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Posted by ON in Dear Diary

I just moved out of Walnut Street Cooperative, the intentional community i founded four and a half years ago.

This has been a hugely emotional process for me, mostly a good one, but i still have some grieving to do about leaving a place that i started and put so much of myself into.

The decision to move kinda snuck up on us. After J and i got engaged, we thought that we would still live in our separate homes, but sometime
before the wedding, J and i knew, just absolutely knew, that we wanted to live in the same house.

Folks at the coop threw THREE going-away parties for me. We've all decided that our intention is to expand the community across the street
to J's house, rather than lose me as a member. We did a ritual where we literally tied the two houses together. Then everyone poured beer on
my head; i guess it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyway, i'm super excited about the potential for our communities to grow.

J and i got married!

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

Neither of us really were all that into the marriage thing. But you know, we've been together for about five years and it just felt right. Really right; like we couldn't _not_ get married… Ya'know?

Our wedding ceremony was on June 3rd on a beautiful piece of land, up in the hilly forests of Portland. Friends lent us the land, and another
good friend of ours officiated the ceremony. It was an incredible thoroughly hippie / pagan wedding. We even got married on a bridge over
a bubbling stream. We were surrounded by eighty of our close friends and family. Jai and I cried through the whole ceremony and, from the
pictures, it looks like most of the audience did too.

We wrote the ceremony ourselves, here are the vows we wrote:

———————-

I wish to join my life with yours
To stand by your side and sleep in your arms
To be joy to your heart and food to your soul
To work as partners and live as family
while we grow old together.

I vow to be your ally as you grow
To support you in your dreams
To hold faith in you even when you don't have faith in yourself
To share your joys and successes.
To see you in your vision

I vow to be true to myself
To care for myself
To love, honor and respect myself
Because I know that what I give myself I can then give to you.

I promise to listen carefully and to speak the truth
to risk being vulnerable and to practice being present,
To stay with you through struggles and pleasures
To hold you in my heart all the days of my life

Will you accept me and all that I am?

———————-

I composed two classical chamber pieces which were performed for our procession and recession at the beginning and end of the ceremony.
Afterwards we had a marvelous dinner and a dance party.

We've posted hundreds of wedding photos here: http://www.j-and-g-wedding.info

We have a new last name. When J and i decided to get married, we decided to both change our last names. After considering
hundreds of Irish (my racial background) names and Arabic (J's racial background) names, we both got excited about a name that is neither Irish nor Arabic. Ah well…

The day after the ceremony, J and i borrowed a car from her parents (we still live car-free) and drove up to British Columbia. We bounced
around Vancouver, Victoria and other parts of the province for about two and half weeks. It was wonderful.

A big chunk of our honeymoon we spent ocean kayaking in the Desolation Sound (on the pacific, near the northern tip of Vancouver Island.) We
camped every night, packed in our own food, and kayaked about ten or thirteen miles a day. The only people we saw were the others in our
group. The ecosystem up there is totally unspoiled; we saw sea stars and seals and bald eagles.

Breathtaking doesn't even cover it. On the last day of the kayaking trip, a storm came in and we nearly had to be rescued by a sea taxi. It
was a blast. If you can ever get up there, i highly recommend it.

Writing journal – issue 5

The moment you've been waiting for has finally come. So many of you
have been waiting for me to say this, and now, at last, I can.

I am going to go take a shower.

I am also going to shave off this seven day beard, at last change my
cloths, and maybe, even clean my room.

I am also considering eating some of those things called “vegetables”,
or at least eating food that isn't chocolate, caffeine or crunchy fried things that are served in a plastic bag. I hear that the air outside of my bedroom is also quite nice.

Oh, yeah, I also wrote my 60,248th and 60,249th words about an hour ago. They were “THE” and “END”

This has been an important process for me, i've learned a lot about myself.

For instance, i've learned that there is nothing that i won't do to
avoid writing. Hell, i even cleaned the bathroom once instead.

I've also learned that when employing the “I get a reward if I finish X many words” method of self motivation, in the moment i'm just as likely say, “Aw what the hell, it's the thought that counts.” as actually finish X many words.

Jokes aside. The very first thing i did when i finished writing was burst into tears.

Actually i want to toot my own horn for a second (or prove how completely stupid I am.) I had set a very specific two-part goal for myself this winter.

1.) Write a 60,000 word novel in the month of November.
2.) Submit 9 stories through my writing group between October and December.

Well, i ended up having to write most of those stories for the writing group in November (while trying to write the novel), so between October 16th and today i've actually written (wait, lemme count 'em…
…holy shit!) 82,193 words.

For you page people, that’s about three hundred and eighty three pages.

Sheesh! I may never write again.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me whine about this thing for the last month. I look forward to hanging out with many of you again, and going back to being a productive member of society…

…just as soon as i go take a shower.

Writing journal – issue 4

Word Count: 50,209 Stress-level: Medium-High

Hey everybody, just a quick note to let y'all know that i'm still
writing and i haven't driven my car off a bridge in frustration… wait a second, i don't have a car.

So, Last week i wrote ten thousand words in one day.

Say it with me, TEN THOUSAND WORDS!

For you page people, that’s about forty pages.

A friend of mine and i had a contest betting that the other couldn't write 10,000 words in one day. We bet that if one person did and the other didn't then the loser had to take to winner out for indian food. We also said that if neither of us did it, we both had to clean all the bathrooms in our house.

We kept a chart of our word count and the last things we wrote for every two hour span.

Here's mine:

10 am to 12 pm – words: 2430 – Sex parties, retired drug dealers
1 pm to 3 pm – words: 2341 – “Dump his loser ass.”
4 pm to 6 pm – words: 2051 – all his friends are dead
7 pm to 9 pm – words: 2395 – “… I take a deep breath and walk out into the world”
10 pm to 12 am – words: 778 – the last 250 words fucking suck!

Anyway,

A few days ago my total word count was forty five thousand words. FORTY FIVE THOUSAND WORDS!

For you page people, that’s about a hundred and eighty pages.

A quick look above will show you that i have reached (insert swearword that my mom would not appreciate here) 50,000 words!

For you page people, that’s about two hundred pages.

Is all of it good? Well, no. I've written scenes that basically look like this;

“Hey Bob, whatcha doing?”

“Nothing much.”

“Oh”

“Yep”

“So…”

“…”

“Well, wanna talk about your relationship problems for three thousand words?”

“Sure!”

I mean don't get me wrong, the point of NaNoWriMo is “just write!” Yay for me and all that, but it's also probably time to admit that i basically reached 50,000 words today by having my lead character go on a 3000 word series of rants about the interesting interactions between mathematics and nature (Oh god, i wish i was kidding.) Come on! I think there is some real dramatic potential in the Fibonacci Sequence. Oh never mind.

When i admitted the math thing to one of my house mates, i was mocked, openly,

“Who do you think you are, David Foster Wallace?”

“Um, no, i just thought it make an interesting metaphorical symbol for…”

“ARE you as clever as David Foster Wallace?”

“Well, um, no.”

So anyway, in the next six days i've committed to writing only description, dialog and plot for my last 10,000 words. Wish me luck.

For the rest of today i'm committed to eating lots of stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Writing journal – issue 3

Word Count: 16,383 Stress-level: High

Three.

I've put myself in my book as three different characters. I am the most self obsessed person ever. Any minute the loser police are going to come confiscate my novel and give me swift kick in the ass.

Ok, one of the me's is really a sort of subconscious manifestation that comes out during drug hallucination's. So i don't know if he counts.

Yes, i'm still a drug addict in the book. But, look, i'm a nice drug addict, a kind drug addict. I'm a drug addict with a heart of gold.

That's an interesting thing. I've never been a big drug user, i don't even really drink all that much. So i've had to do a bunch of research to figure out how to be a good drug addict. I've been going on the web and asking people, “What is an average amount of heroin to take?” So far the police haven't shown up at my door.

Well, you've all been probably waiting for this moment. Here it is:

What the hell am i doing? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

There, that feels a little better. I think if i had to describe this book in one word, the word would be “ambitious.” It's not a crappy confusing pretentious book, no sir, it's ambitious. It's so ambitious that it is written in three parts, all intermingled. I had to draw a chart to keep track of what is happening where and when. No, seriously. And i told you about all the tense changes already, right? Do you dig what i mean about tense? Here's a demo;

Third person past tense: (most common form of fiction writing) “Alice walked down the street swinging her samauri sword solicitously.”

First person past tense: (maybe a little less common) “I, being Alice, walked down the street swinging my samauri sword solicitously.”

First person present tense: (great for modern arty literary crap) “I walk down the street. I see a dog. It is a sad dog. It is me. I am the dog.”

Second person present tense: (not to be used in my, or any, novel, ever) “You look forward down the street. You see a green dragon. It has 42 hit points.
Do you:
A.) Attack the dragon with your +3 vorple blade
B.) Run like hell, it's a goddamn dragon, stupid!”

So, I couldn't just write a 50,000 word novel, no i had to write a 60,000 word novel. I couldn't have one story, no i had to have three, and i couldn't just write it in (one) normal tense. No sir. And on top of all this i had to write up and fictionalize a hugely emotional point in my life that, the more i think about it, i've never fully processed. I think i may need to explore the idea that i'm sabotaging myself, just a little.

What's worse is that i'm running out of ideas. So if you, ya know, have any great novel ideas, uh, feel free to send them my way. My friend Sarah has been sending words to include in the book. Yes Sarah, i did fit “reverberate” in. I figure if each of you send me 200 words, then the book will be done, right?

I'm also still accepting offers of sex, junk food, or parts of my body being rubbed.

The NaNoWriMo folks say that the second week is the worst. So hopefully next week you'll see me refreshed, inspired, and writing a book with a more coherent plot.