Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Good Knight.

My eyeballs keep rolling back to the little time display at the bottom right of my screen. Has another minute passed? Oh. Okay. Okay, focus. Has it passed now? No. Oh, oh, wait, 11:09! Shit. Shitshit. I ned to get to sleep.

As I told my mother, my Night Owl alter-ego is quite grumpy about my 6am alarm. Insert obligatory joke about my Knight in Owling armor advocating for my obscenely late bedtime. He just wants to spend more time with me, that’s all. Hehe. I’m dating a Knight Owl.

11:12. Shitshitshit.

So all of this (meaning the above ramble) came about, as they say, because of reasons. Namely, extreme writing constipation. Earlier, as I sat in a bookstore glaring sullenly at this exact same computer, the revision of my story mooned me from across the screen like the cheeky bastard it is. I’ve been stuck at this one particular part for weeks. So conversations were had, I twisted my mouth disapprovingly at the scroll of text and keep repeating: “No, no. It just doesn’t work. Something’s not right. Something’s missing.”


Sometimes I get stuck. Sometimes the thing that’s doing the sticking needs to be reexamined and possibly changed so the sticking can become unsticky so the stuck becomes unstuck. Follow me?


I put the chapter away. I went to watch YouTube videos and let the tantrum-inducing knot in my stomach subside. I can come back to this later. I can retrace my steps a little to approach my problem from another angle. Because sometimes the way I want my characters to be is not the way they should be.

But I knew I needed to write something. My fingers get itchy. I get itchy. And I think about how Neil Gaiman is like the close uncle who I grew up with and continues mentoring me with old stories and new advice, how you never really learn how to write, you just learn how to write the thing you’re writing and the next thing will be a whole new meeting and lesson. How this thing that I do, blogging, journaling, is a voice in my head that is unlike and so like the voice I use as an auditory expression and as you read this you probably have your own voice speaking this run on sentence to you.

And I think that’s weird. And interesting. It’s a different kind of space to share with people.

11:28. Even Sir Owl is admitting I need to sleep. But you’ve wound me up so thoroughly, dear Knight, how do you expect me to sleep?

11:29. I often mutter out loud to myself. When I’m solving a problem, walking through the steps, pondering an idea, having a conversation. It’s like a hand leading me through a process, focusing me and encouraging me to explore. When the voice stops, when my characters stop speaking to me, the knot in my stomach returns and I sometimes search and listen too hard, groping blindly for the frayed end of the rope.

11:33. I hear you. I will follow. Good Knight, may we dream of adventures to bring to a waking world. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

32oz Santa Cruz Lemonade water bottle and a damn good song.

I keep telling myself that my blogs don’t always have to be “about” something.

It doesn’t help.


Two things happened in the last 48 hours that reminded me, in a sudden, head-snapping rush, that I am not completely separated from the person I identified as “me” 9 or 10 months ago.

And that’s when I go, “Shit. It's been almost a year?”

A lot happens in a year.

Thing number one: I finally obtained a 32 ounce, glass, Santa Cruz Lemonade bottle. Which means I resurrected my habit of using one as a water bottle and carrying it around with me like a third boob, obsessively guzzling its contents (my simile kinda crapped out when I got to “guzzling;” I apologize for the weird mental images you may be experiencing right now).

The 32 ounce, glass, Santa Cruz Lemonade bottle was my water bottle. I kept one at the yoga studio. Religiously. Right before I went inside the studio class room I’d be sure to fill it up one last time, all the way to the veeery top. Then, screw on top, walk in, kick door stop, shut door, plunk that 32 ounce, glass, Santa Cruz Lemonade water bottle on the cabinet which also housed the sound system, turn off mood music, take a deep breath and…..

That person still feels very far away sometimes. But when I wrap my fingers around the top third of the bottle, where the concave curve is a perfect fit to my hand, I remember rubbing the diamond shaped indents as I held the glass container before, during, and after class. I remember my bare feet on a wood floor, the connection with my breath and the energy in the room. Electric.

Thing number two is Lord Huron. That band, their album represents something, evokes something very, very specific and visceral in me. A freedom, a joy, excitement, glee, hurt, uncertainty, choices… it doesn’t sound specific here but it’s an image super glued in one corner of my skull, maybe next to my left eye socket. Anyway, the last time I listened to a Lord Huron song was when I made the long road trip down to Southern California and officially decided to stay there. There wasn’t any emotional reason behind not listening to them again after that decision; I cancelled my Spotify subscription to tighten up the finances and since I didn’t own their album, I couldn’t conveniently stream it. Over time I just forgot about listening to them regularly. Until today. So I hopped on YouTube.

And it reminds me that that person, even from a year ago, is still a part of me. Thank god. 

"You’ve been gone for a long long time
You’ve been in the wind, you’ve been on my mind
You are the purest soul I’ve ever known in my life

Take your time, let the rivers guide you in
You know where you can find me again
I’ll be waiting here ‘till the stars fall out of the sky

When you left I was far too young
To know you’re worth more than the moon and the sun
You are still alive when I look to the sky in the night

I would wait for a thousand years
I would sit right here by the lake, my dear
You just let me know that you’re coming home
And I’ll wait for you

Years have gone but the pain is the same
I have passed my days by the sound of your name
Well they say that you’re gone and that I should move on
I wonder: how do they know, baby?

Death is a wall but it can’t be the end
You are my protector and my best friend
Well they say that you’re gone and that I should move on
I wonder: how do they know, baby?
How do they know? Well, they don’t"

Lord Huron – In the Wind

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Just happy.

I welcomed in the New Year with board games and over 800 miles of driving in 48 hours. The highlight of my trip was nestled somewhere between The Perfect Hug and becoming the King of Tokyo as the Cyber Bunny (which in my opinion, is the monster most well suited to me: badass and adorable). As I sat around the game table on New Year’s Eve, greedily snatching roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, cheese, rice crispy treats, and molasses chips and stuffing them into my face (not all at the same time) I didn’t think much on the “big possibilities” for the new year or its greater meaning and significance. I occasionally checked the trickle of “Happy New Year” text messages I received and joyfully replied, but I just felt happy to be where I was and grateful for the people closest to me (wherever they happened to be geographically).

I could easily dramatize 2013 as it did carry some rather dramatic changes. But the odd thing about this blog and my conversations with friends… the odd thing is, now that I’m sitting down to write a little bloggity-dee reflecting on this last year, I don’t have much else to say. I lived it, I wrote it, and I spoke it. Could I say, with flair, that this last year was hell? That it was challenging, displacing, heartbreaking and sad? Could I speak of the trees I watched dance, the eye contact I held with strangers, the deep soul love connection made and torn and gingerly handled? Or of the steps taken and the steps still needing to be taken? So many steps left. So very, very many and yet in this moment, as sleep begins to beckon to me, I’m content with letting a memory be a memory and a future, a future. No grandeur, no sweeping resolutions or sentimental statements or reading into what I’ve experienced and where I’m going.

I struggle to say I’m grateful for 2013 and what it offered, but I struggle to hate it in equal measure. The internal work I’ve done, the processing, the experiencing, is most clearly expressed in my blogs from last year but also the rough draft of my novel. I finished that draft shortly before 2013 ended, one year of work. As I start my edits and rewrites, I see the battle of what I was going through and what I was trying to say in those pages. My characters floundered in their own insecurity, though through no fault or even motivation of their own. The insecurity was mine; not just as a writer, but as a human being trying to make choices and changes.

Understandable, I think.

So standing on this side of last year, I can bear witness to a former self and incorporate her into a new being. I can allow myself that poetry, at least. But I think I’ll quietly slip into the new being like I would any other day, because how I felt on New Year’s Eve sums everything up: I’m just happy to be where I am. Home will continue to change, goals will continue to take shape, characters will continue to speak and surprise me, and tragedies will continue to occur along with beauty. Sometimes I don’t need any deeper meaning than that.

Much love to all of you!