Saturday, June 27, 2009

mourning and loving

Sharline Chiang, David Mura, Me, Patricia Engel, Junot Diaz
Sharline, Patricia, Me
The Pan Dulce Writers 
est. 2005

My days in San Francisco are, as usual, flying by.  My two good friends have left but a couple of other friends are arriving tonight so I'm sure the party will continue.  I've been sleeping little but have so much energy that I don't even notice. I've started drinking whiskey again which is strange and wonderful.  I've taken such a long break from whiskey, I forgot how much I love it.  I can drink quite a bit without getting hungover.  Famous last words, most likely.

Thursday was an odd day in the world.  I was sitting in my dorm room with Patricia and Sharline when I glanced at my computer screen and saw that Michael Jackson had just died.   I was the bearer of the news to the students in the lounge and the collective cry of shock was something I'll never forget.  Asha Bandele grabbed my arm and I don't think I will ever forget the look in her eyes when she heard the news.  It was almost as if a light had gone out in all of us.  We all huddled together in disbelief.  Junot Diaz arrived in the lounge.  I had texted him about MJ's death.  He thought I was playing a cruel joke on him.  I wish I had been.  Strange how all of us had lifelong memories of Michael Jackson and how his music had been a soundtrack to all of our lives.  We listened to "Never Can Say Goodbye" and some of us cried. Of course, Pan Dulce immediately got irreverent and we started reenacting the Thriller video moves and being silly.

Being up here around all these serious writers is really good for me. I am totally inspired to see people who are also on the path, struggling and succeeding.  When I arrived I was gifted with the phenomenal news that my very good friend Patricia Engel just received a two-book deal.  Yay Patita!  I've been reading her stories for years and have always known that she would, and will succeed.  I am over the moon happy for her.

Tonight is the VONA Ten year anniversary party.  I look forward dancing my booty off with other writers and celebrating this brilliant conference and how much is has changed my life.  


Never Can Say Goodbye

A couple of days before I came up here Beau and I were listening to this Jackson 5 song and singing along.  *sigh* So sad.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

bliss

I arrived in San Francisco yesterday for VONA.  I'm not enrolled this week but wanted to come up early to spend time with my great friends Patricia and Sharline.  They are both incredibly writers and I consider them sisters.  We met at VONA years ago and have maintained a close friendship even tough we only see each other about once a year.  As soon as we are together we start laughing and don't stop.  We had dinner last night with other writer friends and then spent time with the incredibly gifted Tony Khalife.  Tony is a brilliant musician.  Last night we sat with him while he played guitar.  He played us the blues and we made up silly verses.  It sounds juvenile but it really was a great thing.  I love my life in San Diego and my friends but when I come up to see my friends here, something comes alive inside of me.

Last night I sat up late and realized I have been hibernating for a very long time.  Not that I haven't been social or those things but I have lost a bit of myself to fear.  I have to figure out how to let go of that.  My heart has been in a lock-box.  Not that I am anywhere near wanting to unlock that box but I have a new awareness of it.  I've been so inside of myself that I forget the things I really love.  I forget how much I enjoy writing and being creative, I miss connecting with like-minded people.

Next week I will be studying and working with Ana Castillo.  I submitted the first few chapters of my novel to her.  I haven't ever showed it to anyone for critique yet and am curious as how it will go over.  I love my book and maybe for that reason I am scared to show it to anyone.  I fear it won't be received by others the way I want it to.  We will see.

If I Were Your Woman
Gladys Knights and the Pips

Saturday, June 20, 2009

kick start

I am kick-starting my way back into productivity.  I have been busy doing not much at all, which is just weird.  But, the writing is spinning back.  More revisions than anything else but whatever.

Some more family:





My baby sister has spent maybe too much time in Las Vegas if she thinks this is a normal face to make when taking pictures with family. A great shot of my sweetheart of a cousin, Michael the Lion.  We almost lost him in April and are thankful out of our heads he didn't die despite the gangrene in his abdomen.

My heart has been hurting.  Literally.  A pain in my chest that has persisted.  I thought it was residual wackness from 3 days of baseball & booze in a row but waking up this morning with the sharp pain I realize I have to get to a doctor.

I saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to get them out of my head.  Karen O is deep in my heart. Another little fragment of my soul, P.J. Harvey, is in town tomorrow night.  Ahh.  If only I knew anyone else who wanted to go to the concert.  La Creep would go but she is in L.A.

Phenomenon
Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Monday, June 15, 2009

I've really

I've really had nothing to say which is why I haven't been blogging.  I'm very much inside of my head these days, which may or may not be a good thing.  Revving up for some intense writing. Woo-hoo!

Let it be Me
Ray Lamontagne

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

my very straight spine and drugs

I went in for x-rays yesterday. The x-ray showed my spinal chord, in my neck, is perfectly straight.  I was impressed until I learned it was supposed to have a curve to it. I was advised to lose some weight, namely, weight I carry in front.  We will see.  Insurance has denied me before for this particular surgery.  The doc gave me muscle relaxers to ease the tension  in my shoulders.  I tried one last night and don't think I have had such a great night's sleep in a long time.  My dreams were great.  I woke up before the alarm, wide-awake, refreshed and happy.  What a new feeling in the morning! Now to achieve that naturally. . .

Getting back to journaling is my goal for this month.  I haven't documented my life enough the last 7 months. And, generally, my poems come out of my journals.

Also, he has grown on me and I think Pau Gasol is dreamy.


Just Another
Pete Yorn

Monday, June 1, 2009

syndromes, etc

No secret that physically I've been wrecked for some odd reason lately; exhaustion, headaches, tension, muscle spams.  On Saturday my left had started going numb and has been numb on and off all weekend.  I emailed my chiropractor last night and am going to see him sometime today. He thinks I may have something called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.  I learned that the worst thing you can do when you have numbness in your left hand if to google it.  The scariest things ever  can come up.

One of my favorite sections to read in the Sunday New York Times is Modern Love.  Every week a different writer has a long essay about an aspect of love; it can be romantic love, platonic, sexual, familial, etc.  Yesterday's essay, My View From the Margins, had me crying.

I am in a creative lull.


Save Me
Aimee Mann