Stephanie Burgis
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lion cubs, vampires, and arcadia
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In Ralph Keyes's The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear, I came across a wonderful Annie Dillard quote that is so appropriate for how I feel right now with Kat:
'In Dillard's experience, any piece of writing quickly reverts to an untamed state. Over time, it becomes like a lion cub growing into fierce maturity. "You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it," said Dillard. "If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, 'Simba!'"'

So true. Yesterday I wrote 425 words. Today, so far, I've managed 465. I really, really want to push it up to 1,000 by the end of the day. How did it suddenly get so much harder????

Well, I do know the answer to that one. It's because I took a week off to work on another novel. I think this is my punishment for literary 'cheating'. Sigh.

In the midst of an illicit internet break (when I was feeling madly frustrated by my plot snarl), I came across a wonderful news item: Bran Castle, in Transylvania (known as "Dracula Castle") is up for sale. Sadly, Archduke Dominic Habsburg expects to get at least $135 million for it, so I'm guessing that Patrick and I are out of the running as potential buyers. (And can I just say: how on earth can someone work as an architect in modern New York and still call himself an "Archduke"? Especially since the Habsburgs were kicked out of Austria and dethroned almost 100 years ago???? Ah well.) But mm, how I love medieval castles...

And I am still completely in bliss at a discovery I made last night: as part of their 'Tom Stoppard' week, BBC's Radio 4 broadcast his play Arcadia on Saturday night, and it's free to listen to online for the rest of this week. Arcadia is my favorite play in the world (Byron! Witty banter! 18th-century country-houses! Fractals! And bittersweet romance!), and I am so excited about the chance to hear it. I don't know if it's the full play, as would be staged for live performance, or if it's a radio adaptation, but either way, I can't wait. I'm using it as my carrot for writing today: if I can get to 1,000 words, I can listen to Arcadia. Mmmm....

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