Archive for January, 2011

Collage me

January 29, 2011

Oh boy. I did not mean to waste that much time.

However, I did get the one big project I had planned for this weekend checked off. I sorted, organized, uploaded, and re-ordered my photos. All of them. And I have a reediculous amount of them.

I am left with the sad realization that I need to re-do the cross-country trip I spent all of 2004 and most of 2003 on. Anyone need a cross-country driver? I’m your gal. As long as you let me swing by a few roadside shrines, I’ll show you the prettiest back roads in the nation, and get you to your book reading on time.

Seriously, how did I take such poor pictures? I know these are just the snapshots; I took a real camera as well that I had loaded with B&W film, and those pictures are much better. But they don’t document anything. I used that camera sparingly. These are the ones that should tell the story.

And they kinda do:

fifty little pictures(click to embiggen)

Yes, I spent way too much time on that. But it was fun.

Anyway, I have a lot of fun shots that remind me of the trip. And, you know, that’s pretty much the point of trip photos, so I guess I succeeded. Except even back then, I fancied myself a photographer. And geez, are those some awful photos.

So who’s up for it? I’m ready. The only impediments are my sadly vacant wallet and the fact that I can’t bring myself to live out of my car willingly again. I’ll need a sponsor, it would seem, or an employer who can kick in for cheap motel rooms. Anyone need a book-tour driver? Courier? Umm…. yeah, I can’t think of any other potential jobs that would get me out there.

I’ll let you propose the job. Just know that if you buy, I’ll fly.


And the craziness continues…

January 20, 2011

Stupid life. It keeps running on without me, and I’m getting a bit tired of it.

Usually I get upset by the way the craziness interferes with my social life. You know; canceling pub quiz, falling behind in my apocalyptic book club, letting that Netflix disc of West Wing languish in the corner. It’s rare that I’m upset by the way it interferes with my writing. One reason for that lack lies in the fact that I insist on writing, no matter what. Even if it’s just for a few minutes in the morning, I get my fix in.

The main reason, however, is one I rarely talk about. Because… *stage whisper* I don’t Need to write!

I cannot tell you how ashamed I am by this fact. Conferences, friends, seminars, loved ones, bloggers, all of them agree that a True Writer writes. A True Writer Needs to write, with every bone of their body. A day that passes without writing, in a True Writer’s life, is a day that is shot through with pain. Like little needles in your fingertips.

I am not a True Writer. I can go days, weeks, months without writing. I might be a little forlorn, but I wouldn’t be contemplating driving my car into a deep dark ravine. I wouldn’t even notice, except for that moment of guilt as I decide between a Female Troubles concert and a moonlight sea kayak trip, nearly instantaneously dismissing writing.

But you know what? I like writing. I like creating things, whether they’re knitted sweaters or new worlds. So I make time. I enjoy writing, and I pursue it professionally. So I’m a writer, and not a Writer. So what? Enough with the guilt, I say.

I think I’m not alone. I think there’s a whole underclass of we writers, a group that has stayed silent for too long. We’ve nodded our heads in faux agreement, as speakers pronounce their Writerly Compulsions. And we’ve felt that maybe, just maybe, there was something lacking inside ourselves. We have dear friends that are said Compulsive Writers. As quick as they are to assure us that we are, indeed, Writers, we know they’re sheltering a hidden, niggling thought that something is, indeed, lacking.

Enough. Nothing’s missing. We just have different processes. I’m going to say it, and say it loud. I do not Need to write.

… Except right now I do. There’s an exception to every rule, and right now, I want the entire world to go to hell so that I can shut myself up in my cafe with my laptop and my story. I know exactly where Mr. Jones is heading, and what’s in his path, and gosh-darn-it-all, I just want to go send him on his way! I’m having too much fun with this story.

Even so, it’s not Writing that I Need to do. It’s this particular story that’s caught me around the neck and won’t let me go. So I am still not a True Writer, and proud of it! Nyah, nyah nyah.

I seem to be ultra-cranky and spoiling for a fight. Baaaad day to be at work, today is. You should just fire me so I can go home and write.

Somewhere between Branson, Missouri and Hollywood, California

January 17, 2011

Yes, the last couple weeks have been lousy. I have not penned a single word, even in twitter. There have been tears. It’s just been icky, and stressful, for no reason (no reason that I choose to validate, anyway).

There, done with that. No more dwelling.

Except to say what the heck was up with the Golden Globes last night? Not that they caused tears; the opposite, in fact. I watched the first half hour or so, feeling more and more uncomfortable as Ricky Gervais kept sort of spewing bile, and the audience kept getting more and more grim.

I wouldn’t have minded his bile, if Hollywood could have sucked it up and still entertained. But they were wooden, cranky bastards last night. There was no spark anywhere. J Lo seemed to be the only professional there, but her fairly authentic laughter sounded bizarre in that place.

Eventually I scared the hell out of my roommate by shouting, “Insipid!” and turning off the TV. I still had 7 rows to go on my gloves, too. I swear, I used to enjoy those award shows. When did they become so joyless?

Or is it just me?

That’s not dwelling, I swear, just a question.

Speaking of awkward encounters, I was checking out my trip photos today and ran into this one, from the Precious Moments Park and Chapel near Branson, Missouri. That’s Stripes, my traveling companion, perched on top of the wee angel’s halo.

I had actually visited hoping to find a Precious Moments crucifix (can you imagine those doe eyes peeking out from under a crown of thorns? No luck; they are all about hope, not suffering) but I found the place simply awe-inspiring. Pretty much everything you would expect a Precious Moments Complex to be. There’s a tender, sweet story behind the company, and I think by mocking it I am going directly to hell, but… what the heck. I was probably on my way anyway.

The main event was a big choral show, with lights, and water fountains, and stirring music… with a person of diminutive stature starring as the main gospel singer. Seriously. They hired a small person to lead the show. Tell me that wasn’t purposeful. Thank goodness he wasn’t in tattered robes.

I took a handful of snapshots with Stripes, until I realized that it was earning me outright glares. I understand it was a Chapel, their Chapel, but I wasn’t belting, “Kiss me, Satan,” or tagging the murals. Stripes posed everywhere, from the National Cathedral in DC to the Forevertron in WI. And yes, I have put him on Jesus’ head for shots in several locations. It’s just an “I was here,” nothing sinister about it.

But o lord, it felt sinister. Even after I put the camera away I had little old retail clerk ladies shadowing me around the gift shop, quick to warn me that certain items were breakable and not to be ‘messed’ with. And I was in that odd, awkward position of having perfect actions, but intentions that were maybe not quite pure. It was like they saw through to the heart of me.

Very awkward. The second half of my visit I barely remember, since I was doing my best to clear my thoughts of any evilness. I stumbled out, loving it and hating myself.

Much as I imagine Ricky Gervais feels right now.

I’m sorry, sugar. You weren’t doing anything that wasn’t anticipated, or that others haven’t come close to before. You maybe went a wee bit over the line, yes, but f’ em if they can’t take a joke.

Also, did someone kick your puppy before you took the stage?

Cozy at home

January 6, 2011

I’ve rather lost the thread on this blog. I originally started it not to document my procrastination techniques, but to trick myself into writing. I’d sit down at a cafe, notice the strange folks and scenery around me, and open a new post. From there, it was fairly easy to open a word document and jump on in.

Well, I’m taking it back. Unfortunately, I’m not writing anywhere interesting today. I’m at home, staring at my green leafy ikea curtains. Boonie is jumping from couch to couch, circling seven times, settling down with a sigh, then bounding up at the slightest sound and starting the process all over again. Monkey is sitting outside my roommate’s door, meowing loudly for some love. (Roommate was gone for the past two weeks. Monkey need love.) Nate is insisting on love from me. He’s actually sprawled across my chest as I write this, belly indecorously up in the air, purring loudly and insisting I pause for a rub every third sentence or so.

me, with kitty paws in my face

See? Kitty paws in my face.

Ah, animals. Certainly part of the reason it’s better to write at a cafe. That, and they bring you coffee. Although here, I have good coffee and fresh bread I made last night. Ok, snack break. Then, to writing.