who the heck knows anything, anyway

Friday, January 28, 2011

This is a misleading post, but the pay-off is good!

Two-thirty p.m. is the Devil's Favorite Time. Ok, maybe that's a little melodramatic of me but, in all seriousness, every day at 2:30 I hit a mental wall and experience a singular mood swing from (A) to (Horrible) in which (A) is a variety of moods, ranging from Tolerant to Awesome, and (Horrible) is exactly how it sounds. For some reason, at hour 14 and minute 30 of the day, I begin thinking about every single thing that I hate thinking about. I can't stop it. Suddenly, in mere seconds, I've gone from being bouncy and productive to being grumpy. There are a few things which could be held accountable:

1. the weather
This seems like the most likely culprit. My natural Happiness Stamina can only hold up against White Cloud Cover (because, really, they don't even have the decency to be greyish. They are boring, milktoast clouds that make me cold) for so many hours.  Plus, I know full well I have SAD, and it's almost February. Which is the deadest of the dead of winter. It's like the Tuesday of the calendar year. There is no hope in February. I mean, the Anglo-Saxons called it Mud and Cabbage Month*. They knew what was up.

2. general stress
'Nough said.

3. vitamin deficiency
I'm taking vitamin D supplements and drinking lots of milk and trying to keep up on being generally healthy, but I'm a bit dubious about my iron levels at the moment.

4. 2:30 hates me
Also viable. I would not put it past a time-ghost to harbor some resentment against me. And, for what it's worth, 2:30 also feels like the Tuesday of being awake--it's kind of a lame afternoon time that should probably just be napped through.

MY POINT: (because there is one--sort of)
When I get down, I read nice articles written by people I admire. It tends to perk me up a bit. Anyhow, everyone knows how much I think 1984 and Animal Farm were definitely not the best books ever (I'm being polite on the internet, because I'd want Orwell to be polite about how he doesn't find my character-driven stories to be all that impressive, either), but you should also know how much I admire George Orwell's ability to write a smashingly good essay. Additionally, his autobiographical account of the Spanish Civil War (Homage to Catalonia) is both honest and beautifully written. I have no intention of badmouthing his talent--I just wish he was better known for his best work. But that's another issue altogether! So here's a link to a fantastic essay about writing and the importance of using good language. My blog is not a very good example of these ideals, but I do aspire to have my lasting work (i.e. my stories) measure up to his standards. I'd like to think that the writers whom I admire, both classical and contemporary, could pick up my writing and enjoy it. It might not rock their worlds or impress the heck out of them, but I'd like to think of them giving me a grin, ruffling my hair, and saying "that was a wonderful read, my dear."

(in my writer-fantasies, all the great writers are my grandpa, and they are all unconditionally proud of me)

*it's a violation of my academic sensibilities to cite wikipedia and not so more research, but this blog post is not really aimed at being knowledgeable so much as it is pathetic, so it's actually extra fitting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February#History

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thankfully, there are fewer tests

Today was pretty productive! Hooray!

I'm still falling a bit short of the ol' 8-hour-workday, but not by all that much. It sort of reminds me of middle school--when I was home-schooled*. Sometimes a school day lasted seven loooong hours, filled with really hard math and poetry memorization and dry history textbooks. But sometimes I was done in only three hours. Those were my favorite days, for obvious reasons.

So if my work-from-home schedule seems to emulate my old home-school schedule a little bit, that's probably not too bad. I mean, who's going to tell me any different? Only The Man, and everyone knows that I don't like him very much.

Also, discovered a great new poet today! Her name is Jan Conn, and she is not only a poet, but a PhD in Genetics (she studies mosquitoes). Read awesome poem here.

Now then, I should probably go to bed, because I need to wake up at 8am to do some editing, formatting, and whining about how little I sleep.

*dun dun duuuuuuun! Yes, I was home-schooled from 5th to 8th grade. I am very well adjusted, thanks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Learning Things

I've been trying this full-time writing thing for about two weeks now, and I have already learned a few very useful things.

1. It's hard to write without a designated workspace. I had one for a few days, but the confusion of various moving times, furniture selling, etc, made it go buh-bye. I've been a lot more finicky and fidgety and less productive since then. I'm hoping that moving into the new apartment, getting all of my furniture from P-town, and setting up my own special workspace will get me back into a comfortable routine. Somehow, I have still been getting some writing done, but I definitely haven't been hitting my 500-words-a-day mark. Sometimes I get close to 300, but other days all I do is dink around with formatting.

2. I really like rituals and routine. They help me work. I also like to make soup when I am mad stressin'. Chopping vegetables is therapeutic. 

3. Formatting sections of my serial in Publisher and making them into PDFs is remarkably emotional. Instead of staring at Yet Another Word Document, I find myself looking at pages of something that looks like a book.  So rather than feeling like I'm sending out one of my college papers, I feel like I'm sending a genuine product to genuine investors (albeit non-monetary investors--they're investing in my future by giving me moral support. I will beg them for money later).

4. I never want to work for The Man again. Every day, I feel a complete range of emotions (some of them more pleasant than others, of course), I dress however I want, I  cook when I need to mull over ideas, I go on walks, I do complementary art projects, and I talk to Daniel whenever I need to (about anything from my newest idea, to his own work, to something dumb on the internet)--I do all of the things I love doing, and there is no crappy numbness. Yes, I still get frustrated, but it's not at incompetent managers or projects that don't make any sense. I'm not wasting my brain power on filing cabinets and inner-department diplomacy. I do not have to be docile. I can be my totally manic self all the time. If I'm feeling mentally cluttered, I can sit upside down on the living room couch and look at pictures of fennec foxes on the internet or use a nerf gun to shoot VR into the wall with suction-cup darts while I ponder things. You can not do these things in an office.*

5. I am really happy. Terrified and electrified and utterly happy. That feels like a pretty good sign that I'm doing the right thing for myself.

*that I am aware of. Maybe if I was a Google exec, but with a BA in English, that is unlikely. Also, I don't want to be an executive or manager of anything but myself, so, for me, this assertion is probably correct.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DISNEYLAAAAND: a reflection

A list of things that happened on my recent Family Vacation:

1. We went for my dad's 50th birthday and my uncle Jon's 40th. All accounted for, there were 8 adults (Daniel and I included), 2 teenagers, and 5 kids under ten years old. Keeping the group together was very difficult, but we didn't lose anyone for more than about five minutes (and it was always the over-ten-year olds getting separated, thankfully).
2. Daniel and I spent a cumulative 32 hours at Disneyland in 3.5 days. My brothers and parents beat us, with a cumulative 36 hours (Daniel and I opted for some mid-day napping on day 3).
3. Disneyland is still superamazing. It doesn't matter that I am 22 years old--I still get nervous when I'm about to meet Mary Poppins.
4. Conrad hit Matthew in the face with a sandwich.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An Experiment!

I've started writing a mystery in the Victorian tradition--more precisely, the Dickensian tradition.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is one of my favorite Dickens pieces, and it is both heartbreaking and fittingly fantastic that he died halfway through its writing (therefore leaving the mystery unconcluded and thoroughly mysterious). Dickens wrote it like he wrote most things: serialized. Chances are that he didn't even know how it would end when it reached its untimely end.

Getting started on my new Writing From Home thing* has been a bit rough, so I'm going to up the ante. This is where all my bros come in.

I am going to serialize my mystery.

In order for this to be a motivating force, I need people who are interested. Essentially, I will be sending out one chapter a week to anyone who wants to jump in on it. A chapter is not a big deal, currently. The first one is only about a page and a half, maybe 2 pages. I'm thinking a long chapter will be only 5 or so (unless I get fancy with formatting and make them book-page style instead of Word-page style. I'm open to suggestions on this--in fact, during the course of this minute, I've kind of convinced myself that this is the more awesome idea), so do not be daunted out of subscribing for lack of time. You can read it in wee little increments in less time than it takes to do a Cosmo quiz or think up a witty remark to put on your facebook status! And it won't be posted in blogland--it'll be emailed to whoever wants it. That way, it is very secretive--and allows me to potentially publish it later. For those of you who subscribe, you basically get the first-run version which *may* be a collector's item one day (especially since, post-completion, assembled serials are prone to editing and additions/subtractions which make the first little pieces totally unique).

So there's my offer. Send me your email address if you're interested, as well as your opinions on formatting (though I'm rather sold on getting fancy with it). I'm out of town next week, so my goal Start Date is Tuesday, January 18th (because Tuesdays could use a little something fun, don't you think?), with a new one coming out every Tuesday until finished.** Oh, how silly of me to forget: by the way, it's free. Though I definitely won't stop you from donating to my cause (i.e. grocery-buying).

So email me, yo (my first name, period, last name, at gmail.com)

The Mystery (or History?) of Tad Deering

*After working my butt off for The Man from age 14 to 22, I've decided that, along with my relocation, I deserve a change of vocation. So now I'm a writer! For reals! Meaning I currently have an income of $0, but my goal is to actually finish some big projects and begin shopping myself around. I'll get another grown-up job if necessity dictates, but I'm hoping for the best with this.
**I would only ever miss a week due to extenuating circumstance, and I'll send an email with the low-down in its stead. Hopefully this doesn't happen, though!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Moving, et cetera

Hey! Hey guess what! I officially live in Seattle. Wheeeeeee!

It still feels a little bit like I'm visiting because we don't have a new place, so none of my books are up here. It's like a visit... with most of my clothes. But I imagine that after another week or so, it'll start to feel like real life. Especially when my brain realizes that I don't have to leave town and go back to school. Woo!

St. Francis - The Fool
In addition to my awesome move-ee-ness, Daniel got me the most awesome tarot deck ever. I have been (inappropriately, considering the subject matter) coveting it for some time, but it is out of print. However, Daniel has magic powers. So now I own Tarot of the Saints (!!!) by Robert M. Place. The deck is incredibly beautiful and thoughtfully assembled, and the book that comes with it is very thoroughly researched. I'm a lady who loves a good citation, so this deck is like a dream come true.

It's a good thing I want to be a writer. The skills and interests I am most proud of possessing are otherwise of the not-very-marketable variety.

Let's see. Other things. It's been a very stressful week or two, so I'm glad I can finally start decompressing a little bit. I'm hoping to embark on the tackling of Mark Twain's autobiography in the next week or so (the book is a beast--I'm thinking incremental reading will be most appropriate), and on Monday, I will get back on my 500-Words-a-Day horse. Plus, the most exciting thing about being out of school/work (aside from having the opportunity to write) is the prospect of independent research. The world is bursting with amazing things for me to discover--which, I believe, is why libraries were invented. For me. To learn cool things.

Oh! Also, Happy 2011! Sexy prime numbers! Woop!
over and out.