored about it this week already. Seriously, I had trouble with one piece that I really liked, but couldn’t get to end right. I imagined someone and it fell into place. Great. But then, it was accepted and someone quoted a line and this thrilled me and I went to post a link on Facebook .  . . and realized I shouldn’t. Luckily, I had a three-year-old memory pop up and pimped that instead.

It’s a miserable drizzly day here and I’m struggling to find bright spots.

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The baby waterfalls was the best I could do. I’m behind in my work count for Nano, my reading at both magazines and the extra reading I’m doing for the Best of the Net awards and a new member of Hamburg Writers’ Group sent a book that I said I’d read the first chapter of . . . and haven’t opened. So, thank you for stopping by. I know it wasn’t much, but I need to get back to the work I love and ignore the impending torn out drywall and paint drips.

*These are my creekside reflections and I hope your experience varies.

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Words. Oh so many words . . .

I’m day two into NaNoWriMo and day four into the fabulous Kathy Fish Fast Flash workshop. So, I’m writing. A lot. On top of this, there is the reading I’m doing. There are 14 participants in the workshop, so each day there are those to read on top of my normal reading, work reading at r.kv.r.y. and Literary Orphans, and because I just don’t get enough, I’m a reader for Best of the Net this year. My group was assigned 46 stories to read. I’m up to 14 and there are two I like. It’s an interesting process to read so much, in so many styles on so many subjects.

Before NaNo began, Husband and I went out to dinner at Julie’s and then we went to the antique shop that Jody owns. I ended up with earrings – now I need to earn them.

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Local Authors Live at the West Falls-Colden Library went incredibly well.

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Again, many thanks to Mary Jo Hodge, Mary Akers, Kim Chinquee, Jeff Schober, Gina Detwiler, Deb Madar and Barbara Early for their stellar work.

Okay, I’m off to immerse and ignore the rising creek.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

Changes like Ben

This year’s autumn has brought a few changes. The upper greenhouse window that was broken last year now has a replacement.

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Bonus, these windows open!

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And Ben has come into my life. Everyone, meet Ben, the Grey Subaru.

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Isn’t he fierce? This is the first car I’ve had in 15 years. I picked him up and got him registered on Wednesday. Thursday morning, he passed his inspection so he’s official and legal and it’s so weird to look outside and see a vehicle here. I need to start thinking differently, too. Last night I said something to Husband like, “Well after you get home on Friday I can go -” No. I don’t have to wait. I can go. My thoughts went to all the places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do and see and I had to stop. Priorities must be determined and the biggest and the best one is coming up this weekend!

Gina Detwiler, Jeff Schober, Mary Jo Hodge, Deb Madar, Barbara Early, Mary Akers and Kim Chinquee will be reading their work at 1:00pm at the West Falls-Colden Community Library on the 21st. You’re invited, so why don’t you come? It would be great to see you there! It’s autumn, the leaves are turning color. Gorgeous drive! What a great combination!

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Last week, Nina Fosati and I attended the Terry Temple Williams lecture that was part of the BABEL series. It was equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring.

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I know, bad shot, but that’s what I get for not thinking ahead. What was neat was that Jeff Schober and Kim Chinquee were there, too. Buffalo is such a small town and now that I have a vehicle, I bet it grows even smaller.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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

Taking Comfort in Small Things

If you haven’t checked it out, please take a look at Harryhausen, Issue # 31 of Literary Orphans. It’s the first one with me being a Fiction Editor there, and it includes the first – and so far only – piece I’ve accepted in that capacity. Many thanks and congratulations to Tara Isabel Zambrano for her awesome story, “Measurable Hours.”

This is an incredible issue with pieces by Meg Tuite, Paul Beckman, and a story called “Bendy Bone” by Jenna Lyles. Hannah Lanier’s poem, “The World is a Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothing” is an interesting piece worth the read. If you can’t tell, I love my job and am honored to read and champion work like this.

And thank God for art. I’m grateful for the daily choices Nina Fosati posts on Twitter. Last month was Women in Blue, this month is all about Autumn Women. It’s a daily dose of beauty and I appreciate it since the world feels like it’s gone particularly mad lately. Tuesday, I took a long walk in the woods. It helped some. The message I found while walking the labyrinth was to take comfort in the small things so I admired the sparkly rocks and the wildflowers. And then I went into the garden shed . . . There’s a window at the end which looks out at the frog pond. Lately, there have been 6-8 of them.

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I go in and peer out at them because they are skittish and will dive if I walk too close to the pond. Tuesday, I was passing through to go up the hill and I noticed something on the ledge. It was a frog. I walked over and he jumped off. I thought it odd. I left and when I returned to close the doors, the frog was back and I got a blurry picture.

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It was strange to become the watched. When Husband came home, we joked about how I’d missed my chance to kiss it and have a prince. Maybe. Maybe it’s good enough to have the small hope of inexplicable things in life. It beats thinking about the Las Vegas massacre and how disgusted I am because it wasn’t new. It wasn’t even news; it’s just life in the USA anymore.

Not that I’ve become jaded.

My piece, “The Basket Case” will be included in the Ellipsis One anthology. Magazines my work has appeared in are on display in the Concord Public Library (Thank you Kara Kane!) along with other local writers. Local Authors Live! – the occasional series I host – is coming up soon on the 21st.  The last few meetings of Hamburg Writers’ Group have been a delight and even though the novel critique group didn’t meet on Tuesday, we were in contact.

Perhaps the small things are the greatest comfort anyone can ask for . . .

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

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.

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.