Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Camera Time

December 27, 2016

And that’s what days off are for.

Spending a lot of time on the phone with a tech guy figuring out what is the issue and how to fix it.

The issue for me has been that when I got my new camera, the same guy I used to have, just a newer version, my computer would only get halfway through the process of uploading my pictures.

It was really frustrating.

I had a friend look at it recently and he said take it to the Genius Bar.

But.

I did not want to be in an Apple store the day after Christmas, fuck no, so I looked up an appointments for calls on-line and set it up so that I could get tech support when I got back from my yoga class.

Yes.

Back in it after a weird week off with the work and the holiday and the cold.

I still have the cold, but it doesn’t seem as tenacious as it was the last few days.

It maybe all the sleep I let myself have.

I slept nine hours.

I never sleep nine hours any more.

I used to, a long time ago, sleep nine hours and even once in a while I would get a big fat ten hours a night.

No longer.

Thank you grad school and full-time work.

Anyway.

I had a nice yoga class.

A hot shower.

A delicious breakfast.

The persimmons are just about gone and I’m jolly well enjoying them to the last juicy bite.

Then some writing and laundry and the phone call.

It took about twenty-five minutes and then I had to reboot and restart the computer.

I went to the co-op up the street and grabbed a few things.

Came back, unpack my goodies, signaled the computer it was ok to restart, plugged in all the passwords and such and then still had to wait another bit of time while it updated.

But.

I used said time well and took out the left over pork roast from yesterday and made some pork fried rice for lunch.

YUM.

By the time I had folded my laundry and did my dishes, the upgrade had finished and my computer was back up and running with a bunch of slightly different little icons on the dock.

I opened up my Iphoto and hooked up the USB cable from my camera to my computer.

And.

YES!

It took.

Yay.

My photographs all downloaded.

And I discovered a whole batch of photographs that hadn’t been moved over to my hard drive.

Old photos from Paris, a bunch of Burning Man photos, nanny photos and just general out and about in the world, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles.

It was pretty cool to see them, I hadn’t realized they were there.

Another project for this week.

The getting my camera to sync with my computer was a big one.

I need to attend to some school stuff, renew my FAFSA for next year’s round of financial aid, update my Linkedin profile, which I haven’t touched in years but was strongly advised that I want to have a good profile up for school and practicum interviews.

Who knew?

I’m also going to peep my syllabi and buy any text books that need buying.

I want to run over to Optical Underground and see if I can get the lenses taken out of an old set of frames and into a new set.

I have had the frames forever, really like them, but they are old and just not holding their shape, the lenses, however, are fairly recent (I had my optometrist re-lense my current prescription into them).

I’ll probably do that Wednesday since I had a date to the MOMA with two of my favorite men in the universe.

We’ll be meeting at the MOMA at 10 a.m. for a good wander and then out to lunch.

I’m super excited to spend time with both of them, so near and dear to my heart.

Tomorrow I’m signed up for an early yoga class but I’m not sure what the rest of the day will look like.

Definitely more out and about with my camera.

Having downloaded the photographs I was eager to take more.

I posted to my other blog.

Which is exclusively photographs.

I hadn’t put fresh photographs on that site in about two years.

It was high time.

And then I decided I wanted to get out and take more.

It was pretty close to sunset and I speculated that I might be able to make Twin Peaks.

But.

It would be really close.

I hopped on my scooter, went to the gas station, topped off the tank–all of a $1.26–and headed out.

The light was fading fast and as I zoomed up Lincoln Ave I caught a glimpse of Grand View Park.

And I thought, there, that’s where I need to go, I’ve been to Twin Peaks, but I have never climbed up Grand View.

And it’s a climb, there’s no driving all the way to the top.

Although I took my scooter as far as I could, parking it at 14th and Moraga.

Then I scooped my camera and began climbing the flights of stairs to the top.

Which was helpful to warm me up a little.

My God it was cold and windy.

But.

It was worth it.

The views were out of this world.

I am so happy I did it.

My fingers could barely move as I took photos and I bumbled around a bit with my glasses and my feet and trying to line up shots with a steady hand that wasn’t shaking from the cold.

I got a few good ones.

Go check them out.

I hope to continue getting a few good ones.

I can’t promise how often I will post.

The editing takes time and then getting them up to the other blog, although there is not much writing, there is a lot of editing and it takes awhile to put together.

That being said.

I really enjoy doing it.

So I will as much as I can.

Especially this week when I have some free time to indulge in my little amateur hobby.

I love photography.

It makes me happy.

And as far as I’m concerned.

There is always room for more happy in my life.

Always.

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Oh No

August 4, 2015

What did I just do?

Le sigh.

I just fell down the photography hole.

Like really bad.

Really bad.

I have been sitting here at my table scrolling and clicking and adjusting and cropping and finding the right angle and super saturating this one and exposing that one, and oh god.

Where the hell did the time go?

I should have had my blog written by now.

I could easily still be in the hole.

Thank God it’s not a K hole.

But man, I was gone, gone, gone.

Since I have gotten my MacBook Air I have had a few adventures in upgrading my apps and getting my stuff organized and then there was that whole breach of security thing that I thought was going to wipe out my hard drive completely, and thank God I got that fixed and taken care or.

But whenever I have tried to download photos from my phone or from my camera, I have a digital that I cannot believe still works, it’s a Fuji Fine Pix from 2007, it may be even older than that, I bought it in January or February of 2007, so it might even be a 2006 model, anyway, I haven’t been able to get my Iphoto open on my Macbook Air.

I have downloaded the upgrader a number of times, I have tried to install it, I have stood on one foot and wiggled my ass at true north on the compass.

Well.

Maybe not the last.

But.

I have tried a number of things.

Tonight I was determined.

I am going to do this.

I took some stellar shots at Yosemite.

Both on my Iphone 5C and on my camera.

I want to see my photos and I wanted to edit them and I wanted to post them up.

I have missed posting photos to my blog.

I don’t always, but it’s fun to accompany the posts with a photograph or five, especially when I am at a national park and am seeing the most majestically beautiful land I have ever seen.

Yeah.

I would like to share those photos with y’all.

So.

I did it.

I am not sure how.

Maybe I was just relaxed enough to not care and just keep working at it and oh, shit.

I did it.

Then.

Oh shit.

I was in photography heaven.

And hell.

I had over 400 photos on my phone.

And those are probably culled down and edited on my phone, because I can and do, and I had photos from my trip to San Diego on it that I had forgotten about.

Family

Family-my father and my grandmother 

Botanical Gardens San Diego

Botanical Gardens San Diego

My Uncle, cousin, and second cousin at the Dr. Seuss exhibit

My Uncle, cousin, and second cousin at the Dr. Seuss exhibit

I mean, shoot, I’m even falling into the photography pie hole now, just putting a few photographs up from the San Diego trip.

There are so many great photos.

Plus I had street art and graffiti photos back up on my phone.

Screen Shot, wall of apartment building Outer Sunset, Judah at 48th Ave

Screen Shot, wall of apartment building Outer Sunset, Judah at 48th Ave

Mural, downtown Atlanta, GA

Mural, downtown Atlanta, GA

Red Poppy Art House

Red Poppy Art House, 23rd at Folsom, San Francisco

Oh, how I love me some street art.

I have a lot more photographs that could fall into this category as well.

The ones that got me the most involved with the editing, etc, were the photographs from the Yosemite road trip I took with my two friends this past weekend.

I took about 200 photographs over all in a 36 hour period.

There was also sleeping, campfires, being in awe of nature, photographs I wish I had taken, ones that didn’t turn out and I deleted immediately, and all in all I probably shot another 100 or so, but of the ones I down loaded.

36 great ones from my camera.

18 good ones from my phone and a few I kept because of sentimental value and because my friends were so goofy in the photographs.

Half Dome from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Half Dome from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point parking lot

Glacier Point parking lot

Floor of the Valley, Yosemite Villages

Floor of the Valley, Yosemite Villages

Road Closed

I also suspect that there’s a group of photos that I spent a considerable amount of time editing that I cannot seem to locate right now that is really the culprit of my falling into the hole that is photo editing.

Which really bums me out since I spent a great deal of time on them and they are my top 36 photographs from Yosemite.

But I am sure they are somewhere to be found and right now, as the hours tick closer and closer to my bed time, I want to finish this blog so I can check in on a friend who’s having a hard time.

“Are you blogging?”

“Yes,” I said into the phone.

And you know, it’s a big deal if I even pick up my phone while I am blogging.

There are some phone calls I will always take.

Always.

But there are quite a few that come in during the hour or so I am on the blog doing the thing and well, suffice to say, I took my friends’ call.

Break ups are hard and that’s what one does with a friend going through a break up.

I pick up the phone.

But.

I was admonished to finish my blog then get back to my friend.

So.

Let’s wrap this up.

No more photo hunting.

Well, damn it.

Maybe just one last thought as I try to fish out the best of the best here.

Hmmm.

Hang on.

I gots an idea.

Nope.

Fuck.

Not only did I just waste more time.

I can’t find the photographs.

Damn it man.

Ugh.

Well.

They got to be there somewhere.

Fingers crossed.

Because when the Iphoto prompt asked me if I wanted to delete the photographs from my camera’s hard drive, I said yes.

So if I don’t find them I’m out a really fun set of photographs from my Yosemite trip.

I so hope that is not the case.

I really did get some great shots, but I suppose, you’ll just have to take my word on that.

DSCF1052 DSCF1032 DSCF1005 DSCF1004 DSCF1043 DSCF1069 DSCF1081 DSCF1088 DSCF1045

Bwahahahaaha!

I found them.

T-Minus Sunday

June 29, 2014

And counting.

One more day before I fly home to Wisconsin.

Not really home, this home.

Wisconsin ceased being home a long time ago, almost twelve years ago now, and I am not going back to the part of Wisconsin that I grew up in.

I am going to Hudson, Wisconsin where my best friend and her skulk live.

I am excited to see them.

And I realized today, anxious.

A feeling I am not particularly fond of and one I would prefer to not feel and also one that it took me a minute to identify that I was having.

Oh.

Hi.

I did not know that was what was happening.

This is actually astounding progress for me.

First that I identified that I was having a feeling.

And that the feeling was not “shit” or “fat” or “fucked.”

“Fat” is not a feeling.

Nope.

Inadequacy.

Oh.

That’s a feeling.

Some shame.

Yeah, there’s that too.

And then the anxiety.

The nice thing about feelings is that they pass.

By the time I was finished with my commitment for the evening it was gone.  I got to check in about it with someone and talk and of course there’s anxiety.

Duh.

Traveling is an anxiety inducing affair, even if I am excited about the trip.  Sometimes, too, I will confuse the excitement for anxiety or vice versa.

And I am not one hundred percent me, ankle stuff and all, and so yeah, this is all a different kind of travel than I am used to.

I also am feeling a bit of anxiety about returning to work.

Will I be ready?

Will I fuck up the ankle more?

Will I be able to handle the kids?

I believe yes to the former and not the latter, and I believe that the free-floating feeling of “there’s something wrong” is just a tendency of an ill mind to try to get me to fabricate a crisis where there is none.

There’s nothing wrong.

My bills are paid.

(Thank you friends again and again and again.)

My ducks are in a row.

I even have a TSA approved travel toilette bag.

And.

I investigated getting the wheel chair today online, to wheel me through the airport on the way to the flight.

Turns out that SFO won’t do it for you, per se, you have to contact the airline that you are traveling via, itself.

Basically I will request it when I pull up to check in for my flight.  I won’t go inside and print of my ticket, I will go curb side to Delta and request the wheelchair at that point.  I will also check into my flight there as well instead of checking in at one of the kiosks.

I may ask my ride to actually come and get me just a tiny bit earlier to make sure I sail through on time.

I don’t believe I will actually need more time, but I would rather have it than not.

Needless to say I will be requesting it, “the chariot” as a dear heart said I should think of it, and I will ask to be seated outside my assigned seat if I can be made more comfortable.

I don’t think I can get the extra leg room in the cabin by sitting in the exit row, you have to be physically capable of assisting others, and well, I would love to play hero, but perhaps not on this flight.

I have a feeling though that the flight won’t be packed, it’s an odd time of day to fly out and it’s a Monday flight to Minneapolis, I think it will be fine.

It feels fine anyhow.

I don’t have much to do tomorrow.

Take care of packing my suitcase, doing a little laundry, taking a shower, having a normal day, whatever “normal” looks like.

Today it was have tea with a confidant for an hour on the back porch and do a lot of inventory.

I also called a lot of folks just to check in and say hi and see how my friends were doing.

I got some sun.

I sat and flipped through a Vogue magazine.

I ate nice meals that I cooked for myself.

I drank lots of tea.

Oh!

I edited more of my book.

It feels good to have done some work on that and to be moving forward with it.  I can see the piece getting cleaner and the showing, not the telling is happening.

I also love seeing the comments from my friend, it’s great to have a reader who can point out, this doesn’t make sense to me, this works, this doesn’t, try this not that, this is awkward, this works, but not so much this here, “you’re showing, not telling” is a big one and it is a pet peeve of mine to be told rather than shown.

I want the experience to be like watching a movie, so the more I can show what is happening the better that feeling will come across.

It feels quite satisfying to have had some distance and some time and perspective away from it and to be reading it bound, my friend bound it for me when he edited the manuscript, I am making notes in the margin and finding fresh ways to retell it in the details rather than in the use of adjectives and superlatives.

Extraordinary too, to relive the story.

Because it’s not just a story, it’s my history, it’s my interpretation, really or my history at that time in my life.

My perspective on the time has changed seismically, however, in just a sentence or two, I can be right back there, in the meat of it, in the city, on the Lake, where a lot of the action takes place, down in the Florida Keys, in and around Homestead, Florida, I am right there participating in the action.

And I see it.

Now I just need to have you see it.

I don’t want to describe that feeling.

I don’t want to say I am anxious.

I want you to see me sitting and bouncing a leg or wringing my hands, re-tracing the lifeline on my right hand while holding a cigarette in my left, over and over again.

I want the description of the action to be palpable and thick so you don’t have to hear the feelings, you can see them loud and clear.

Show.

Don’t tell.

I wrote a book.

Anyone can write a book.

Now I want to write a book that is readable.

I want to tell a story that is consumable.

I want you to want more when you are finished.

I want to inflame the appetite.

Of course going back to Wisconsin is going to arouse anxiety.

I am heading back to that place where I vowed to leave twelve years ago to become the next great American novelist and I shall return not having published or finished writing that great novel of mine.

That is ego.

That is not why I am going.

I am not going back to prove a point or be anyone other than myself.

Because my friend wants me, not the idea of me.

The idea of me can stay home.

I have better things to carry onto the plane.

Or wheelchair on to the plane.

As the case may be.

 

We’ll Record When I Get Back

June 28, 2014

Holy shit.

I ran into a friend of mine.

A dear, sweet, darling man who has known me from the days of yore when I went to an event that he was playing at, his birthday party, and I danced my ass off while walking around with a cane.

I was in the last stages of healing from a really bad back sprain.

The music, his music, was so infectious though, I could not help it but to dance.

“You know, I’m playing one show here for Pride (tomorrow is Pink Saturday and the high holy holidays of queer are here in San Francisco), it’s going to be good.” He leaned in a subtle, conspiratorial manner and whispered in my ear as he gave me a hug good night, “I’d invite you but I don’t think you should be dancing quite yet, heal well, I’ll see you in seven weeks when I get back from Europe.”

Oh awesomeness.

He’s right too.

I would probably try to shake my groove thing.

I have been listening to a lot of jazz of late.

Smooth.

Mellow.

Sit still and heal, soothing.

I do not know what possessed me, but I put on the dance music when I took the train downtown today to run an errand.

I should know better than to run downtown during Pride Weekend when I am hobbling about on my walking boot.

But it was too late and I was there and as I slowly maneuvered through the crowds, I kept myself occupied by listening to a Green Velvet mix live in Dublin, Ireland, that was just smoking.

Best genre I can come up with to classify it is Retro-Electro/Ghetto Techno.

So good.

So dirty good.

I just wanted to shake my ass.

At least the half that wasn’t affixed to the boot.

So, “running” (I suppose wobbling is the much better adjective) into my friend the day before he’s off on seven week tour of Europe was great timing.

I told him about the epiphany I had at Lighting in a Bottle and how I love my writing practice, can’t get enough of it, doing it all the time, but that I wanted to expand a bit more and I wanted to record a full album with him instead of just one song.

I gave him some ideas.

I would love it to be called “Music of the Spheres” or “Jesus Was a DJ”.

Something spiritual, sexual, definitely a little retro and ghetto sexy, but with some sugar lip sass, I have to be able to dance to it, it can’t be too slow.

He suggested we do an EP then play out some clubs and press some vinyl.

Ah.

Ok.

OHMYGODREALLY?!

Fyi.

I don’t even know what an EP is.

I suppose I shall have to Wikipedia that right quick.

I know enough to know it’s not a full length album.

But it’s a set of songs.

Ah.

Thanks Mister Google.

Extended Play.

Not a full album, but an extended set of songs, usually three to four.

Perfect.

That sounds exactly what I want to do.

And play out?

Hells to the yes.

I miss that kind of performing.

I mean, yeah, it freaks me out, but I also loved doing the couple of shows with him the summer before I left for Paris.

It was pretty amazing, even just that little bit.

We played together with another vocalist and a violinist at the Elbow Room and then a few weeks later I joined him with another vocalist at Club 222.

It was pretty epic.

At least for me.

And the opportunity to do it again, but with more music and lyrics and a longer story, I am down with that.

I would not mind calling it “Baise Moi” either or “Sugar Kiss”.

I have a few ideas.

Some old material and some new material.

I also don’t have to have as much per piece written as I did for While You Were Sleeping.

It’s a long poem.

It’s not epic length, but it’s too long for a song.

Knowing that I have an idea of how many words each song can hold.

This means cutting and gutting a few poems.

I can do that.

It’s just editing.

And I have an editing eye.

I want to include “Cry Baby” on it.

OH.

That’s it.

Love Junkie.

That’s the refrain for the poem, the repeating thematic of the piece, a nonce I wrote years ago, “she’s a love junkie.”

We talked about mixing it with Paul Simon’s Graceland.

At least that’s the inspiration for me.

There’s a certain time in my life I would like to allude to, where Cry Baby came from.

And then the channeling another kind of music in there, underneath it, maybe some Hues Corporation.

A little mixing of “Don’t Rock the Boat” underpinned by something French retro or new wave.

Oh, the ideas.

EEK.

Yann Tiersen.

The guy behind the Amelie soundtrack.

Oh goodness.

Snowflakes on the steps of Sacre Couer, straight to my heart, the glow lamps in front of the cafes in Paris, the Eiffel Tower glittering in the snow fall and mist.

Baise moi indeed.

I have some writing to do.

I have a creative project.

Yay.

This will make the continued editing of Baby Girl that much easier to withstand.

Not that it’s all that difficult, although I am still cringing at the errors that rife through the work.

Sophomoric errors.

But hey.

I am learning and I get to have this experience and how many folks are in the middle of editing a book, their own memoir, and also writing lyrics for a pending album with a world-famous, globe-trotting dj?

Not so many I am going to suppose.

My friend who sold me the scooter also suggested I get back into dj’ing.

I did it very briefly, very much as an amateur, never played out, when I first moved to San Francisco in 2002.

I might have to do some investigationship.

I would not be getting turntables again, I’ll be honest, I’m too busy and a bit too lazy for that, but a good mixing system, a premium membership to Spotify, and my own ear, I think I could mix a good party.

Not really for money.

Just for the fun of it.

“We’ll press some vinyl and makes some money, and play around some clubs and get you before some crowds, and,” my friend’s eyes lit up.

I interrupted, “oh, I don’t care about making money, I just want to have fun and create and…”

“Oh, you get to make money too, don’t you worry, you make something and you’re going to make money too.”

He hugged me.

“Go, we’ll talk when I get back.”

He ducked into a tacqueria to meet some friends and I walked off to the N-Judah stop to take the train home.

Music rumbling through my head.

Right foot tapping a rhythm.

Happy to have a distraction from the ankle.

I’ll dance again soon.

I know I will.

And I will get to make new music too.

Life is pretty damn grand.

I just have to get out the way.

And ask.

The Universe really wants to say yes.

Just ask.

The answer is yes.

It always is.

Today Was A Good Day

June 23, 2014

I went for a walk!

I know, don’t pee your pants, it’s exciting.

I “walked” two blocks.

It was more like a shuffle and a forward lurching roll.

But I did it.

Then I iced my ankle down for a half hour after.

I just wanted to get out, I wanted to mail a card to my uncle in Nevada City and the mail box is a block away.

I figured I could get there and back.

I had forgotten that it’s a bit of an incline.

Not too much to worry about when I am walking about, doing my thing, checking my list twice, and checking off all the things I like to get done in a day.  Not too much when I am not in a walking boot stabilizing my sorry ankle.

I laughed out loud in utter hilarity at the effort it took to walk up the little incline.

I never made it to the mail box.

Although my card did.

There was a woman crossing the street with her dog and I stopped her, “are you crossing over?”

She smiled and nodded.

“Would you mind horribly putting this in the mailbox, I thought I could make it over, but it’s, well, um, more daunting than I thought.” I said and pointed out my foot.

“Oh, of course!” She took the card, crossed the street and put it in the box.

Sigh.

And that was it.

That’s all she wrote.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

That’s as far as I made it out and about today.

But I took advantage of that outside, out of my studio, out of my tiny little space, to breathe, look out to the ocean, take in the bit of sun trying to break through the clouds, smile at the babies out being pushed in strollers to brunch at the cafe, I got two out-and-out grins, both from little boys, and waves.

It felt really good to interact a little with the outside world.

Instead of the world inside my head.

I also had two visitors today and that helped as well.

Lots of tea drinking.

Lots of chatting about fellowship, community, love, service, expereince, strength, hope.

Loads.

I drank tea.

Loads.

I cleaned too.

I was expecting the company and though I am not an untidy person, the ankle injury has stopped me from being quite as clean in my home as I would care for.

I cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen, swept all the floors, made the bed, dusted.

It felt good to air it out, clean it up, open the back door for fresh air.

“You look better!” My first visitor exclaimed.

“I feel, I don’t know, brighter,” I said, “like I am coming back into my own.”

“You can totally tell,” she confirmed, “you look so much better than last week, not that, uh, you were looking bad, but, er, ha!  You know what I mean.”

I smiled.

I do.

I do feel more myself.

I know, and have been warned, to not push that good feeling too far (just around the block to the mailbox), to let the healing continue, to not get in the way of it.

To basically get the fuck out of my own way.

“You can even call a head and have a wheel chair waiting for you at the airport!” My second visitor said this afternoon over tea.

Apple cinnamon for him.

Bengal Spice for me.

Goddamn I have drunk a lot of tea today, at least I know I am hydrated.

“You’ll be taken right to the front, no hassle, you should do it.” He nodded at me.

I can’t do that, I thought, that’s crazy.

Then.

Well, maybe.

But  I don’t foresee that I will actually be walking in the boot by that time.

Tuesday marks two weeks of wearing it and the doc said “two to three weeks” in the boot.

I am really hoping that I will be able to leave the boot here in San Francisco, then wear it to Wisconsin.

I will.

I mean, I am not stupid, despite my thinking, I don’t need to be vain and wear the cute wedge sandals I ordered on-line last month before the injury, thinking how fabulous they would be to wear about, during the day, at night, why, they are so cute, I may never pry them off my feet.

At least while visiting.

Frankly, it’s too cold and overcast here in July to warrant sandals.

Now, however, I am not even going to pack them for fear that I will decide to get pretty for a night at the carnival and sprain the ankle worse.

I will not be tottering around any Midway with my heels and summer dress.

Nope.

But I really am hoping to not be in the boot.

God.

I can’t even imagine going through security with it on.

That is yet eight days a way.

Eight days of healing and letting it rest and continuing to ice and elevate.

Like I am doing right now.

My only concession to my vain self is a pedicure before I go.

Then again, maybe I should wear the boot, zoom zip through security, not worry about walking through the airport, let myself continue being cautious.

I will be returning to work the following Monday, and if the doctor said three weeks, maybe I go the full three weeks in the boot.  That would still leave me a few days in Hudson without it on.

I don’t know.

Too far ahead.

Better to focus on today.

And it was a good day.

Aside from the visits I also did some more data entry and finished up what I needed to do there, handing it all off tomorrow when I head up to 7th and Irving for the evening.

I also, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, began editing my book.

Holy Mother of God.

I am so sorry I asked my friend to read it and edit it.

And thank you Jeebus that he did.

I cannot believe that I was sending it out seeking agency.

It is not ready for publication.

I saw that so fast.

First paragraph.

First fucking paragraph, right there, that needs fixing, then this, then that, and oh shit, I’m totally telling and not showing, I know better than that, and oops, shit, adjectives galore.

I mean holy moly batman.

Lot of work to do.

But I busted through 25 pages of it.

And I can see the shape of the story.

It’s good.

Just, in the words of my friend who edited the piece for me, “it’s worth saving (I have had thoughts of just scrapping the entire thing), but you have work to do.”

And.

“The important thing is you got it down.”

He’s right.

263 pages of I got it down.

More drafts than I care to admit too, more editing than I want to do, but I got it down.

The editing is not as noxious as I thought it would be, and I suspect I’ll have a good amount done by the time I leave.

Eight more days of hanging out here, but if today was any indication, it’s getting easier.

And maybe I will go for another walk before too long.

Perhaps to Trouble or Java Beach Cafe.

Maybe even to the beach, the dunes above, not down to the beach, I don’t think I can handle getting down in the boot, but just a “stroll” to the dunes and back.

It will all happen when it’s suppose to.

RICE for now.

More tea.

More getting the fuck out of my way.

Today was a good day.

And everything is alright.

Feels Like Vacation

February 18, 2014

How’s the time off been going?

An acquaintance asked me this evening as I wheeled my bike across the intersection at 7th and Irving.

“I slept until noon,” I said, the awe apparent in the tone of my voice.  “I wore my slippers until I came up here on my bike, about um, oh, fifteen minutes ago.”

I had gotten dressed, yes, but I did not leave the house until almost 6p.m. this evening.

These things happen when I don’t go to bed until 4a.m.

Yup.

That’s about how long it took for me to write last night’s blog, unwind, and get myself to bed.

Getting up at noon, though an extreme time difference from my usual hours, was not all that crazy–I got 8 hours–but not really packing in anything to said day was the difference.

I sent my housemate a message about not having gotten in until late, let’s reschedule our utility talk for another time (which we pretty much addressed already anyhow) and took a really long hot shower to get myself going.

But, not going too far.

When I think of all the energy I expended last night, riding to and from the club, three plus hours of solid dancing, it makes sense for me to have laid low.

I was recuperating and I didn’t have anywhere to be until 6:30 p.m. so I let myself, well, chill the fuck out.

My only regret was that I had not picked up a book yesterday when I had a moment in between this place and that place and had gone in to Aardvark Books to ramble through the aisles.

I could have used a book to curl up with.

Yeah, there is a book here that I could have been reading, but I was not in that kind of place for it.

I do hope to be in that space on Wednesday.

I have plans to hang out with a friend tomorrow and I think we will probably cruise around all day, maybe check out his scooter, drink a good bit of coffee and play some bones.

Dominoes that is.

Wednesday, then, seems the day.

The day I told myself, hey, lady, why don’t you pick up the manuscript your friend so kindly printed off and edited for you laborious page by laborious page, and give it a read.

I am prompted to do this because it stares at me when I walk by it, taunting me to pick it up, come on, what are you afraid of.

I am afraid it is shit and not worth the effort is what I am.

Yet, pick it up I will.

I am also inspired by a good friend of mine who has been sending me his short stories and asking me for editing suggestions.

I have read drafts of each of the stories, made comments, asked for him to not use adverbs, pesky little fuckers those, and to clarify what I as a reader am feeling or hearing or not understanding.

His stories have gotten better and better and he’s sending them out.

I want to be doing that as well.

I could not get myself to address any of that today and I was alright with that.

Fun needed to be had yesterday.

Fun was had.

Recuperation from said fun had to be done as well.

It was also a holiday for the housemate’s daughter  and there was general melee in the house as a play date with twin five-year olds and a little two and a half-year old galloped about the upstairs.

No way was I going to have the quiet to do what I wanted to do.

One of them jumped on something so hard or off something or slammed something, who knows what it was, but as I was sitting on the chaise I heard the bang then watched as the reverberation from it shook a glass jar out of my dish drainer and saw it crash to the floor.

Yeah.

Not really the day to sit and read my memoir.

Tomorrow neither as it really is a rare thing for me to have the same day off as my friend who typically works weekends, so Wednesday, when school is back in and I am back to or heading into my typical work schedule (I am on for Thursday, possibly Friday as well, though I am waiting to hear back about that), then I shall sit and read.

I suspect I won’t like what I am reading.

However, I get to honor my process and not judge it and just do it.

Every little action a step forward with it.

I just made a notation in my calendar and scheduled myself the afternoon to read it.

Five hours should be enough to kick through it.

I just want to read it and let myself soak in it.

I can go back over it with a fine tooth comb later.

Then I have the Motorcycle Safety Course in the evening.

I will have a day of study on Wednesday.

I know that I can beat myself up about not moving forward with the writing or the stories or what piece am I working on.  But I realize, with certainty, that I am doing a big part of what is going to make my book a better book by this daily practice of writing.

I am the type of person who works during their “vacation”.

Keeps me sane and happy.

Sure, I was a bit of a sloth today, but I still wrote my morning pages, a few extra then the typical three since I had the day to do so, I did a good meditation, I ate some homemade soup, did some laundry, did some service, and sat down to do this blog.

It’s all about the balance for me.

I don’t need to swim frantically to keep a float, but I do need to keep a gentle pace going, even when I have some down time.

Most especially then, it would seem.

But vacation it did feel like and slippers were had.

What’s nice for me to realize is that I don’t have to justify the down time to anyone, just myself, and ever more and more, not even to me.

That is the best vacation of all.

You Did The Thing

February 4, 2014

My friend said tonight over a hot cup of lemon ginger tea.

“That’s the thing, you did it,” he continued, “I haven’t done this, how many people have?”

He was referring to my book, Baby Girl.

He surprised me by pulling the printed manuscript, bound and collated, out of his messenger bag.

There it was, my book, here it is, my book.

It’s sitting on the floor to the left of my “writing desk” while I write this.

“You have something,” he said, “you got to do a lot of work to get it to stand on its own, you might just have to junk the whole thing, but there is something there.”

But the best was hearing, “you are such a better writer, you have come so far with the writing, it’s really obvious that you wrote this a long time ago.”

I did, indeed write it a long time ago.

I started the manuscript in an orange 5 subject notebook 8 years ago this month.

I finished it three months after starting it.

I let it sit for about six months then took it to second draft.

Then I left it alone for a while.

Never printed it off, just had the original manuscript and the “second draft” which was really just me typing almost literally word for word the work from notebook into my ancient PC.

I mean ancient, this thing was so old, running Windows that was registered to DeForest High School, I still don’t know how my friend managed to pull it off my computer when it looked like the thing was finally about to die.

But she did.

And the book lived on.

I re-wrote another draft of it a year or so later.

Somewhere in my head I got the idea that I was a great and capable writer and that I just needed to get this book published and the world would bow and scrape at my feet, throwing money and applause to me while the champagne swirled and the caviar glinted.

I mean I have not an idea why I did that to myself except, perhaps to help manufacture a great deal of misery when those things did not happen and the work just languished and sat and mouldered in a drawer.

“She went to Paris to work on her memoirs,” he said to his friends in front of the Cole Street Cafe as I was walking by with the boys in the double stroller.

“How amazing is that?” He said and his friends looked at me goggle eyed.

Yes.

I did.

And see me back here in San Francisco just doing the nanny thing again.

But you know that nanny thing it gives me the kind of job that I don’t have to take home with me.  It gives me some mental freedom and some space to write, much more so than when I worked in the service industry and thought, you know I’ll write before work.

I was too busy before work sleeping it off from the night before to write.

I did manage a little when I first moved to San Francisco.

I can compile some things I wrote, I won’t get rid of them as they are part of who I am and my experience, but I am, as my friend noted, a much better writer now.

I would not change a thing of the way it all has happened.

Not going to Paris.

Not taking years and years for the manuscript to evolve.

Or devolve.

“You might want to scrap the whole thing and start with a blank page,” he said, “you know, re-write it completely from scratch and see what happens.”

What he means is ignore the draft that I have saved to this computer and to my blog and to my Gmail account and start over from beginning the way that I write now.

Can I do that?

Sure, why the fuck not?

He also suggested that I sit down and read it straight through, I have not done that with a bound copy of the work.

The feed back he gave me was absolute gold.

I have a new idea how to frame the story.

I need to start with the end rather than end with the start.

I need to do a lot of work.

And will it be worth it?

Duh.

I did the thing.

I wrote the book.

Now.

I have to keep writing the book.

Maybe it will be done when I am 95 years old and I will still be talking about that damn book I started working on in my early thirties.

But so be it.

I have a purpose.

I mean I have a primary purpose and I attend to that every day, but I also have a purpose as an artist who predominately creates through her words.

I have an art.

I have a craft.

I have something to sustain me and something that I get to learn from and grow from.

I am excited to have this opportunity.

The best things take time.

They take re-working, you don’t just go in and become a virtuoso over night.

At least I don’t.

I have been practising my craft now for a few years.

I have the time, day and night, devoted to it.

Most times, I admit, I am not thinking that I do this to get better, I am thinking I do this because I can’t not do it, I am compelled and in the compulsion is the subsuming of who I am.

I become something more than just the characters shaping themselves on the screen or to the page.

I become more myself every time I write.

More concise.

More alert.

More aware.

More allowed to be authentic in my person and to sustain this amazing life that I have been granted.

“That is so white trash, I can hardly stand it,” my friend laughed shaking his head, after I told him some of the stories that happened directly after the story arc of the first work.

It was.

I was.

Yet.

I grew and became something more.

“Wait, wait a second, I think I have a picture of him somewhere,” I said and disappeared into the garage to find my old photo album.

I did not find that photo I must have it stashed elsewhere (and I just remembered where!), but I did have a photo of me from not too long after the events in the book take place.

“You look exactly alike and yet, totally different,” he said looking from the photo of me at 20 to the reality of me at 41.

I am exactly alike.

And totally different.

I did the thing.

I am going to continue doing the thing.

Because I deserve all the things.

And this is a part of my journey to get there.


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