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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

    My name is James Black. I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Friend and/or follow me if you like.

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Vi-Char’s Customized Mish-Mash

Jane and I are in Vermont to attend a workshop on disabilities training, which begins tomorrow. We’ve managed to get in some talk about writing and life and general gossip, but she has to respond to papers. Witness how diligently she works.

Jane, working.

Jane, working.

Meanwhile, I am working on an outline. My deadline: June 30, or thereabouts. Actually, I finished, but writing the explanation that will accompany it is the hard part.

Jane and I work well together, or more accurately, not quite together. She does her thing, and I do mine.

However, I’m distracted by the scary, pee-colored lighting. And there’s a portrait of a woman in Victorian garb with bows on her shoulders and around her neck.  She is understandably bug-eyed. We worry that Violet-Charlotte (our name for her, or Vi-Char for short) suffocated while being photographed.

Jane says the same portrait is hanging in her room in the same spot on the same wall. The layout of our rooms is the same, although each room has a customized mish-mash of decor that is at once 60s, 80s, colonial, and lodge–yet achieves the style or comfort of none of these. The portrait only adds to the feeling of unease, despite Vi-Char’s dedication to watching over everything.


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