Monday, November 29, 2010

events and such

I have a couple of events coming up. I'll be reading for the 2nd Annual ACLU Freedoms of Expression December 11. Another event too, December 18, more details as the dates approach.

My reading Friday night was lovely. It was nice to read with Stephanie Delatorre and David Tomas Martinez. All of us have very different writing and performing styles so the audience (packed house) had a good mix. I read poems I'd never read before and some very old pieces, including old audience favorite "Anthem." I really enjoy reading that poem. It makes me happy and people always love it.

My writing goal this week is to get a few thousand words down in a short story I've been chewing on for a while. The short story is really 9 short stories with characters who exist in each other's lives. I'm stealing and twisting family history for it.

Thanksgiving was lovely. My family loves S, especially my youngest sister. She convinced us to stay late and play drinking games and we ended up spending the night because the drinking games rendered us completely unable to drive. We stayed in the morning to help my mom get the house back in order. I think it was the best Thanksgiving ever.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

gracias

Battling insomnia again these days. Yesterday was a bit chaotic, lots of errands and food prepping for today's feast. Last night I went to the Whistlestop with a couple of cousins who are in town for the holiday. After, I came home with loverboy and we had a quiet evening of television watching and conversation. We went to bed around 2 but I stayed awake, tossing and turning for an hour. I finally dosed myself with a sleeping pill and earplugs to block out loverboy's snores and fell into a restless sleep filled with odd dreams. In one dream a woman spoke to me of dreaming and helped me recall a dream I had earlier in the week of horseback riding through marshlands with my deceased grandfather. The swamp grasses I dreamed we rode through were beautiful, one of the loveliest images I can remember ever dreaming.

I woke up this morning tired and have been in the kitchen ever since. I've made pate a choux dough and have the shells of creampuffs rising in the oven. In a few we'll start chopping green beans and brussel sprouts and mixing batches of sweet potato casserole. Today I introduce loverboy to the extended family which will be interesting. I haven't brought a love of mine around the extended family in at least 5 years and I'm a little bit nervous. I adore my family and sharing them with someone I love is very important to me. The last time a brought someone I loved around it was a disaster. He interacted poorly and was jealous of how close I was to my family. Several relatives took me aside and told me to kick him to the curb. I have a feeling they'll love the man I love and appreciate how happy he makes me.

Thinking a lot about my family and how grateful I am for them. I am truly blessed to have been born into such a dynamic and loving clan. We are hilarious and chaotic, passionate and opinionated. There will be lots of shit-talking, storytelling and joking. And drinking. It'll be our first major holiday without my grandfather and I know his absence will be noted. I hope someone remembers all his dirty jokes. We'll pour out a glass of wine for him.

I'm looking forward to my reading tomorrow night. I've been thinking about what I want to read and I think I'm going to concentrate on the work of passion and risk taking, perhaps to remind me of the me I love best. I may even be brave and read and wanton exhibitionist poem. You should come by, check it out.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

reading this Friday night


I have a reading this Friday night at Voz Alta, you should come I'll be reading with Stephanie Delatorre and David Tomas Martinez.

Working on the plot points and outline for the new novel is pretty interesting. I know there is a formula in young adult quest fantasy, especially with a female teenage protagonist and I'm loosely adhering to the dimensions of genre. But I feel I'm taking some chances with the types of relationships I've chosen to write about. Writing fantastical creatures is challenging, despite my being enamored of magical realism. Fantasy is a whole other ball game Maybe if I change "fantasy" to "mythology" in my head it'll be easier. Creating a world is no small feat, I don't envy the gods

Before I began working on this project I made a list of all the female protagonists I love and wrote little essays for myself on why I cared about them and then looked at the qualities they shared. Psychologically it was an interesting experiment just to see what my mind is drawn to in character; to see what I love and respect in character. I noticed that my close female friends in real life share the qualities that I find attractive in fiction.

Getting ready for Thanksgiving. I'm cooking quite a few dishes and am happy about it More and more I find comfort in cooking. I love projects that have a tangible culmination and cooking satisfies that need to see that my work has an outcome. I spend so much time in the kitchen these days, more than I ever used to before. I'm making an effort to write more but the kitchen is always calling.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

reading and thoughts

I'm one of three poets reading at Voz Alta next Friday. I look forward to it and hope you'll join me.

I've been chipping slowly away at the outline for a new novel. I think the first novel is abandoned. I just don't feel like writing it anymore. I've had the chapters for four years. I don't doubt I'll come back to it, but it isn't something I want to focus on now. The new novel idea is something I've thought of for a while and looking at the books I tend to gravitate toward, I'm surprised it took me so long to decide to try my hand at it. I've been doing character sketches and outlining chapters to see if writing to outline is something that works for me. I'm pretty in love with the writing program Scrivener.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

darkening

I seriously dislike this time of year. The nights are colder and longer, days shorter. The sun sets early and it depresses me. The holidays are approaching, my least favorite time of year. I want to punch people daily from Thanksgiving until January 2. I feel a jar closing in over my head around this time of year, suffocating and constraining me. Bulky clothing, long sleeves. My skin hates being covered. Fall is somehow worse than winter, especially this year as our summer was so short and cold. At least in winter we have rain and Spring around the corner. My bah humbug is starting early this year.

I'm writing some again, which is a good thing. It isn't easy, I'm struggling. I've lost momentum and most of all, passion. My life is devoid of passion. I cook a lot and bake but those are hobbies. Writing used to be a passion but I've lost it, for now. I truck along but I'm not excited. It'll return, I hope, it aways has before.

I love so many things about getting older. I love the confidence and awareness of who I am. I love that I have enough experiences that make me proud and a few that make me cringe. I know whatever happens I'll be okay. But I remember an exercise we did my my 11th grade English class. Our teacher asked us if we would prefer a short life composed of extreme highs and terrible lows or a long, even-keeled life. With the exception of one person, everyone wanted the short, exciting/devastating life. My twenties were that life, the amazing highs and horribles lows. Now that I'm a little bit older I get those swings less and less. Sure, I'm content and I have nothing truly to complain about but I often worry that I'm just kind of floating on, saying yes when it's easy and no when I have to. I'm more and more solitary, much of which is chosen but not any less lonely at the lonely moments. I miss my old brave self. I'm hoping to write her into existence, not only in the story I'm creating with a character with passions similar to the ones I used to have, but also hoping that in the act of writing a reawakening can begin.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

long time

I ignore my blog for no good reason. But in happy news I felt I had to share, I wrote a poem this morning. A very difficult poem to write, not for the form or anything else but for the content and I enjoyed how hard it was to write. Dipping into the dark places is something I've forgotten to do in my writing.