Observations from my writing desk: 4/19/16

Location: New couch in living room, wedged between a number of pillows who didn’t ask for this and crowded with this week’s dog-sitting clients: two Yorkshire terriers and a wiry haired, sweetie pie mutt from Puerto Rico.

Instead of continuing on with the draft of my second novel (another malformed Work-in-Progress), I’m going to write something in here. On here. Under here? Through here.

I’m on spring break, which means I sleep a little later than my usual 5:30AM wake up time (#teacherlife), and spend the morning watching cooking shows and thinking about everything else I could be/should be doing. I don’t know if this happens to other teachers, but when given extended time off, I find that the sudden release from endless to-do lists, with no responsibilities clouding my vision today or even tomorrow, causes me to regress to the state of the prehistoric millipede, recently slithered up onto land for the first time from the swamp and trying to figure out what the hell to do with itself. What happens to an overtaxed mind when it isn’t called upon to be used? Cooking shows. Endless cooking shows.

Like the ancient millipedes that earned the honor of being the first life forms to crawl elbows-first onto land, watching cooking shows turned out to be quite a fortuitous journey for me as well. It reintroduced me to the person I equally love and fear the most–Martha Stewart.

1391112071000-tjndc5-66p2c9uyyr5yb61s1tm-original

I love Martha. And I fear her. I don’t know when it began, but something about her perfectly enunciated words and her unabashed love for all that is rich and decadent has made her a figure of aspiration for me. To be specific, one of my long-held life goals is to one day be invited to her home in Maine for a weekend getaway, complete with an itinerary that begins with a vigorous 6AM hike fueled by homemade granola bars, and followed by fresh egg omelets from a variety of chickens clucking around the expansive porch, as well as (I hope) Bloody Marys made with tomatoes from her garden. Why do I want this? I don’t know–because every kid needs a dream? But I know that she’ll never invite me as I am today. I need to accomplish more, to complete my goals as she has completed hers. I need to have some more work under my belt.

Martha taught me that in order to succeed,

martha-stewart_gif

Thanks, Martha. ❤

tumblr_ldjzypfgrn1qb5dz6

Back to work

Oh dear, it’s been a while.  I have a few excuses, which I’ll list here:

1. I got a new job, one of those 9-5, 40 hour a week jobs.  I like it so far, and I’m pretty sure I’m kicking ass, but it has definitely taken a large chomp out of my writing time.  By the time I get home, I need to start working on dinner which takes me a solid two hours because I’m not good with time management and am too stubborn to cook more simple meals.  This doesn’t mean that my cooking always tastes good, however.

2. We adopted a cat!  A beautiful, Siamese, 3-legged cat from Arkansas.  She’s the most affectionate creature ever to be birthed, which is why she holds the spot as Excuse #2: Whenever I sit in my pink writing chair (which Trinity, my cat, has comandeered as her own), Trin jumps into my lap and sprawls out across the keyboard.  I’m not exaggerating when I say she does this every time I sit down with the computer.  It’s adorable, but alas, progress has been slow.

3. Writer’s block.  I never believed it was real, but maybe this is it.  Also, I’m tired of my story.  I’ve been stuck on the first third of it for so long, and now I feel it’s just waving in the wind, moments from being torn off to fly away into the stratosphere, far away from my brain.

4. I’m most productive when huddled in my desk cube at the library, but it gets dark so early now that I’m afraid to walk to the library from my apartment once the sun goes down.  I know, I’m a pansy.  And yes, I could drive, but I’d rather not.  Bad news goes down on bike paths after dark, and my town in particular has been victim to some really horrible tragedies in recent histroy.  I’m a worst-case-scenario type of person, and I don’t want to become a headline.  Unless it’s for the terrific new book that I’ve published.  Or my cat becomes the new youtube sensation.  But only then.

So, I’m back to the library nice and early today thanks to a few sick days I’ve had to take due to a stomach flu.  This virus is a blessing in disguise–first, because it helped to rid me of the half of a pizza I ate Saturday night out of sheer gluttony/pizza glee.  Second, it’s given me time to read and focus back on my story.

But of course, before I can do any of that story stuff, I have to ramble on in here a bit. To work!

Part Two: Observations from my writing desk, Friday 10/18/13

  • Time is flying. Every time I look at the clock another hour has passed. I’ve gotten a good bit of writing done, but I have a ways to go before this chapter is done. This whole week is flying by. Time is FREAKING ME OUT. It really does move faster the older you get. Gross.
  • There’s a guy who came and sat a few desks behind me and he literally sneezes like this: “WAAAAAAAAAAA-HOOOOOOOOY!” He did it about five times in a row. I hear him shuffling around behind me and I’m paranoid that he’s reading this over my shoulder. I don’t know what he looks like for fear of turning around, but in my head he’s scary.
  • It just turned 3:33 and I kissed the clock for the first time since high school. I made a good wish. I need to stop procrastinating with this blog if it’s ever going to come true, though.

Observations from my writing desk, Thursday 10/17/13

Writing desk location: Desk cube at the library, second floor, in front of window overlooking library lawn and pond.

Observations:

  • 70 degree weather in mid-October is uncomfortable, especially when your writing desk is next to a giant window the librarians won’t open.
  • The only other patron sharing the row of desks with me is an Asian man with very greasy hair and too many layers of clothing. He’s a quiet neighbor though, which I appreciate. He is currently passed out at his desk, his head resting uncomfortably against the shelf on the desk. I’ve seen him here before, and a friend of his comes and gently wakes him right before the library closes. I wonder if he’s homeless. I wonder if he’d like one of the bags of fruit snacks I brought with me.
  • Sometimes Spotify is awesome and plays songs that put me in the perfect zone, until it plays some terrible song that makes me feel angry at having had it interrupt said zone, then it takes a few minutes for me to recover from the aural intrusion.
  • I only have one finger nail painted. Decided to test out a new autumnal blood-red hue on the pinky finger of my left hand. Really going for the eccentric writer look.
  • I only have one more day of unemployment after this…one more day of freedom from cubicle tyranny and the 8-5 work day drudgery. I should be making the most of it by working on my novel, but instead I’m writing in here.
  • Maybe wordpress is proving to be more of a distraction than a benefit to my “writer’s platform”. Oh well, at least I’m writing something, right?

Things I do instead of writing…

– Waste dozens of minutes on Buzzfeed. Dozens.

– Cook everything in the kitchen while blasting Count Basie on Spotify and keeping my glass of red wine nice and filled despite our frequent interludes with one another.

– Think about how Count Basie makes everything feel just a bit more classy.

– Oh yeah, what did I cook? Fried green tomatoes, even though tomatoes taste like blood. Luckily, dredging and frying them makes them taste great! So does a buttermilk bbq dipping sauce.

– Huh, there’s a spaghetti squash in here? Bake it, scrape those fake noodles out and call it pasta, then dump a jar of marinara on top. Have husband shred cheese all over the top. Mmmm.

– Refill wine glass. Silently thank Trader Joe’s for their surprisingly palatable cheap wines.

-Realize the reason they’re palatable is probably because I have no idea what a good wine is.

– Husband starts making mix cd for road trip to Maine and plays a lot of my sacred “writing music”; remember that I should be writing.

– Update tumblr with all of my latest nonsense.

– Feel guilty I’m not writing….

..

– Ok, getting on that chapter rewrite now. Going to spend dozens of minutes working on it tonight. Dozens.