"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Word on the Street

I had to work today. This was upsetting more than in the usual way for two specific reasons. First of all, it was gorgeous out and who knows how many beautiful days we have left. Second of all and more importantly, today was the Word on the Street. For one amazing day, a small side street downtown was transformed into a bustling marketplace of authors, book sellers, publishers, food vendors, poets and people. People who love books. And I'm one of those people. I was supposed to be bustling about with the rest of them, listening to all the authors give readings, buying books and getting them signed, saturating myself in an atmosphere of creativity and the mutual love of books. Instead, I stood in a severely uncomfortable pair of shoes behind a makeup counter, helping shallow people feel good about themselves.
I realize of course that I'm being particularly harsh. After all, I love makeup and skincare so if anything, I'm as shallow as the next person. But I wanted to be out there, nay - needed to be out there. I needed the electric buzz of being around all those authors, to feel the intense longing to be one of them so that I could go home, set myself in front of my computer and write with all the energy and verve of a truly inspired person.
I did manage to sneak out during my lunch hour. I only had time for one reading, but I knew exactly who I wanted to hear. Alice Kuipers. My beloved Writer in Residence. Just being in the same tent with her for half an hour made me feel better, more creative. Her work was incredible. I'm not lying when I say she's incredibly talented. She writes Young Adult novels, but honestly they're an incredible read. I highly recommend you read her work. It's fantastic. For that short half hour, I forgot about work. I forgot that I make a ridiculously tiny wage and more often than not want to bang my head on the counter over what a failure I am. Instead, I felt powerful. I felt capable. I wanted to find a quiet spot and write. Write anything!
It really was a gorgeous day today. And as I walked back to work, feet pinched and mangled horribly by my wretched shoes, I breathed deep. It was crazy hot out, sweating like a pig hot out, but all the leaves were turning. It's fall. And although summer may be ending, the trees and greenery dying for another year, it felt like a beginning. A fresh start. Like something great is just around the corner.
That is, of course, until I got back to work, was bored and tired with feet screaming to be let out of their shoes and once again began banging my head against the counter.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Zombie Nightmare #2

Well, it's 4:00AM and I just had another zombie nightmare. That makes two nights in a row. I guess I better finish that book.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zombie Nightmares

What would you do in a zombie apocalypse? Where would you go? How would you survive?
I've just started reading Alison Hewitt is Trapped, a Zombie Novel by Madeleine Roux. It stars Allison Hewitt, who's caught at work in a book store when the zombie apocalypse begins. She manages to write a blog throughout her ordeal, making use of an emergency network.
It's a really great read, but here's the thing: I just started reading it yesterday and early this morning I already had a long, involved nightmare about a zombie apocalypse. When I woke up all I could do was sigh. I'm probably going to have a zombie nightmares every night until I finish the book.
That's the thing about my subconscious, it's as impressionable as a small child. Zombies especially tend to stick close to the surface, rising up after even the smallest exposure. Maybe because after seeing as many zombie movies as I have, you begin to think it might actually happen.
And if it did, what would you do?
Where would you go?
How would you survive?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Need More Energy

It's possible I bit off more than I can chew. This morning at 11:48 I was busily writing a one thousand word essay for my writing class... that was due at noon. It was my third attempt at an essay, having started to write two others before getting fed up and discarding them. I also really need to concentrate on hammering out my assignments for the HerStory Calendar (my new gig!), as I really don't want to leave it to the last minute. My full time job is definitely getting in the way though, as is my other part time job and my desire to spend time with my husband, dog and friends. Sigh. I need way more energy.
I've been reading I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson and frankly, I think it's stressing me out. The main character is a mother with a high powered, crazy stressful job in an office with sexist, chauvinistic brats. Being inside her head is so depressing and stressful that I find myself completely angst ridden. I guess that's a testament to the skillfulness of the writing.
I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it all, I just wish I had more energy. I feel like I could hibernate for months. Maybe some wheat grass shots are in order. In any case I have to figure out something. I'm so tired I can barely hold my head up to write this.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Writing Class!

This past Wednesday night I officially started my new writing class with mediabistro (FYI: great resource for writers). It's a personal essay class, online, that lasts eight delicious weeks. I'm so excited! Eight weeks of encouragement, constructive criticism and inspiration. What could be better?
I'm especially excited by our first assignment, a 500-750 word essay on a specific moment in which we realized something new about ourselves. I already wrote one but I think I'm going to write another, my first one is a little bland. It's just so much fun to be challenged! I can't wait to turn it in and get some feedback (a little scared too, I'll admit). But the main thing is, learning is progress, and I could do with some progress. It's been a little too long since I've seen some progress. I'm a goal orientated person, and floating aimlessly just isn't my bag. Or, to be more specific, it is way too much my bag. When I have a specific goal and steps I can take to accomplish it, I work feverishly. Without direction, I'm a lazy coach potato that spends her days and evenings watching things like Burn Notice, True Blood and Drop Dead Diva. Hmmm, I could probably find a better use for my time.
Luckily, I have and I couldn't be more excited about it. Perfect timing too. September, the official back to school time, although this time it will be to a school I actually enjoy and get something out of. I never thought I'd say those words again. In any case, it should be a lot of fun and I'll be sure to fill you in on my progress. (Whether you care or not is none of my concern).

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Art of Improvement

Normally, I really don't enjoy "how to improve your writing" articles. I prefer articles on finding inspiration, finding a good editor, an agent, etc. The How To articles are often bland and general without any really valuable advice. It's just too general to be that helpful. I prefer one on one advice based on specific pieces of my writing. However, I did find an article on the Writer's Digest website that is positively loaded with great advice. Even if you only take one pointer you further ahead than when you started, so have a look.
25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day