indira ganesan

Inviting the muse in San Diego

Indira Ganesan, San Diego Marina, 2014

Indira Ganesan, San Diego Marina, 2014

When I travel, the muse accompanies me, but she flies first class, while I fly coach.  Meeting her then is a happy accident.  I am in San Diego, to see old friends and attend the 2014 Ashtanga Confluence. My muse can do ashtanga, all of the series.  I don’t want to be like my muse, but I would like her light to light my light.  What I seek is a way to get a novel started from a mere twelve pages of notes that I plucked from nearly 150.  I came to the confluence to maybe learn steadfastness and keep on trying.

David Swenson, one of the yoga teachers here, said that one doesn’t seek a guru per se, except to take an unlit candle to a cave, say, and if there  is a fellow there with a lit candle, maybe he will let you light yours from his flame.  My teacher, Richard Freeman, said the most interesting things happen in the interfacing of ideas, while at the same time, the spaces between words are the most interesting.

My next move.  My next book.  My next time on the mat.

Move: Not dire.  Soon, something will materialize.

Book: Not dire. Not Dior. Not a Diorama. Just a novel, a simple 80,000 word something between hardcovers, extending the life of Meterling and company.  I have to situate the book in a specific decade.  I was in my twenties in the eighties.  My characters are in their twenties in the nineties.

Mat: Wednesday.

P.S:  No more red-eye flights for a while.

 

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Twenty-Six

Indira Ganesan, Journal Dance, 2013

Indira Ganesan, Journal Dance, 2013

WordPress’ Daily Post suggested its bloggers post about the number twenty-six in some way, since it is the first twenty-sixth of the year. Meanwhile, I changed my theme again, to the one I had my eye on a while back.  So my post on twenty-six is not on the number of apartments I’ve lived in (nineteen); the number of pounds I would like to shed (though twenty-six would not be a bad start); the town I lived in when I was that age (surprisingly, it was the same as now, although there has been a gap of precisely twenty-six years) but the number of author websites/websites about authors I’ve lately admired, and some I went looking for: 1. Haruki Murakami 2. Heidi Jon Schmidt 3. Simon Van Booy 4. Lakshmi Wennakoski-Bielicki 5. Toni Morrison 6. Mira Jacob 7. Sandra Cisneros 8. Carole Maso 9. Canio’s Books 10. Jeanette Winterson 11. Andrew Wille 12. Bhanu Kapil 14. Tania James 14. Kate Atkinson 15. Virgina Woolf 16. More Virginia Woolf 17. George Eliot 18. Shakespeare 19. James Joyce 20. Padma Hejmadi 21.  Salman Rushdie 22. PD James 23. Cynthia Morris 24. Tim Hernandez 25. Marcia Douglas 26. Closereaders.

A look ahead, an adjustment, and a reintroduction

Indira Ganesan, Look, 2013

Indira Ganesan, Look, 2013

I just joined a thirty-day blogging course offered by WordPress, with the idea to learn something new about blogging.  I started back in January, 2010, not knowing much.  I thought I would post non-personal observations about, say, food, gardening, and books.  the first posts were erratic, but I have since settled into a twice-monthly format.  The blog has become more personal, to the extent a friend once asked me about an event, but commented she would probably read about here.  Of course this gave me pause.  Do I blog instead of calling, instead of writing a letter? Is a blog really an essay or a year round holiday letter? And should I not be seeking to publish this stuff, if any of it is interesting? Isn’t that what I do–write professionally?

I am an Indian immigrant who learned English in kindergarten in St. Louis, and took to writing because I liked listening to and telling stories.  My grade school teachers encourage me, even if I took things literally ( asked to write another story “just like this” In second grade, I went home, and copied my story in neater script.) My sixth grade teacher gave me discipline with deadlines, as she required a story every week.  I knew I wanted to major in English Literature in high school, dropped Drivers Ed in favor of Mythology.  At Vassar, after an intriguing year in India studying Fine Arts, I went back to English Lit.  A teacher at entered my work for a selective course in Narrative Writing, and I realized The New Yorker not only published reviews by Pauline Kael but also short stories.  I started my first novel in graduate school, and finished it three years later  in Provincetown. I did not learn to drive until I was thirty, but I had a publishing contract at twenty-seven.

Okay, that does make me proud, even if I dropped the ball on a promising career, and did not publish again until seven years had passed.  Another sixteen years would pass before my latest.  So what do I see ahead of me? More teaching, more writing.  Maybe a lessening of procrastination and doubt.  Maybe less silent comparison to this writer or that writer.  In my personal life, I have remained single for a long time, and I suspect that status will continue, though I have become a pet guardian. I will continue to make food, try to return to yoga, eat more vegetables.  I would like to make soup.  Eat more pickled things.  (Here is Mark Bittman on the subject of eating healthier.)

I hope I continue to have good people in my life.

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