Settling down…getting to work


STUDIO UPDATE: Before I can ever settle down to getting serious work done in the studio I always have to fidget, rearrange, find something that I absolutely must find, and draw a map. Just to organza my thoughts.

And I have to look up favorite quotes to urge myself on. Of course, ALL my favorite quotes are kept in my trusty, most beloved, Filofax.

Filofax. How many of you remember these when they first came out? ALL the intellectuals, on-the-go professionals had one (or some variation of it). Mine is about 35 years old. I bought when I first got published. At Bloomingdale’s! (of course). It cost a small fortune. It’s Italian. And I carried it everywhere with me in my leather shoulder bag (naturally).


Filofax open

The Filofax is where you kept all your addresses (personal and professional); wrote your notes, carried your specially made Filofax maps of the cities that you absolutely had to find your way around, receipts, entered expenses (business and massage parlor), etc. No one would be caught dead without their Filofax. AND…I only bought my Filofax replacement pages/address pages, etc. in London! I WAS a writer-on-the go, after all.

The Filofax was replaced by the Palm Pilot, then Blackberry, then Smart Phones (iPhones). Everything that I now keep on my iPhone I used to keep in my Filofax. But, I still carry my Filofax in my shoulder bag everywhere I go. I just cannot imagine abandoning it.

It was my best friend, Wayne Wright, who had insisted that IF I really wanted to be a writer I had to, ABSOLUTELY had to, read (and understand) Gertrude Stein. When Wayne was dying from cancer I used to travel from Philadelphia to Boston to be with him. He slept a great deal when he was on chemo and was too tired to talk. So, to keep myself busy I began reading Gertrude Stein. All of is Gertrude Stein books. And her writing did change my life and perspective as to how I perceived myself as a writer.
So, tonight I just HAD to find this quote (see photo). It’s reassuring to me somehow. And now I can get down to work.


I recently discovered that a new friend is a terrific writer!  And he didn’t know it!   I told  him that he must, must, MUST read two books (that every writer should read): The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein and The Autobiography of Janet Frame (and then watch the film ‘An Angel at My Table’ that is based on her autobiography.

Other books that any writer worth his or her salt that are must reading as well are:  Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by Scott Berg and Dear Genius:The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom collected and edited by Leonard Marcus

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 5.16.02 AM

So now that I have read the quote I needed to find I can concentrate on settling down to work in the studio.  Some people  have to sharpen all their pencils before they can begin to work in earnest.  I have to read favorite passages/quotations.

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