Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

Hope and Harmony

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In January, I finally finished revisions on my second book, The Supper Club. It took longer than I would have liked, but last year was full of juggling: the Fuller Award for the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, work on the comic book, the death of an old friend, and the decline and death of two of my grandparents. Mixed in were creative moments and misadventures with the kids, coffee and wine with friends, and time spent writing.

I vowed that I would finish the rewrite of The Supper Club by the end of 2012, and I did at 4am on January 1st,. I gave the draft to my readers for a quick read through, then I revised accordingly.

forelornhope

Forlorn Hope 2011 Ost-Intrigen (more information at: http://forlornhopewines.com/)

The night I finished The Supper Club, I opened this bottle of wine given to me by a friend and signed by the winemaker, Matthew Rorick. It seemed a fitting way to toast the trials and triumphs of the past year.

Trillian Stars with the kids. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

Trillian Stars with the kids at Casa del Lobos. © 2013 Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

The new year continued with visits from some of my favorite people: Maura Henn, Kyle Cassidy and Trillian Stars, as well as a party in their honor  that included a house concert by Bittersweet Drive.

Bittersweet Drive plays at Chez Lindsay's. © 2013 Photo by 8 Eyes Photography

Bittersweet Drive plays at Chez Lindsay’s.
© 2013 Photo by 8 Eyes Photography

You can read Maura’s account of the wonderful weekend on her blog. A few of us also participated in the Chicago chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America’s all-day reading of Pride and Prejudice on the 20oth Anniversary of the novel’s publication (orchestrated by the amazing Debra Ann Miller). It was fun to read Mrs. Bennet for an hour and be a part of the event which included readers from the Jane Austen Society, Terra Mysterium, local writers Jody Lynn Nye, Lawrence Santoro, Victoria Noe, and others.

"Pride and Prejudice" Readers for Chapters 18-23: (left to right): Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Victoria Noe, Maura Henn, and Madeline C. Matz.

“Pride and Prejudice” Readers for Chapters 18-23: (left to right): Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Victoria Noe, Maura Henn, and Madeline C. Matz. © 2013 Photo by 8 Eyes Photography

So it’s 2013, and I am back to writing in earnest. As I try to carve out a routine that works, I keep thinking about the idea of “finding balance” in life. As I try to squeeze everything into my day (and night), it’s a recurring theme.

When most people today talk about balance, they use the metaphor of scales: life on one side of the scale and work on the other. The challenge lies in making the two sides balance.

Perhaps it’s the wrong metaphor for balance. It’s not the right one for me. I prefer the image of a mobile, like those of Alexander Calder, with many different parts of my life suspended and in motion, swinging around as I shift my position and my focus. That sounds a lot more like my day-to-day: elements swirling around, moving in and out of the foreground.

One person’s chaos is another’s harmony.

"Streetcar" by Alexander Calder

“Streetcar” by Alexander Calder at the Art Institute of Chicago

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.

One Comment

  1. I really like your definition of personal balance as demonstrated by Calder. I always look at his mobiles and marvel at how they move and change yet still maintain their core elements. And so often they seem to swing back to where they were – well almost, but not quite back to where they were. On the rougher days, I compare my personal balance to a bellows. In out. In out. As long as I keep breathing and the in-breath more or less equals the out-breath, then I know I as at least still in the game. But that’s just on rough days.

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