Archive for September, 2011

Tiny missives


I’m in the midst of another revision, a fairly major one: second half, yet again, although I feel like I’m on the right track and it’s just getting the pieces into better places to make it happen better. Better, better, better. Sigh. Just when I think I’m rounding a bend…another bend comes up in the road. Hence, writing the novel sometimes feel more akin like making my way through a maze, a maze that goes into a mountain and comes up into the sky. But I’m getting there. And I’m especially grateful for friends who cheer you on when you’re overwhelmed or pessimistic about ever finishing. “You’re so close, don’t give up in the last lap!” It’s true. Just when I feel like chucking the whole damn thing is often when I’m that much closer to being done. I need the writer’s equivalent of Gatorade.


I read this old interview by Ann Demeulemeester and it reminds me of why I like making stories. And also, why I love her clothes so much.


I made this mix you may like. Go to the link if the embed below doesn’t work. Why is this isht so freaking hard sometimes in WordPress is beyond me.


The lovely Stephanie at one sleepless night interviewed me, and I talk about work, life, productivity, writing and other sundry, fun things! Also: my philosophy of attack regarding To-Do lists. I read over this and I think, wow, I really am insane in some way. I swear, I truly do have fun! Writing is fun, after all, even when it feels like it’s going to shit.

The last gasp of summer

Amusement parks, cotton candy, hot dogs on the street, the last gasp of humidity in the air.

Weekend afternoon, my niece and nephews found a maze at the arboretum and ran through it three times.

My Fall To-Do List

Fall! It’s here! I love the cooler temperatures, the mellow sunshine, the nice sound of wind rustling in trees. I love la rentree and the whole feeling of getting back to work, study and getting stuff done. I mean, yeah, summer was great: I didn’t get to ride as many rollercoasters as I wanted, but I made up for it through my patronage of various water slides, and generally accomplished most of my Summer To-Do. That list was actually super-helpful and fun, so here’s my list for fall.


I know, I still have to finish revising the one I wrote earlier! This is one of those goals that you file under “Bat Shit Crazy,” but honestly, I’m just restless to get another story rolling. Hilariously and ironically, I just accepted the fact that it’ll take me the rest of the year to revise the rest of the first book. I’ve finally come to terms that it takes a long time to revise a long story sometimes, especially when you are trying to fit writing in with work and other commitments. And it just needs *time*, because you need space and distance from a story to see exactly what it needs with any degree of clarity. But in the meanwhile all this revising is going on, what else am I supposed to do? There is so much more to get out! My plan is to treat it like a weekend job and spend the week on the first book. Or maybe vice versa. We’ll see.


I used to be so much more of a free bird and now I’m kicking myself more for not taking more advantage of it! I’m still more mobile than the average American, but now I just can’t take the middle of the week off to lollygag and then make it up on the weekend like I used to. Sadness! Over the summer I seemed to have gained some energy, though (getting enough sleep, smoothie-making and fresh air really do work marvels), so I’ll try to sneak in more weekend jaunts here and there.


I didn’t really get to my summer goal of making new meals — I think I just accepted the fact that I’m not a foodie type in that way. (Plus: book. Writing. Takes a lot of time!) I started a few weeks ago making a smoothie everyday, though, and I’m super-into it. I got a new blender and everything! I like playing with different combinations of fruits, juices, and veggies: lately I like mango, melon, banana, papaya, some chard and basil, all sweetened with agave nectar. I have a smoothie now in the afternoon, and it’s a nice lift in the day: better than chocolate and coffee, really! I want to keep doing it through fall and explore the world of “autumnal smoothies.”


I’m proud to say that I’ve been working on this throughout the year and I’m almost there! My savings were utterly decimated by grad school, but after school I’ve gradually socked away what I need. This year has generally been a financially wise one: I spend a lot less and a lot more mindfully, and yep, save a lot more. I have had all kinds of money-type realizations and realized there is this whole right-brain approach you can take with it that feels cool and right and not spirit-killing and overly restrictive. Anyway, this fall should be when I finally hit that goal, so yayness all around.


Honestly, fall clothes are one of the biggest reasons why I love this season so freaking much. Sweaters, coats, boots, scarves: these are a few of my favorite sartorial things. But because I work from home, it’s so easy to get slobby and in a rut. But I’m vowing to wear my nicer clothes this season. I’m going to Instagram my outfits on a regular basis in the hopes that the process of documentation will force me to wear real clothes, instead of hoodies and shorts all the time because that’s what I sleep in and it’d be so easy to just wear that all day. But I won’t. Sloth no more!


I joined a fancy gym this summer, mostly because I wanted to swim more, and I like a good steam room and hot tub. But they have tons of classes and even a climbing wall, so I’m going to try to switch things up a bit and take advantage more of my gym-fanciness and just embrace the yuppiness of it all. And you can’t really beat a weekly swim, followed by hot tub and then a nice steam room, for utter relaxation.


It’s been two years since I had class in the fall, and it’s something I really miss: I’m a nerd this way. I miss taking notes, listening to interesting ideas and discussions, reading books, all that good stuff in a systematic approach to education. I don’t know if I want to take a new class somewhere, get one of those massive lecture series on DVD or CD or whatever — I just need to be learning something new and different. I regret never really taking philosophy proper or the classics in general, or not studying another language formally. And a few days ago, I got nostalgic looking at my notes on classic British literature, thinking how great it would be to read Tristram Shandy again. I’m such a nerd that I wish I could back and get another B.A. What should I learn?