Tuesday, May 27, 2008

library epilogue

Just got back from the library: all my books were in! Something about watching the librarian scan 18 books and 3 DVDs to my account fills me with glee. “I have a warped sense of how long it takes to read a book,” I explained, feeling like I owed some sort of apology.

I left with my red bag maxed out, and my arms full—again. Drove away cackling, feeling like a thief.


I need a much, much bigger bag.

Or perhaps a shopping cart.—jl

Posted by Jenn Langefeld on 05/27 at 12:43 PM
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Friday, May 23, 2008

emergency medical procedures

“Suppose we change the subject,” the March Hare interrupted, yawning. “I’m getting tired of this. I vote the young lady tells us a story.”—Lewis Carroll

You can’t write just for the wanting.—Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

I learned something this last month. Five successive weekends of travel can effectively and completely disrupt my writing life.

Despite my fine intentions (I will work in the car! I will work in the hotel! I will work before bed!) and despite my fifteen minutes of writing squished here and there, I came back home last Saturday feeling completely disconnected from my work.

Lesson #2: Disconnection is absolutely unbearable.

My puritan streak must be even wider than I thought.

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Posted by Jenn Langefeld on 05/23 at 03:15 PM
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the road goes ever on

Five weekends of road trips quenched any springtime wanderlust I might have had, thanks very much. Grand Rapids, then Nashville, then Nebraska, Nebraska, Nebraska.

I don’t regret a single trip, because everything we did was worthwhile, but it makes for an exhausting pace! I’m delighted to be home this weekend, though it feels strange not to be packing an overnight bag…

a cloudy morning in Nashville

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Posted by Jenn Langefeld on 05/21 at 02:59 PM
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

festival remembered, part two

The last handful of highlights from Festival…

Uwem Akpan was the speaker for the opening chapel service. Dressed in his full-length Jesuit robes and speaking in a rich African accent, he had my attention immediately. He told us of his times as a beginning writer, and he talked about dreams. (I love it when people talk about dreams.) But the most memorable thing he said was that God has had many more years of experience dealing with humanity than we have had dealing with divinity.

I know that should be obvious, but I loved the way he put it. It is hard, always hard, to leave my dreams in God’s keeping.

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Posted by Jenn Langefeld on 05/20 at 02:54 PM
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Monday, May 19, 2008

festival remembered

All right. So Festival was an age ago, and I’ve been terrible about getting to it. But now I’ve blown the dust off my notes. As I think back, I had two major highlights in the midst of the wonderful events.

David Athey.
I had never heard of David Athey before, but I went with Mom to his reading after the opening chapel service. We got there right after he started, but the room was already packed. We found places near the door to stand, but people kept coming after us, sitting around our feet, so I couldn’t move for a full forty-five minutes. Standing there in, we’ll say, not very sensible shoes, I should have been terribly uncomfortable.

But here’s the thing about David Athey:

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Posted by Jenn Langefeld on 05/19 at 02:46 PM
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

running, still

And off I go again.

These days have been so strange. Since I’ve only been home for half of each week, I have just enough time to unpack, do laundry, shuffle my writing papers, think of reading a new book, and pack again. It’s getting to be a little surreal.

And I’m taking off again in another two hours, this time to watch my little sister graduate. (Wow.)

I had a fabulous time watching Kristen in her half-marathon: a totally exciting experience. I loved watching so many people (the runners) accomplishing so much, but I also was inspired by everyone on the sidelines, cheering for people they didn’t know. “You can do it runners, you’re almost there, you’re almost there!” I’ve heard novel writing compared to running marathons before… Hmm. So now I’m musing about running the half-marathon in Nashville next year. We’ll see.

Then my younger sister’s amazing jazz choir put on quite a show last weekend, and my mom and I had a blast hanging out with Adrienne and her friends. And I’ll see them all again tonight, in about twelve hours or so…

Festival debriefing is still coming, I promise. (Shortlist of favorites: Uwem Akpan, David Athey (!!), Rod Jellema, Yann Martel, Randy Testa, Rob Bell, and Elizabeth Strout. Amazing, amazing speakers and writers!!)

All right. Once more through to the beauty of eastern Nebraska…

At the top of my writing notebook, it says Hold onto your courage and your hope. And that’s about all I can say about my writing right now. I’m still hoping, and I’m still trying to squeeze it in…—jl

Posted by Jenn Langefeld on 05/08 at 08:58 AM
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