Posts Tagged ‘novel’

Today I Ate

December 25, 2018

An entire book.

I mean.

I consumed it.

I chopped it up and snorted it down like it was some sort of happy drug.

I haven’t read fiction in so long it was an aphrodisiac.

I still feel a little high.

I did just like I said I would and I slept in this morning.

I woke up at 9:45 a.m.!

Holy Toledo.

I cannot remember the last time I slept that late.  I mean, maybe the ARTumnal Airpusher after party silent dance rave I went to in November, but even the day after coming home from a night of carousing and dancing I was still up by 8:30a.m.

I think.

So this morning was nuts.

I believe it was partially, at least this is my excuse, not that I need one, that it was so clouded over.

Dark and stormy.

Grey and misty and wet.

True San Francisco winter weather, not exactly rain, but mist and wind and rainy and all-pervasive.

San Francisco rain doesn’t really always come straight down, it seems to enwrap you and get everything soaked.

Without directly raining all that much.

So I slept in.

I might have even slept longer were it not for the siren song of my bladder yelling out about the big mug of tea I had before I went to bed last night.

I got up and was leisurely.

Like in a major way.

I think it was 11:30a.m. before I actually sat down for breakfast.

A phone call from my best friend was partially the reason, but mostly, I was just going slow and easy.

I enjoyed my late breakfast and wrote a ton.

A lot.

It was lovely.

And though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I did know I was going to need to make a run to the grocery store and maybe see what was playing at the Balboa Theater, which is just up the road from me.

Unfortunately I’d already seen one of the movies and the other I am planning on seeing tomorrow.

But.

La Promenade Cafe was open and so I took my book and settled into a big leather arm-chair by the front window and sank into my story.

I bought this book last summer, a few weeks before I was to start my fall intensive for school.

A day before I got my first text-book in the mail for said intensive.

I only read a few of the stories, it’s a collection of shorts from A.M. Holmes called Days of Awe.

I really like her work, I’ve only read her novels and was happy to find that the shorts were just as compelling and in a way very interwoven, so it felt like I was reading a novel in a way.

I read at the cafe and listened to music and people watched and thought how nice it was to actually be in a cafe in my new neighborhood.

The first time since I’ve moved here since mid-September that I actually did something other than laundry in the neighborhood.

It felt a little like getting settled.

I did another first today too, this one may surprise you, although it shouldn’t considering how busy I keep myself.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood!

Yeah.

I know.

I really haven’t done any walking, unless it was from my car to the house or from the house to my car.

I had gotten back from the cafe, unloaded my groceries, roasted a chicken, made a late lunch, sat on my couch, watched the rain, ate brown butter brussels sprouts and hot roast chicken and listened to Coleman Hawkins.

It was delicious.

The food.

The music.

The rain on the windows.

It felt outside of time, I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, Sunday, Monday, it all blended together.

My tree looked pretty, I lit candles, it was so cozy.

Then the sun burst out for a few minutes and I thought I should go for a sunset walk.

I quickly bundled up, there was only a few minutes before the sun was going to set, and I walked out the door on 48th and down Balboa towards the sea.

As I got closer, I realized that there was a path that I hadn’t seen before and what do you know, it’s actually a little park!

Sutro Dunes!

I had no idea.

Sweet little wood slat path along the base of the grass and flower covered dunes.

In the twilight it was deeply moving and full of divinity.

It felt really good to just do a little stretch around the neighborhood, to see the Cliff House hanging like an ornament over the ocean, to smell the fresh washed air, to just be.

I am pretty lucky when I think about it.

I live by the ocean.

It is literally a block away from my house.

Although I don’t get down to it as much as I would like, it is always a solace to me and I see it every day when I leave in the morning.

I always say hello.

I am in perpetual awe of its beauty.

And I am not often home at sunset to ponder it.

It was a really lovely little gift to me.

I got back to the house right before the rain began again and settled back on my couch, my first day of really sitting on my couch too!

My first day really using my coffee table like a coffee table.

I drank a second homemade cafe au lait, so decadent to have two in one day at my house, and I read more of the book until I left to go do the deal up at 7th and Irving.

Which was also just marvelous.

Ran into some much-loved fellows and heard exactly what I needed to hear.

Came home, heated up dinner.

And yes.

Yes I did.

I ate the rest of the book.

I read 288 pages today.

It was not a chore.

It was the best feeling.

And guess what?

One of my text books for the next semester did come in the mail today.

I did not read it.

I was tempted.

But I realized, did I want to leave the A.M. Holmes until next summer?

Or was it actually ok to let myself have Christmas Eve without homework?

It was ok.

And it was so lovely.

Exactly the kind of day off that will sustain me for many weeks as I marshal my way forward towards this next milestone of learning and life.

Gratitude this Christmas for all the gifts in my life.

There are so many.

The best, I dare say, may be my relationship with myself and the life I have been given.

Grace.

That’s what it is.

Grace.

I have been blessed.

And may you be as well.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A.

Very.

Good.

Night.

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Not A God Damn

December 24, 2018

Thing.

Nothing.

I have no plans for tomorrow.

Zero.

Zip.

Nada.

I won’t be doing homework.

I won’t be going to work.

I have no clients.

I have no obligations.

I have no chores to do.

I did laundry today and cleaned up from last night’s holiday party.

I have no party to prep for.

I have absolutely nothing to do.

Except.

SLEEP IN!

Oh my God.

I am not setting an alarm for the first time in weeks?  Months, I mean, I don’t know.

It’s been a while.

I already feel like I’m playing hooky by writing my blog at 10p.m. at night.

I can stay up as long as a fucking want!

Although I won’t.

Because I am a creature of habit and I don’t want to blow my entire sleep schedule completely up.

I will have to work this upcoming week and not all of my clients went out-of-town for the holidays and I have group supervision as well as a one on one evaluation with my supervisor.

But hey.

That’s not tomorrow.

Tomorrow there is nothing to do but rest.

I have briefly entertained the idea of going to the MOMA, but I’m not sure I want to go downtown.

It may actually be the only place in the city that’s busy with shoppers and tourists and such.

I may not want to drive anywhere.

When was the last time I did that?

Not drive anywhere on a day off?

I had also thought about taking a nice long walk on the beach, but um, rain.

Looks like it’s supposed to rain most of the day tomorrow.

I could actually spend the entire day in the house and not leave it and lay around in my pajamas and not put on clothes or make up or do my hair.

I could.

I probably won’t though.

I can let myself sleep in a little, but not getting dressed and lazing around the entire day in pjs feels weird.

Besides.

I don’t wear pjs.

No.

I do like the idea of being up and doing a few things and I will do my normal morning routine, I will just not be doing it to the sound of an alarm going off.

I will wake up when I wake up.

There have been times that unscheduled open time freaked me out.

I have not had it in such a long time though, that I think I will manage to not freak out.

Christmas day I will be going out and about.

Not crazy like, but a matinée at the Kabuki Theater, The Favorite, with my person, then meeting up with a few others for Chinese food at Eric’s in Noe Valley, and then downtown to the Metreon for Mary Poppins.

I allowed myself to get wrangled.

Frankly I’m not really interested, but free ticket and not being by myself Christmas night was enough to get me to agree despite my lack of enthusiasm for the movie.

I do expect The Favorite will be fun, I heard it was wicked good and the previews definitely looked good.

I can’t imagine going out to more movies tomorrow.

Two movies in one day is decadent enough, I could read some books, not text books.

Although, knowing me, if the books I ordered for next semester happened to show up I might actually to get a jump on the work.

But I sense that’s not what I should be doing.

Keeping the space heater on, getting cozy with a novel on the couch and sipping hot tea and staring at my Christmas tree sounds about right.

I might walk to the store and buy a chicken to roast.

I really am contemplating not driving anywhere, although it’s likely that I will go out in the evening to do the deal, I could for most of the day just be at home.

It’s a nice home, it is.

I had a lovely time hosting my first little party here last night.

I had ten people show up and all the chili got ate!

All of it.

I had no left overs at all.

Oh, I had some, but not chili.

Anyway, it was lovely, very sweet, and I felt happy to have folks in the house and I made a pie from scratch, crusts and all, in heels and fishnets over silver glitter tights.

I mean.

It is Christmas after all, I had to wear some sparkle.

I found it quite appropriate to be in my kitchen in heels baking pie with my house full of gay boys and girlfriends.

It was good.

Chosen family.

I felt really blessed.

I have some of the best people in my life.

It was so nice too, to socialize.

I haven’t had much of that what with school and my internship and work and all that jazz.

I even tentatively talked going out dancing with a few of my girlfriends in January.

Not New Year’s Eve.

Total amateur night and way too expensive.

If I were to go dancing on New Year’s Eve I’d actually go to a friends party in the East Bay that’s a big sober event and usually a good time.

But not really sure I want to navigate the bridge on New Year’s Eve either.

The girls and I were thinking a little later into the month, although, not too late as I will be starting back up with school the last week of January.

I basically have one month off from school.

My spring intensive starts on January 24th.

So a few weekends of fun before I have to buckle back down with the books.

Two tops.

I will want to give myself some time to go over the materials before the intensive, there was reading assigned before this semester’s start, I can’t imagine that they won’t do the same for this upcoming semester.

Which is neither here nor there.

I am off topic.

Off topic from tomorrow.

My lazy, do nothing, have no responsibility to anything or anyone day.

Oh God.

It sounds so good.

I think I’ll get started now.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

And don’t bother calling me in the morning.

My phone will be off.

I’m motherfucking sleeping in.

Seriously.

Morbid Reflection

November 1, 2013

Must be careful to not drift that way.

Just a reminder.

I was supposing that as this day drew near that I might be tempted to do just that.

However, without even realizing it I am excited to be here, one year later, ready to take some of what I experienced and move forward with it.

“The first time I moved to Paris,” he said to me with his rakish British accent, “I fell in love and married her and within a year we were divorcing, she took everything I had, and I had to move back home to live with my dad.”

He shook his head, “I was sixty thousand dollars in debt and living on the fucking pull out at my fathers flat.  I was 45.”

“Nobody makes it their first time in Paris, it takes time, but I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world.”  He paused, ran his hand through his hair, “I was in an awful place, but I was there for a reason, and I took a lot of photographs.”

Photographs that were about to be the main attraction in a big show at the Tate in London.  Photographs that had already done the Biennial at Venice and shows in Paris.

I knew he was an artist and I knew that he was annoyed by me.

Sometimes we are annoyed by that which reminds us the most of ourselves.

By the end of my time in Paris he would bear me grudging respect, and he hugged me when I was saying my good byes the last time I was on George V heading away from the American Cathedral to the Metro.

“Everyone comes to Paris to write a book, you’re not special, or unique, if I had a fucking dollar for every person who dreams about coming to Paris and making it as a writer, I would be a filthy rich man.”

He was not always the nicest with his opinions, but he had a point.

A point that I have been reflecting on as I sit here not at all sad to be in the place that I am.

Happy indeed, “I love my life,” popped into my head a lot today, walking through the park with my charge dressed as a bunny on our way to Music Together to do some Halloween themed singing and dancing; on my bicycle as I crested Lincoln Ave at 19th and the smell of singed pumpkin tops greeted my nose; again when I was walking out of a store on 9th and Irving.

I bought myself a pretty dress.

It had been too long.

I paid my rent yesterday, leaving me flush today, anything I earned was to be my special treat.  I dropped $21 at Bi-Rite on Divasedero getting myself some brown rice, avocado, cucumber, and crab sushi for lunch, some artisanal apples and persimmons, organic pears, and yes, some carrots for the bunny and me.

The dress cost $95.

I made $128.

I still came out ahead.

And I have a new dress to wear tomorrow.

Tomorrow it will fly out behind me as I wing down Valencia Street after work to make an artist’s date run on Flax.

Why Flax?

They have my Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I am doing the writing challenge.

I had an idea and I am going to run with it.

Because even if I don’t succeed at doing the novel, which I will, it’s there, I can feel it itching to come out of my head, in fact I can’t shake the story even if I am not sure of the middle and the ending, I have a beginning, an antagonist, a heroine, a character, and she, like Athena, longs to spring forth from my brain.

I am going to buy my favorite notebook, a bunch of stickers, and a birthday card for my mom.

Then I am going to go to Philz on 24th and write until I meet with John Ater.

Every day I have time in between this and that which I can fill with the writing.

The implementation to my laptop can happen on the weekends and in its own way become a second draft.  It will be a project, but a project I am happy to attend to.

My time in Paris was amazing.

Hard.

Challenging in ways that I never expected.

And when I look at the experience with a little perspective, where I was six months ago moving back from the experiment, to where I was a year ago, I can see that I took a fucking research trip.

I gave myself up to the city.

I walked as much as my feet could handle, and probably past the point they could handle.  I took so many photographs, I wrote, endlessly in my journals, in my blog, in notebooks, in a moleskin that I jotted down my financial spending.

I can tell you what I spent where on what day when in this neighborhood, pair it with the blog I wrote, see the photographs I took and recount in detail things that happened.

I gave myself a huge experience to draw from.

I gave myself the best artist date ever.

And to not use that would be sacrilege.

I suspect that what will happen is that I will sit down and start writing long hand and just see what comes.  Showing up for the page is two-thirds the battle.

Then when I take the words to the second draft from my notebook to my laptop I can flush out ideas, images, sensory happenings, I can write in detail what it was like to be in Sacre Couer on Christmas Eve pressed in to the masses of people singing with the choir, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the Metro stops, the way snow flakes looked falling in the light of the sodium lamps on Pont d’Alma next to the Eiffel Tower.

I can flush it all out and bump the word count significantly, I believe without too much of a stretch.

My first short story to get published was a science fiction piece inspired by something I observed on the Metro heading to French class.

It was published in The Bastille.

Which, fyi, small aside, has contacted me to submit to the December issue.

I shall be sending them some things, as well as some photographs.

How fitting, then to write my first real fiction novel set in Paris, a future Paris, one I get to make up, that’s the fiction, and a Paris that I will allude to in flashback, to the time when I was there, utilizing the astounding amount of data I collected.

That’s what I did.

I made a leap of faith and I went.

I did something brave.

I shall not let down the experience.

I shall continue to do something brave.

I will show up for the page and see where the story takes me.

I will write.

Wasting nothing.

My experience, my greatest gift.

And Then There Was This Little Thing

October 25, 2013

Called writing.

Man.

It just keeps coming back and I keep checking in with it and yup, fuck me, I am still a writer.  I didn’t suddenly become a tax accountant overnight, or a lawyer, or a pediatrician.

Ha.

A grateful writer, a, shall I be generous with myself, a prolific writer.

Shall I be honest?

A decent writer.

Maybe good at times, in moments, there are places and spaces I shine.

I have gone back and reread something and thought, you know, that’s not too bad.

And I am not looking for a compliment, nope, I am just thinking out loud here as I got a chance to write two other times today, yup, getting into the practise of when that will be a regular occurence with me, writing three times  a day–the morning pages in the morning, the new novel in the late afternoon, the blog when the day is through.

A habit I established in Paris, but I was not working full-time hours and making the time seemed crucial and death-defying and terrifying, like, listen here, bitch, you came all this way to sit in cafes and write, you better do it now.

NOW.

Scary, putting that kind of pressure on myself.

Oh, a little delicious too when I think that I basically gave myself a six month experience and now have a fodder of journals and notebooks, notecards, postcards, and letters to refer to, not to mention thousands of photographs, to look back on to pull from to write my next novel.

The days are ticking down and I am really going to give it my all to write this novel.

Fiction.

I still cannot believe that I am going to be writing fiction.

I think it will actually be really good practise for me as I plan on revising my memoir so that it reads more fiction and less me, I haven’t thought of that character as me in so long that what I need to do is separate myself even further from it and let it all out.

Not be afraid to get really crazy with it.

The really crazy is right there for me to run with.

I await my friends edits and look forward to re-working it.

And of course, doing this new piece.

Which, uh, sigh, I have decided to write on my lap top.

I will be hauling this baby around with me to do the work.

After more research on the nano.wrimo website (which, fyi, is shite, really people it is not a comprehensively useful tool for me, I have already spent too much time trying to navigate through it, redesign that sucker, please) I need to be able to upload the work to their site.

Not that I couldn’t take the damn challenge and just write it in a notebook.

But when playing baseball you don’t use a softball, I am going to try to use the site the way it was, poorly, designed and upload my novel from my computer to the website.

I will be better able to track my word count and that seems to be a big part of the challenge.

I have already had the thoughts, which I know better than to believe, that I won’t have enough words.

Jesus fuck.

I have the words.

Whether or not they are great words is not even debatable.

They won’t be great words.

The book will be a rough draft, not a polished, edited, publishable piece.

The point will be to sit down and do the writing, which, when it is boiled down to it, is the most challenging thing.

I keep going back to this idea that I heard from an old room-mate who was a musician that a master musician is not necessarily the person with the most talent, but the person who has put in the most time on their instrument.

He said that it was generally acknowledged a master was someone who had spent about 50,000 hours with their instrument.

Now, I don’t know exactly how many hours I have spent writing over my life time, but I can say, that I have written daily now for five years.

Twice daily now for four years.

That is nothing to sneeze at.

I keep doing this and eventually something masterful will come out from it.

Like it already has, the experience, the joy, just the great leaping unknown of sitting down in front of the blank screen and wondering what am I doing here again and what am I going to say and then, there it is.

In no particular order.

In no particular way.

Love.

Writing.

Life.

Me.

Words that define me, outline, enliven me, connect me with my humanity and desire to be a better person in this world, to live a better life, to be remarkable, remarkably me.

I sound like a god damn pansy ass, but fuck you, I don’t care.

The marvellous life that I have been granted just because I consistently set aside time for myself to put pen to paper or words to screen, I cannot deny myself that.

You don’t have to read this.

Although you might miss out when I talk about sex.

Ha.

Now, when I am sitting here writing, I am not also forgetting that there is other life to be lived, I mean, I got to get back into that water, I have the wet suit, I do.

Booties soon, by the weekend I believe, I will be running back over to Sports Basement, they were having a sale and fingers crossed, the booties will still be there in my size.

After that, more surfing please.

That’s the other great thing about doing the writing, any time I think, nah, let’s just watch a video, there’s a little voice in my head, sometimes in my gut, and often in my heart that says, yeah, that could be nice, but what are you going to write about then?

Sometimes it happens anyhow, but I do strive to do things and go places, partially, I completely admit, to have fodder for the word machine.

So too, do I read.

Then, too, it is such a pleasure.

I found myself actually turning in early last night.

I took a long, hot shower, did the hair, my god it was big this morning, going to bed with even a little damp hair can be risky, and got underneath the comforter with a book.

Unfortunately it was ass, but it was a gift and I wanted to give it a go.

I read through a few pages and blew a raspberry at it, I put it down and picked up the Eugenides I am also currently reading.

Read and write and work and write and sleep and write.

And get laid.

Please God.

And get a boyfriend and go surfing.

Do that recovery thing, but that’s second nature, don’t even have to think about scheduling that, it’s sort of like brushing my teeth, just do it every day.

And then read and write.

And write some more.

Go buy another notebook, fix the fan on your laptop and gird the loins.

November Novel Writing Month I will see you next week.


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