Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Thursday, June 16, 2005


This is my fourteenth day as a "full-time writer, " and my first day being discouraged. Yesterday I deleted and rearranged more text than I wrote, backstepping from my rigorous schedule of a chapter a week. I tend to make things more complicated than they need to be -- afraid of being incomplete or incorrect -- yet simplifying and simplifying and simplyfying needs to be my mantra. This book is intended for people who know nothing about curating oral histories and need to know only the basics.

Three of my chapters are very technical -- recording technology, cataloging and preservation -- don't know how to dumb it down. Should I leave them out?

I need to keep in mind Georgia O'Keefe's words that the gift of the artist is to see and to select -- to peel away all the extraneous to expose the essence.

In other ways things are going well. I went to a writer's group the other day --- fiction and poetry writers, but still good to meet Taosenos doing the same thing I'm doing. Went to the play "One flew over the Cuckoo's next" done by the local Old Taos Players, an incredibly professional group. One of the main characters was played by Robert Mirabal, Taos' claim to fame. Everyone is friendly and laid back here -- am getting to know people by name and greet them in the streets. In many ways, Taos is like any small town.

Next week I travel to Boulder CO to visit Maria Rogers Oral History Project, one of the oral hsitory projects in my study group. Looking forward to meeting these people, and to taking a break from my routine. These visits with actual oral history projects always inspire and stimulate me.


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