Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy rainy bluster of a birthday to me. So, I've completed the circle. One year of writing in this little space, not every day as I promised, but often enough, I'm sure. Thirty-seven. It's neither here nor there, really. I had to steal this picture since I woke up to a dead computer. It's prettier than the gray here anyway.

It's 4:30pm. I need to turn the lights on to read. The heat has just started to rumble up from the basement. I'm opening the wine.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fall fell. It came down on us today in dramatic fashion with cool winds and brooding clouds. Yesterday, when it was still hot and sunny, I bought two big bags of winter clothes, knowing that this was coming today. Time to stare moodily out the window at the city getting its daily bath.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My literary crush, Stuart Dybek, has won a MacArthur "Genius" Award. His book, The Coast of Chicago, is one of my favorites.

"Love, it's such a night, laced with running water, irreparable, riddled with a million leaks. A night shaped like a shadow thrown in your absence. Every crack trickles, every overhang drips. The screech of nighthawks has been replaced by the splash of rain. The rain falls from the height of streetlights. Each drop contains its own blue bulb."
from "Nighthawks"

When I saw Dybek at the only AWP conference I've been to, he read a story that contained a pirate song. Now, in general, I'm anti-pirate, but this pirate song had a purpose in the story. It had everything to do with childhood imagination and nothing to do with weird adults playing dress-up. Anyway, he sang the damn song to a packed auditorium. I have been extra-crushed ever since.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I've resorted to crawling around on my dirty office floor lining up scraps of paper. The big picture. Eventually, you have to look at it and try to take it all in. I'm finding it the hardest part of writing a novel. I wish I could hold the thing and feel its shape like a tiny, complicated statue. Maybe next week I'll have a picture of me sitting in the yard making my book out of mud.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I've been breaking my brain today, trying to plot out some of my chapters, figure out the flow, fit everything in that I feel needs to be there and rip oh so painfully the parts that are no longer useful (oh but I worked for days and weeks and months on that scene...damn).

It makes me wonder if other kinds of creative people feel this same kind of pleasant insanity. The dancers have to learn their steps and have to do them over and over and over. Is it similar to writing a scene for the umptimillionth time? How do actors doing take number twenty-five tap into the emotion they had on take one?

On another note, my last post had this comment from a spammer: "These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written." Hah!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I am the blobfish. The blobfish is me.
Too much intense massage work today.
Liam Rector's memorial service was today.
My friend's giant fluffy cat had to go to California today.
Maybe tomorrow I will feel more like the axolotyl.

Thanks to Elizabeth Kennedy for the link to these crazy creature pics)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm mostly lost in thoughts of the forest lately, trying to pin down the psyche of one of my characters. I emerge now and then to tend to my small bit of the world. I hosted my book club a few nights ago. Despite my unavoidable worries that people will be somehow disappointed in the way I live (Did you see that kitchen floor! What was up with all that weird art?) it went well. It's nice to be surrounded by thoroughly engaged readers. Our meetings are like the English classes I once imagined instead of the ones I actually suffered through.

I also joined a free writing group that meets in the same office complex as the clinic I used to work in. I like the idea that while I haven't left the world of massage, I have shifted positions slightly, tending to words in the same low brick building where I used to toil over muscles

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm fairly well convinced at this point that I was a travel agent in another life. I'm still scraping off the residue in this life. Ever since I planned my first tropical vacation, I've been fixated on seeking out beach homes to visit. If the house is big and sits in the sand like this one, I spend WAY too much time trying to figure out how I can afford $300 a night to go stay there. I temper the frivolity of this by telling myself that I need to get away to write. I need to find the perfect place to hole up in so I can get at the work I'm meant to do. I haven't quite convinced the poor and puritanical parts of myself that I NEED a hot tub with an ocean view to get my writing done, but I'm hoping if I stare at this picture long enough I will someday wake up there with my feet bubbling in the jets and my notebook filled with perfect words.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

This is not exciting video, just a test to see if this shit works and to prove that, yes, sometimes I leave my house, get on public transportation and go to the not so far reaches of North Portland to eat, drink and be merry.

When we got to the restaurant, I realized that between me, Sean and our friend, there was more hair at that table than a house full of fluffy cats. Mmmm, house full of fluffy cats.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I just got home from a silly experiment in public performance art. PICA's Time Based Art Festival organized hours of reading out on the streets every day this week. I volunteered to do my part. I showed up. This guy gave me a copy of Grapes of Wrath (there was also My Antonia, Catch-22, On the Road, Moby Dick and others being read in different quadrants of the Pearl District). I was sent out into the streets to read from where the last reader left off.

That there book is some hard readin' for a lady like myself. I done my best, but I don't rightly know if the general folk were much interested in what ol' Steinbeck had to say.

What I noticed most was not that people thought me crazy (though I'm sure some of them did) but that most people didn't notice me. About 75% of them were plugged into their ipods or talking on their cell phone. Listening to some weird lady read out loud from a book was not part of their plan.

Silliness. silliness. Now I will go back to reading to myself. Thank you and goodnight.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I broke my brief moratorium on book buying and came home with two paperbacks. The first epigraph is from The Inhabited World by David Long, the second from The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter. I already know I love Baxter's novel because I've read it before. Long's book comes highly recommended and I'm looking forward to digging into it. And now, with all this Beckett being tossed around I'm tempted back to the dense weirdness of the Trilogy. Of course, that's a huge mind-twisting endeavor. It's the kind of book I imagine reading while holed up in a boggy Irish cabin tipped on whiskey. Aah, the perfect winter vacation.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Twenty-four hours in the woods and the beach and I am full of rocks like skin and water like glass, trees like fur and a stars like milk. Satellites took our pictures as we smiled into a lavish sky, our queens and hunters hidden in the spill.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm off to the coast to camp for the night. The reserves aren't full yet. There's room for a little more sun, a little more mossy green, a view of the forest at daybreak through a thin layer of nylon.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Yeah, my ring! Rebecca Scheer did a trade with me for this. Sometimes being a massage therapist swings me the sweet deals. So, originally we joked about this being my POWER RING. You know, those right hand rings diamond companies are trying to sell to rich, single women (fools, FOOLS!). Well, the uniqueness of this piece makes it very hard to size. When I asked Rebecca what would happen if didn't fit, she said she'd probably have to just make another ring. Well, that certainly wouldn't do. The ring is a little loose on my power finger so it will now ride on my left-handed bird finger. The heft of hit feels better there anyway and I will look fabulous while I give oblivious SUV drivers the finger.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

To mark the beginning of school, the clouds have been lingering in the morning but breaking up in the afternoon as if to tell the kids they aren't missing a thing. I miss being in school. Or rather, I miss learning things in a structured environment. Knowing that someone else is expecting something of me brings my attention and effort to a higher level. Who's going to be disappointed if I only finish writing one chapter this week instead of two? No one's going to gently shake their head and say, "I know you can do better." Sometimes I imagine that I have to submit what I'm writing to one of my old professor's but I can only fool myself so much. I need someone to give me the tough love and slap the lazy out of me.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor day and I truly did labor for many many hours. Hot damn, I got some good writing in.

What say you? You're supposed to NOT labor on labor day? Well then, I also took a girlie fashion break to buy shoes for the dress that I'll wear in my friend's wedding. I bought two different pairs, unable to decide. Whadya think S.?

Personally, this picture cracks me up. Cracks me the fuck up! I'm usually the girl in tank tops and shorts, t-shirts and jeans. But clearly, as this picture shows, I am also capable of dresses and heels on the rare celebratory occasion. I'm over 6' in these shoes. I can't seem to take my eyes of my own damn feet.

Oh and that weird object between me and my OED is Sean's mobile bass unit. A little amp hides under that blue kitty-proof cloth. He straps the thing to his back, plugs in and wanders the sidewalks spreading the funk. Me? I stay home and read the OED.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

September and the silver polish is chipping.