Archive for the ‘Dear Diary’ Category

On being ok.

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

I think i’ve been doing that thing i do. You know, the one where i present as being fine when, well, i’m not all that fine.

It’s been a hard couple of days, i’m not going to get into it. There’s work to do and words to write, so… back to work.

But i will say i did push myself to reach out to folks, and i’m reminded again how amazing the the people around me are and, when i actually ask for help, i get it. S and J have been particularly awesome. <3 I already see myself coming out of it.

Grá

.

Oh yeah, an update:

I promised myself that i’d keep up with this thing. Sheesh.

I have a few articles on writing bouncing around in my head. I’ll write those soon. I should probably repost the ones i’ve been writing for Shimmer. I just started digging out my recording setup and hope to be making music again soon.

One of the big things is i’m super excited about redesigning this site … and generally dragging my feet on, you know, doing it. Be it’ll be cool: I’ll have a section of my publications’ covers and images of my awards, some free fiction and a music section. But, yeah, that’s all on the back-burner at the moment while i stitch my life back together after traveling for nine months.

So, the check-in:

Life is unstable, but generally pretty good. I’m finally starting to feel settled in Eugene again. I rejoined the co-op i helped get off the ground. I was nervous at first, but am really happy with the folks and the house (and my room and my new bed.)

Look at it, just look at it!

People:

Things with J are … a little off. We obviously still love each other, but being in the same town all the time is definitely taking adjustment. S and i are doing as well as we can. She seems to be adjusting pretty well in Turkey. L&D are having a baby! N is rushing to finish her latest novel!

I keep feeling like everyone is doing more (and more interesting) things than me. Obviously i want to let this go, but i also just want to get off my ass.

As always, writing:

My main focus these days is getting back into consistent writing and submitting, which is hard with the new 40-hour a week job. (and still reading for Shimmer and my various art and music plans)

… Oh yeah, the job:

It’s great. Great people, interesting work, fun office and … and, well, it’s been a long time since i worked 40-hours a week (for money at least.) It’s taking some time to get my head around carving out writing time (and exercise, and friends, and fun, and and and … )

So, yeah, still more to do, more to plan and implement, but i’m getting by … and feeling a little more excited everyday.

You wanna know the weird thing? I find myself more and more wanting to become a sort of ascetic. I really just want to exercise and eat well and work for money and make an INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF ART, mostly writing, but definitely music and physical things too ….

… don’t get me wrong, i’m only talking for the next six months or so. I’m much too much of a hedonist to maintain asceticism, but i really really really want to produce a body of work and rekindle the buzz that was forming around my stuff a year ago.

Anyway, i gots plans. Watch this spot for more ridiculous and outrageous claims.

As always, RAWR! ONWARD!

How are you?

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

Most my friends know i have this thing. And as things go, it’s unfortunate how regularly it comes up.

So, like, people in the states often replace hello with how are you? Right?

“How are you?”
“Good, how are you?”

You know? You’ve heard this, like, everyday?

I’m living on the east coast for the rest of the month and the people in New England use it constantly. I don’t think i’ve heard anyone actually say hello since i got here:

“Howareyou?”
“Goodhowareyou?”
“Good … now let us begin our business.”
“Let us.”

And, yeah, it’s not really a big deal. I know no one means any harm with it, but like i said, i have a thing.

I really care how people are. It’s a big deal to me. And when i don’t care how people are, i don’t freaking ask. I’m coming to terms with the fact that i’m probably alone in this and i might be one of those annoying highly sensitive people. Add to that my uncontrollable need to politicize everything, and … well, i care.

And that means i’m often in uncomfortable situations:

“Howareyou?”
“I’d like to purchase these groceries.”
” … “

Ok, usually i say hello instead and most people don’t even notice. Sometimes people stumble and move on. Twice people have said, “I asked how you are.” Which was uncomfortable, but also kinda awesome.

On the other hand, i also notice people sometimes don’t really respond when i ask how they are.

ME: “How are you?”
THEM: “Good.”
ME: “No, seriously i want to know how you’re doing.”
THEM: “Oh. Uh, well grandma died yesterday, so …”

Sometimes i wish i could turn off my thing. Sometimes i wish i didn’t care so much. But on the other hand, why the hell not? Isn’t it important to know the folks around you are doing? I bet you care, at least sometimes. I bet other people do too.

I dunno, sometimes i wish we’d reserve “hello” for hello and “how are you?” for i give a shit and i’m actually taking the time to find out how you’re doing.

So, i have a challenge for you, anonymous reader. I’d never wish anyone to turn into me. But, you know, just for week, one week, notice how often you ask people how they are, and notice how often you actually want to know what’s going on for them. Notice how often people ask you.

You don’t need to keep score or anything, just notice. And, hell, if you’re moved to, maybe sometimes pause for a moment and ask them for real.

Horses, and getting back on them.

Looking back at this blog, i see my last substantive post was in June. It’s been a weird trip, confusing, lots of good, lots of bad. I’ll probably do another post after this to go over trip highlights since Kazakhstan, but this is more about … well, the place i’m in now. I’m not 100% sure what i’m doing next.

I had a wonderful meeting with my goals group, all my best writing friends. (Well, in Eugene at least.) There were a few tears. Most of us were feeling pretty unhappy with the past few months in relation to writing and career. It was good to get it out.

My favorite part was when Damon said the best decision he’d made in a while was to quit writing.

… whoa.

He said it didn’t last terribly long, but letting go gave him a break and helped him to stop hard-timing himself. It opened new possibilities. Now he’s actually enjoying writing again. I don’t know if i’m fully ready to quit, even symbolically, but i certainly need some kind of change. Normally in these situations i make big proclamations on the internet, create a goofy persona and work really really hard till i have something to brag about. The last couple of times i’ve tried that haven’t worked all that well, so …

First i’ve been evaluating.

Here’s me as a writer, so far, give or take: Looking through my files, i see that i currently have 3 novels in the trunk (2 terrible, but with potential and 1 probably readable, but also fatally flawed.) I also have 2 other novels initially plotted and with less than 5000 words written on each. For short stories i have 15 published, 5 stories in the mail, 22 stories that should be in the mail, 60 stories that are half to completely done (but need revision), 207 story-starts and 77 things that are so sucky that i’ll never look at them again. I also have 2 completed screenplays, and a comic book script.

Whew, ok, so i’ve got a lot to work with, but i haven’t been doing much working in the last 6 months. So …

Thinking about the problem.

I haven’t been happy writing, but i haven’t really been happy not writing either. I still have huge aspirations and i know i have a lot to say, but the actual writing process is ripping me up. I can look at past stuff i’ve done and see some quality there (or at least i’ve gotten some positive feedback,) but for the life of me i can’t remember how i did it. What’s up with that?

Yeah, what’s up with that?!

I’ve felt for a while now that i’ve lost my Beginner’s Mind. Wordos, Clarion, Writer’s of the Future, it’s all been good for my skills, analysis and self-esteem (at least temporarily), but it’s been nearly impossible for me to just, well shut up and write. Part of me thinks that i’ve probably garnered enough craft and knowledge to trust most of the stuff i write will work on some level, but the rest of me thinks nothing i write is ever good enough.

Starting over.

Part of me wants to just throw away everything i’ve done before now …

… figuratively. I’m not stupid …

… but just start writing and learning and taking everything that comes out of me at face value. I know i still have a problem with endings and i see that i seriously shy away from dialog, so maybe some exercises are in order. And, sure, i like being extreme and setting challenges for myself. I like pulling off stupid stunts, but i want to do that stuff because it’s fun, not to save my flagging writing career. I also think i’ve been putting huge pressure on my writing, thinking that i wont be as cool if i don’t write, thinking S won’t love me as much if i don’t. It makes it all not very much fun.

The Ideal Life.

The last 6 months have been necessary. I needed to get out there and see things. I needed to work out stuff about Jai. It hasn’t always been fun, but i feel like the last 6 months have been the transition i needed. I still don’t know where i’m going from here, but it’s been educational.

Today i started by thinking about what i want my life to look like. I’ve been thinking about my ideal day, what i want short term, what i might like long term. It’s scary and uncomfortable, but i feel a lot less like i’m drifting.

So, i’m getting back on, and if i fall off again, i’ll get back on and again and again.

Peace,

Grá