who the heck knows anything, anyway

Friday, January 23, 2015

music music

Having a bit of a difficult time connecting to books right now. I'm not worried, it happens sometimes. Mood, taste, whatever it is, sometimes all I want are comics, sometimes all I want is TV. Occasionally, it's novels written by Russian authors in the 1950's. Desire is a fickle beast.

Anywho, right now I'm in a Music Place. Less music than lyrics, I guess, though that's complicated. I can't hear all the separate instruments doing their independent thing when I listen to music. Daniel can; he'll be like "That piano reminds me of X," and I have to listen for a minute and disassemble all the sounds before I can hear what he's talking about. However, as a person who is not tone deaf, good lyrics don't automatically make for good listening. I do have a soft spot in my heart for boys who don't sing pretty, though.

The thing is, I don't write music. I never have, and I don't have any particular desire to. I mean, sure, if I could magically be imbued with the ability to jam on guitar (let's be real: DRUMS) and carry a tune, I would absolutely be writing songs. But I'm not and I can't, so I don't. I write prose. That's my gig. So I feel a little frustrated when I'm sitting back, listening to Skeletal Lamping*, and I can't translate my feelings of elation and inspiration into my own work. I'm listening to The Hold Steady--my fave band 5eva--as we speak, and I want to write a book that has the same effect on people that Separation Sunday has on me every flipping time I listen to it. Or Heaven is Whenever. Or Neutral Milk Hotel's Aeroplane, the Parenthetical Girls' Safe As Houses, Josh Ritter's Historical Conquests, Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous.

I tried reading John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van recently. I'm not going to say it's a bad book, because I don't think that's actually true, but it wasn't my jam. I was disappointed--not in Darnielle (because a lot of people love his book, and I'm sure he wrote the piece he wanted to read), but in the fact that I didn't like it. The Mountain Goats are great! It was a bummer not to like his prose work. It's not totally surprising--some people can make the jump from poetry to prose (Jack Driscoll, anyone???? omg), but those people are the minority. Everyone is influenced by other media, though. Like I said, I'm not talking about writing music of my own. I want to figure out how to take the personal weight I feel when I listen to "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" and "Hurricane J", and get the same weight out of my own prose work.

It might not be possible, exactly. Some mediums are just better suited to a particular project than others (TV is not a movie is not a novel is not a comic is not a painting, etc). But I've read books that made me roll on the floor and cry and laugh and forget to breathe, so I know some approximation is possible. I just don't want to forget what I want from a story--I don't want to get lost in tropes and story logic. I want to write about girls that smoke cigarettes on the St Johns Bridge at 1am and fall in love with boys who don't love them back. I want to write about religion and doubt and how downright terrifying it can be when you have dreams about God talking to you. Mental health and medication and identity, loving boys and girls and more than one person at a time, feeling like an incomplete sum of parts.

*I will fight anyone who says this is not Of Montreal's best album

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I'm adapting this short story into a comic right now (more on this at a later date), and I'm looking up photos of Kent, WA, and I am so, so homesick for the Pacific NW.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A resolution; a #shelfie

Yesterday I posted a picture of a haircut I gave myself.* It was fine and everything, but not super exciting. I mentioned my cautious optimism regarding 2015, but I really wasn't planning on making myself any promises. Then, while I was watching Homeland and eating a can of pea soup, I was struck by a resolution idea: I will shave my head, and--apart from very minor upkeep--will not cut it again until a draft of my novel is actually finished.

This is a fun experiment. I can't really promise I'll see it through, because haircuts have, historically, been my go-to form of self-soothing and catharsis. But I am actually going to try, because it's good to have an incentive, and I think long hair makes me look like a teen baby.

Plus, bonus: Daniel's iPad has one of those cool photo-a-day apps that takes a picture of your face in the same frame every day, and then you can make a video out of the year's worth of photos. It'll be pretty rad to see just how fast my hair grows--and how it grows, more generally.

So here's our starting point.

I spent this morning hanging out with one of my BFFs, Bernadette, and it was lovely. As a result, I went from our brunch to Blackwell's bookshop--and what was intended to just be this:

became this**:


Ok, it's 3pm and I'm ready for some tea, pjs, and YES PLEASE (after I finish Wolf in White Van, that is.)

*everyone knows I let only two people touch my hair--my hairdresser since childhood back in Portland, and myself. Any time I trust an additional party, I end up leaving with a bad haircut and I have to pay the person for doing a bad job, which should not be a thing.

**The copy of Persepolis came in a secret xmas package from my buddy Mikaela, bc she knows me very well. She also sent me two bags of homemade cookies. !!!! FRIENDS

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Updates, new year

Hey everybody, lots of updates today (finally?).

1. It's a new year, etc. It is (cross my fingers and pray to your deity of choice) the year we move back to the USA, and for that reason I am hopeful. I miss my friends and my family, and I will never complain about domestic travel ever again. Ideally, I will have a long and prosperous life that will never again include dealing with Heathrow.

I'm also pretty nervous. Even if we do get lucky and move back to the west coast, it's not like everything will be the same. We're never going to have such a massive contingent of friends in Seattle, all of us within walking distance of each other. No matter where we live, we'll be far away from people we love. Add to that: it's not actually the case that the number of unknowns goes down at the end of one year and bubbles up again at the beginning of the next, but it sure feels like it sometimes. Cross your fingers for us, please?

2. I'm not going to spend too much time reminiscing about 2014. It was a busy year marked with big personal successes and new friends, but I also struggled with pretty hardcore depression and homesickness. I might be past the point--for a little while, at least--of considering a single year as Good or Bad. A year is made up of a lot of months--even more weeks--and I can hardly assess my existence and progress on a monthly level.

3. Housekeeping! This is the most important update (to my mind): The Apiary has a beautiful new website, and Audiodidact celebrated Episode 20 this Monday! A few changes to be aware of:
--The Apiary website is http://www.apiarylife.org/ 
--The Apiary's Twitter handle has changed and is now @apiary_life
--My indie PR outfit, Scout!, is also under the Apiary umbrella and can also be found on the Apiary site

The Apiary is going to be the home for a lot of awesome, collaborative projects in the future. Pay special attention to announcements coming up in April--we'll have a project debuting (fingers crossed!!) at AWP in Minneapolis. More hints as we inch closer to April!

4. Haircut and £3 Jurassic Park t-shirt.