Raucous Orange

June 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

It is late, and I should have been in bed hours ago.  I went home this past weekend with my boyfriend, Ben, and all my sisters were home.  This almost never happens.  We had a quintessential Alexandria weekend: Casey’s Amusement Park (mini-golf, go carts and bumper boats), Ron’s Warehouse, and the Vikingland Band Festival.  Honestly, it was the best, most relaxing weekend I’ve had in Alex in a long time.  Also, the weather was perfect.

I helped my mom pick out a paint color for her bedroom.  Right now the Sherwin Williams color is Blonde, and to be honest, it is a bit dead.  Even my mom thinks so.  I think Raucous Orange will do the trick to liven things up.  I am thinking about colors, because I feel a particular shade of blue tonight.  I wish the Sherwin Williams color guy would be able to name the color I’m feeling.  It’s either a blue or a red, which makes purple.  I am feeling passionate for sure.  Relationship stuff.  And I’ll be okay, no matter what.  If I’ve learned anything in life, is that I repeat to myself “It is what it is” and “This too shall pass”.  I’ll be okay.  And I think even my relationship stuff will survive.  Humans can’t change each other–that has to come from within.  We are all broken, and we all need love.  I think that is what we are designed for.

It’s 1:27 A.M.  Bedtime.  Goodnight all.

Purple Onion

June 25, 2010 § 2 Comments

Again, I’m not feeling terribly interesting today, but it was a writing day, and I did write 330 words or so.  I met Adam at the Purple Onion in Dinkytown, a coffee shop I used to go to with my snobby literati friends in college.  It has moved across the street, and I’m glad to announce that the space is calm and conducive to writing.  Also, the egg salad sandwich and latte aren’t bad either.  It is good that we meet to require ourselves to sit down and write for at least an hour, and I do get writing accomplished, but we almost always talk about our frustrations with writing and teacher Ian.  Is it worth paying for something that you don’t necessarily get a lot of enjoyment out of, but that you know is good for you?  Now, you might be asking a very good question.  Why do I write if I don’t enjoy it?  It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing, because I do.  But writing a novel is filled with uncertainty, and being under the guidance of Ian is intimidating.  Plus I’m stubborn and I don’t like being told what to do.  I like writing, but I think most writers feel like this most of the time–that it is hard work and we wonder why we do it except that we feel compelled.  At least I do.  Anyway, I wrote a tense hospital scene and I felt good about it.

I will probably hold off from blogging over the weekend, since I will be home in Alexandria with Benjamin!  So for the one person that actually reads this blog, see you Tuesday.  Au revoir.

Something from Nothing

June 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m sorry I don’t have much to report today.  It’s been a blah sort of day.  My work has been incredibly busy this week and I was glad to go to marathon training after work to release some stress.  We did 4.5 miles of hill repeats.  I started out slow (which, I should say is only slow for the running group, but fast for me), and for the last 20 minutes, I made myself keep up a 9:30 pace.  I felt good, keeping with other five-time marathoners.  That was a small victory for me today.

No profound thoughts, no interesting anecdotes to share, but I thought I should still write something, even if I’m boring today.  Hey, it happens.

228!

June 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

That’s how many words I wrote today, or rather words I wrote for my novel.  I probably write thousands of words a day, repeating myself time and time again to my clients.  It was one of those days.  It is the busy season at work, and I knew it was coming.  I consider myself a very patient person, but I am being tested day after day.  However, I got a massage after work from this itty bitty girl named Tina, who has been kicking my knots to the curb.  She’s an all-star.  Stress, be gone!

Tuesdays are my writing day, so what did I do?  I did everything I could think of besides writing.  I watched dumb T.V. (Hell’s Kitchen, and America’s Got Talent (how do you even compare a 16-year-old piano prodigy with an 83-year-old hand-whistling grandma?!?)), washed dishes, took out the trash, cleaned the floors, and played piano which always brings me satisfaction.  Only then did I sit down to write.  But I couldn’t think of what to write, so I opened up the nearest novel (On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan) and found a good line to copy and go from there.  This is the line I started with: “How did they meet, and why were these lovers in a modern age so timid and innocent?  They regarded themselves as too sophisticated to believe in destiny, but still, it remained a paradox to them that so momentous a meeting should have been accidental, so dependent on a hundred minor events and choices.”  I modified it quite a bit, but it was a good exercise and I had written 228 words when Ben called.  I am supposed to write 500 words today, but I promise (really, I do!) I promise I’ll make up for it on Thursday, my next writing day.

Vada, my pretty black cat, is cashed out next to me.  I think it is time for me to hit the hay too.

Summer Solstice

June 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

I love and loathe today.  It is the longest day of the day, or rather the day with the most sunlight.  I don’t take advantage of this by dancing in the street, like the tradition of some countries, but I like that the sun stays up longer than usual.  But it also makes me sad because I know the days will only get shorter and winter will be here again soon.  (Stop yelling at me, already.)  I love the change of seasons, but I really really love summers in Minnesota.  I’m pretty sure one of the reasons Minnesotas are down-right crazy for summer is because it is short and therefore treasured.  My favorite time of year are those first warm days in March, and men walk around town in short-sleeves even though it’s just above forty degrees.  And then summer hits, and we’re all running and biking like crazy, soaking up the warmth and sunlight, knowing it’ll be gone before we know it.

As I type this, I’m recalling that I was practically cursing the heat about six hours ago.  It was my first day of official marathon training and we ran six miles, which isn’t a terribly long distance in my book, but it was hot and humid and we ran in the direct sun.  I soaked through my shirt and guzzled water and wondered if I should just quit then and there.  Of course I won’t, but man, was it hot.  Minnesota summers are like family.  We love them and they drive us crazy.  We’ll talk shit about them, but if someone from California comes and talks smack about the weather, well, that’s it.  Only we can talk like that about our weather.  It’s a part of us.

Why am I being so dramatic?  I don’t know.

Nothing else interesting happened to me today, except I read “Jesus Shaves” by David Sedaris to Ben over the phone.  “He die one day on two morsels of lumber!  He nice, the Jesus.”  Oh, language barriers are always great fun.  Good night.

The end is in sight…

June 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

1500 words = 5.5 pages today!  I feel good about my writing today.  I began to write the last scene of my book, or at least what I think it will be.  My theory is that if I have my end in sight, I’ll know what I’m writing towards.  I’m training for the Twin Cities marathon, and in 15 weeks I know I need to be able to run 26.2 miles, so today that means I need to be able to run at least 10 miles.  I’m starting an actual training schedule tomorrow, and I think the same principle might serve me well in writing.  If I can see the end and know where its going to be, then maybe I’ll know how to work back from that point.  Every writer will say something different.  Some need to write the ending first.  Some can’t know what it is until the end.  I don’t know what kind of writer I am yet, but I’ve been feeling confused and lost lately, that I’ll try just about anything.  Adam and I met at the Wilde Roast cafe today to write for two hours, and while a public place is not the most conducive for writing, I find less distraction out and about than I do at home.

John Hermanson wrote the liturgy at Mercy Seat, and will be leading it for the next four weeks.  I’ve been a fan of his music for 15 years, albeit strange to be worshipping God with his music instead of him or his music.  After church, Ben and I cooked Raspberry Balsamic Chicken together–over webcam!  It was fun, but I have to say that this recipe is much better with Mom’s homemade raspberry jam.  I am so lucky to have had a mom who baked her own whole-wheat bread (even ground the wheat!), cooked raspberry, grape and gooseberry jam from berries on our property, canned beans, tomatoes and beef, froze corn from the garden–all of this so that we could eat home grown food all year round.

I almost forgot to login and post, but my goal is to journal daily, if only for myself.  Tomorrow is Monday.  I’m not looking forward to waking up early, but I am excited about my first ClubRun meeting.

Ta ta!

Reading is Writing

June 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Being a writer doesn’t just mean sitting down to the computer to type, or to hand write in a notebook.  It means thinking and imaging scenes to be written.  It involves reading books and watching films and reading them all as text.  I hope that all of my time spend reading, watching films, and thinking about writing all help me in my actual writing.  Today, I deliberately left my ipod at home for my long run, which normally I would never do.  I think I have convinced myself that I need music to keep me running, but I decided that I need to learn how to run by myself, with my own thoughts.  So, I left Greenie (yes, so I’ve named my ipod) at home, and made myself think about my book and the scenes I plan on writing tomorrow.  I feel successful in that I have decided what I will write tomorrow and prepared myself for it, and I’m excited about it!

I read the titled story in Perfect Recall.  I will say that Ann Beattie does a tremendous job at characterization and I’m fascinated by them all, and I feel like I know them quite well after just a couple pages.  I hope to be able to do the same in my own book.  The stories she weaves are strange and maybe a touch unrealistic (at least to in my hum-drum life), but its the endings that leave me a bit unsettled.  I was a Literature and Writing major in college.  I’ve taken classes at the Loft Literary Center for three years.  I should know if there are major differences in style or form with short stories, novellas, and novels (besides the length), but I’m not sure I do.  I like short essays, and short stories, but when does a writer know if a story is better suited for a short story or a novel?  I guess that’s my musing of the day.

I watched some of the special features for E.T.  Spielberg didn’t let the characters see E.T. before they actually filmed their scenes with him.  And in the trailer, they don’t show E.T. except for his fingers or shadow.  I thought that was cool.  It was just enough to give a person curiosity to see the film.  In my small writing group, we often talk about suspense and how to draw in the reader.  Ian says (I know it probably sounds like I am in a cult for as many times as I use that phrase) that writers should “give it away” earlier in the book.  Have a dramatic opening scene–show the monster–and then the reader will be hooked, but the writer often wants to keep the secret hidden for chapters.  It is an interesting (and usually heated) conversation.

I’m tempted to watch another movie, but it is too late, and I will sleep much too long tomorrow if I do.  I’m signing off for now.

Until tomorrow.

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