Monday, November 25, 2013

many days fall away with nothing to show

it is so very difficult to do all the things you want to do in your free time when your entire life is no longer made up of free time. i'm still working out this whole having actual responsibilities things, but it's cementing in my mind that what i want to do for the rest of my life is read books, knit stuff, and watch netflix. forever. in the meantime, i'm basically doing a lot of stressing out. because what else are you supposed to do? and the worst part is, despite feeling like i'm going crazy doing so much, when i look back at the end of the week, it looks like i did absolutely nothing. nothing ever gets done. progress is apparently something my life doesn't believe in. (side note: remember that time when i was in my last semester of undergraduate classes and basically said that that was the first time i was really stressed? what kind of privileged life was i leading for those first twenty-some years? it has left me totally unprepared for everything.)

in other news, despite having graduated from high school over seven years ago, my most recurring stress dream has always been and still is high school related. for those that don't know, i went to a private school from fifth to twelfth grade. there were uniforms and hour and a half long bus rides to and from school and multiple languages taught to us. part of the whole uniform thing were tights. by the time i graduated i hated tights so much that i have yet to put on a single pair again. seven years tightsless and going strong. i still shudder when i see them in stores.

anyway, the dream.

there are slight changes in it from time to time, but it always follows the same formula: i am late for school. i am back in the bedroom i shared with my sister at my parents' house. the overhead light is glaringly bright and the red numbers on my clock are flashing: too late, too late. the bus is waiting downstairs, but i have just woken up. i am racing around trying to get ready while simultaneously trying to get the bus to wait for five minutes. and it's always those stupid tights. they take way too long to get on, and in my hurry i end up tearing them so i have to get another pair and the panic is bubbling in my stomach and flowing into my throat. sometimes, i'll run onto the bus with my skirt on over my pajama pants and try to finish changing in the back without anyone seeing me. a lot of the times i finally get on the bus and realize i forgot my bag or something. i almost always make it on the bus, but you know when you wake up late and even though you finish everything and get everywhere on time, you have that feeling of panic all day that you're late? yeah, i wake up with that a lot. which does wonders for the stress that my real life things are causing, let me tell you that.

i would really just like my brain to realize that it has been almost a decade since high school and it should stop terrorizing me with it.

oh, and in case you were wondering, look at that nano word count over there. i wrote a lot over these past two days and am kindasortamaybe back on track for nano. i'm still behind, but i have a plan. and you know what happens with plans: they never work out but they make you feel better for having had them. (also, i refuse to think about anything phd related because my body just can't handle that right now.)

*Pompeii - Bastille

Saturday, November 16, 2013

maybe we're a little different, there's no need to be ashamed

so yesterday was one of those days when, i had been cold for the previous two days and decided not to repeat the same mistake for a third time, so i got like really bundled up. i'm talking about layers and layers under my hoodie and my wannabe ugg boots and the whole shebang. so i go out all prepared to battle the cold and oh my god it was so hot. like, it was beautiful weather, but under all of my layers i was sweating. i go to walmart, regretting my outfit the entire time, and then stop home again to change before school. i go to school with no boots and a significantly lower number of layers and... i was cold the entire rest of the day and night.

in other news, i was talking with someone the other day (like someone who i greatly respect, who has actually done things with her life and has a phd and has traveled extensively) and the subject somehow turned to books. over the past couple of years, i have grown wary of book talk with most people. (which is why so much of it ends up here.) i've just been faced with self-proclaimed book lovers who seem to read for the sole purpose of looking smart. there are the people who will only read philosophy books and books on politics and only foray into novel world for literary fiction. there are the people who simply refuse to read fiction at all because it is somehow beneath them (although, with their nose so far up in the air, it must look like the entire world is beneath them). there are the people who only read the fiction that was written for adults by the "real authors," whatever that means, because everything else is a waste of time and makes them stupid. and then there are the people that will admit that they've read - and *gasp* might have actually liked - young adult fiction in whispered confessions with guilty looks and "don't judge me" ready at the tip of their tongue.

so i was pleasantly surprised when, near the start of this conversation, she told me that the school library (which i was convinced was stocked only with text books and unread dissertations for the past seven years) had a really good adolescent fiction section hidden away that she was steadily reading through. and it was so great to talk with someone who could say that she just read the BFG with no hipster intentions of looking cool without it sounding like she was admitting to murder or to picking her nose in public. it has been a long time since i talked to someone new that read for the stories, for the escape, for meeting new characters and going on new adventures. someone who wrote fanfiction and understood that getting lost in a story - whether it was written for five year olds or five hundred year olds - was the greatest feeling in the world. someone who admitted to liking twilight and seeing the faults in it, who read good books and bad books and loved them all, and it was amazing. i definitely left the conversation with a bit of a high.

now, i know that there are people out there (i know quite a few!) that read like i do. people who may prefer reading ink on paper over pixels but don't judge you as less of a reader for choosing the latter because they understand that the story is what matters, not what's holding it. people that will read literary fiction and young adult and harlequin romances and fantasy and everything in between in the span of a month. people who can appreciate a really well-written book but can enjoy fluff just the same. people who don't care what you think because they'd rather talk to harry than you anyway. it's just getting rarer and rarer for me to meet one in real life. but they're out there, i know, and i hope you all know that you are my favorites.

*Read All About It - Emeli Sande

Sunday, November 10, 2013

what's been going on around here

yesterday i was supposed to catch up on my nano word count, and while i obviously didn't catch up, i am closer to catching up than i was on friday. if i write a few big word days this week (and i'm not even talking super big, just two or three thousand words) then i should be juuust fine. (although i still find myself taking too long to start my actual story and writing around all of the exciting parts, and i never respect my favorite authors as much as when i realize that my story really sucks and i have no idea how to fix it. i can have a good premise but then i realize that my plot is sucky and how does that even happen? every. single. time. you'd think i write a good one as a fluke or something at least.)

and just in case any of you care, the lump on my ankle from the lyme disease is finally going down. like, it's now probably more than fifty percent smaller than what it was a couple of weeks ago, and yes, okay, i'll admit it: i guess my doctor was right. my shoulder pain (which didn't go away with the antibiotics so i was wrong about that, too) is pretty much gone as well. so now i'm going to connect those two in my brain. by the end of this month, i won't only have a fifty thousand word novel sitting in cloud space, but i will also be lyme free and pain free you will (fingers crossed) never have to listen to me talk about it again.

and i finally have a clean apartment. (except for the bedroom, but if you close the door then you can't even tell it's a colossal mess.) i had to clean it for wednesday when my sister, husband, friend and i all went to watch ender's game and then came back to my place for dinner. (i'm going to start off by saying that no, i did not boycott the movie like so many others, and i thought that, as book to movie adaptations go, it was pretty good. neither my sister nor my husband had read the book, and they never felt lost at all. which is growing increasingly rare i have noticed. (yes, it felt a little rushed. yes, the book was better. but that will always be the case.) i also loved both the character and actor of bean. he was the most adorable comic relief i have ever seen.) but the fact that it is still just as clean half a week later is pretty amazing for me. my tolerance for mess is ridiculously high so this almost never happens.

oh, and my professor gave me a ninety-nine on a paper and then spoke to me after about how "your paper really deserved a hundred, but i don't give hundreds. congratulations." and don't you hate that? if my paper deserves a hundred then give me a hundred. i had a teacher in elementary school that was the same way. she used to say, "if i gave you a twenty out of twenty then what would i give a published writer?" and just, what? you should not be grading my work as a fifth grader on how it compares to a published writer's work. you should be checking that i met all of the requirements, and if i did, then give me the twenty. sometimes, i really don't understand teachers.

edited to add: i also got rid of our fruit fly problem! go me!

/end updates.

*What's Been Going On - Amos Lee

Friday, November 8, 2013

writing is hard. which is why my nano word count is pathetic (i'm supposed to be over twelve thousand words by the end of today. yeah. not happening. can i actually be looking at a year where i fail nano? i effing refuse.) and my blog hasn't been updated in days (weeks? i don't even know anymore) and my contributions to classes and group work is bordering just on the edge of slacker student who should probably fail but she answers the questions completely and a minimum word count was never set so it's really their fault.

also, i spend the little time i have for writing thinking great, ponderous thoughts like, the actors who play gandalf and dumbledore are often confused for each other and the actors who play frodo and harry potter are often confused for each other and there must be a bigger meaning for that. but of course there isn't, although that doesn't stop me from trying to construct some kind of essay exploring it. and kind of along the same lines, yesterday i heard someone ask their friend if emma watson was in anything before perks of being a wallflower and just, what?

(for the past ten minutes i have alternated between staring at this page and staring around my apartment (which is finally clean! but kinda still cluttered because i am a hoarder and there is too much stuff for a one bedroom apartment in here) for some inspiration on what to write, and... nothing. i'm telling you, i am so out of touch with my writery self it's ridiculous.)

i think that for the past couple of years i pushed my academic-ness to the back burner to focus on writing, and now i'm supposedly bringing  my academic-ness to the front which of course isn't happening because i diluted it way too much with extra on-campus jobs and responsibilities so you can barely even taste the academia in it, but then i guess the writer-ness got pushed to the back burner, and why is the oven of my mind so stupid? why can't i have two front burners like every other oven in the world? (i realize that there are ovens with only two burners. i also realize that i should be using stove instead of oven and that family and stuff has pretty much taken permanent residence on one of the front burners leaving me with only one available and that i don't actually have a deformed oven.) and wow i completely destroyed my metaphor in that aside. this is what i mean about the writing these days. it's hard.

i just want all of my free time back. why did i ever complain about being a lifeless couch potato? why couldn't i appreciate a good thing when i had it? why can't i just read, write, and knit my days away? why are rhetorical questions my go-to writing these days? (oh, and the word "well." i really think that two thousand of the six thousand words i have written are characters starting every sentence and thought with "well,...")

Friday, November 1, 2013

see the problem with me is that i attribute human emotions to everything. stuffed animals, furniture, animals... everything. now usually i can just go about my life normally, making sure to pick up any toys that fall and pushing the guilt of neglecting things to the back of my mind. but then sometimes my house gets infested with fruit flies and i have to set out traps for them because they. are. everywhere. and then i feel super guilty when i see them trapped and want to set them free again. inside my house. because that is obviously where they want to be and who am i to tell them they can't and my parents taught me to share. and it's really bad because i really, really don't want fruit flies in my house but i just spent the past fifteen minutes watching them trying to escape and i feel so bad. poor, obnoxious bugs.

in other news, the nano word count tracker is up again (over there to the left) so you can all follow my progress over the month. or, however many of you still read this blog of mine. i'm telling you, one day i will be rich and famous (and a published author!) and you'll be glad that you stuck around. trust me.

for some reason, this whole putting words together thing is really hard at the moment. does it show? i feel like it does. do these sentences even make sense?

i'm pretty sure that i talked about this before, but just so it is here on the first day of the month, here is the premise for this year's nanovel in one sentence: the mermaids are fighting a war against the adaro and kidnap humans to be their soldiers because there are not enough of them (mermaids) to fight. my plot will (as of now) follow a twelve year old merboy, angler, who belongs to a family of recruiters (the ones who kidnap, er, recruit humans). his first recruit is a young boy, roger, who will - i think - make friends with angler. maybe. roger is going to try and escape or the humans will try and revolt or angler will smuggle him out or something. the finer details (meaning everything after the words i wrote today) are still a bit hazy.

but i recently found out that adaro exist (in mythology) and they are basically weird shark-mermaid-swordfish-men-evil spririts who travel on rainbows and kill people by throwing poisonous fish at them. oh, and they live in the sun. is that not awesome? i think they may be a new favorite of mine. of course, there is really only the same paragraph repeated about them all over the internet, so i'm taking a lot of creative license and filling in blanks myself. and while people seem a little confused about how they look exactly, everyone agrees that they are evil. which fits perfectly for the bad guys in my story. (no, them mermaids are not bad guys. despite their kidnapping tendencies. at least not yet.)