Tuesday, January 31, 2012

31 days

Today is the last day of my fast/cleanse/project. I'm pretty damn proud of my myself for following through. So much has slowed. Work is slow. My social life is practically non-existant. I sit in my office daily, drinking tea, reading, contemplating. I usually falter when it comes to committing to myself.

I miss red wine. I miss beer. I miss stinky cheese and smoked wild salmon. Tomorrow, maybe.

Last night I pulled the novel manuscript out of the drawer beside my bed and began looking it over with as critical an eye I could manage. I took a knife to it and began cutting, butchering. Ouch. I have so much to do that needs to be done. The statue inside the block of marble. This time it won't be a waste of time. What helps: looking at the shelves upon shelves I have of books. If they could do it, so can I. Commitment, I has it.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want the novel to be about, the heart of it. I'm pretty sure I know now. It will be a tricky balance telling the story, the mythology without getting too dolphin worship-y, but I can do it.

Monday, January 30, 2012


The readings went well. Thursday night was fun, Cecil's piece was crazy. I read a couple of newer poems on Friday night. Funny, I don't write as much poetry anymore. I'm more interested in prose. I've written every day this month. I have a ringed notebook with at least one page for every day filled out. Interesting how much anger I have on those pages. I consider myself a pretty level person, calm under pressure and whatnot; patient to a fault. But there is rage in me. There are dragons.

I feel as though this month has been one of the longest months of my life. Maybe because every day has been clear, no alcohol. Maybe because every day I have been hyper-aware of the food I have been putting into my body. Maybe the meditation. Whatever the case, I'm ready for the month to be over. Not that I'm diving into a jug of booze tomorrow at midnight while I eat a steak slathered in cheesecake, but will have passed the test. I did it and I'm done with it. Little victories. I'l drink less, and my diet will be more plant-based in general. I'm keeping the meditation and daily writing. I'm keeping the limited social life.

Yesterday I participated in a little neighborhood clean-up. Six of us, bags, gloves and tons of cigarette butts and garbage. It was disheartening to see how much trash is on the streets of our city. It was lovely to be a part of something, a small group of people who decided to make a change. And we celebrated with vegan donuts.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

a month of mornings

Not blogging this month so much because I have so much else taking up my mornings. Because of the vegan choice this month, I've had to eat breakfast every day. I have been writing every morning, which has been good for, real, honest journaling. Not that I am dishonest in my journaling practice but realize I have spent a lot of time writing and contemplating the external over the internal.

Not drinking these last 21 days has been interesting , quieting. M social life has come to a standstill. I wake up awake and alert every morning. It isn't that I drink a lot, I like a glass of wine in the evening and I have drinks on the weekends when I go out. But when I do have 2 drinks or more I don't sleep as well and my mornings are crankier. I've lost some weight without alcohol, and with the vegan experiment too, I'm sure. I have to remind myself to eat constantly; dates, nuts, hummus, avocados, to keep my blood sugar up or I get dizzy and black spots in my vision when I get up. It has been a learning process.

This whole month has been interesting, introspective. I have been spending a lot of time alone. I'm rearranging furniture, getting rid of things I don't need or want anymore. Making space, clearing space.

I went rock climbing last week with REI Outdoor School. It was something I've been wanting to try for a long time. Knowing you want to do something and actually trying to do it are pretty different. I went to the class brash, eager to get up on some rocks and see what I could do. As soon as I was on the cliff, harnessed, clipped in and hanging fifty feet in the air, my feet pressed into the stone, fingers grasping at tiny crevices for purchase, I was singing a different tune. I remember the first two ascents I was yelling at myself in my mind: Damn it Lizz! What were you thinking? You could have signed up for sea kayaking! But NO! You had to be brave and climb a fucking cliff face! My legs were shaking and I thought I was going to pee myself and ruin the belayer's day. But then, I got over it and loved it. As soon as I stopped bitching at myself I started having a great time. My arms and fingertips ached for days but it was a good ache, the pain of accomplishment.

I have so much I want to accomplish this weekend. I want to reorganize my bookshelves and office. I want to clear out my kitchen cupboards. I want and need to finish editing my piece for VAMP on Thursday and prepare for my reading Friday. But it is raining. And I have 2 books I want to read. I think I'll make the books little rewards. Clear one cupboard, read one chapter, Etc. Baby steps.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ten days in

Ten days into 2012. Lovely so far, really. No drinking, no meat or animal products and daily meditation. (I say all this at the risk of sounding like Latina Gwyneth, according to Cecil.) I've been active almost every day. The first couple of days were a little rough as I also gave up morning coffee and I was a raging, crying beast until the caffeine headache wore off. I've had a couple of afternoon cups of coffee since then without any problem. My biggest challenge has been fat, but I've been eating avocados and nuts daily.

New Year's Eve was many, many things. I'm still not sure what to make of it. I was less sober than I have been in years. My hangover the next day was one of the most brutal ever but I was actually happy to be suffering so, as it gave me impetus to not drink the month of January.

Vegan has been good as well. Im' a great cook so I haven't been suffering at all. I don't really eat that much meat to begin with. I eat a lot of fish and some dairy. A few times I've had cravings for something hearty to sink my teeth into, I've chosen eggplants over meat. Not drinking coffee automatically killed my number one dairy consumption of the day, cream in my coffee.

I'm trying new things this month. I went with Cecil to Tijuana on Friday night, on our bicycles and we rode Paseo de Todos, a monthly community bicycle ride. I had a great time. We rode around in a group for hours. We rode home around 1am. Tijuana has changed so much since my younger days of partying there. It holds little allure for me now, though I've heard there is a great nightlife still.

The meditation, as always, is wonderful. I love the silence. I'm on a clutter-clearing path, clearing out old things in my home. I've cleaned my apartment beautifully. Next I'll clean out my closets and cupboards. Onwards, upwards. I have too much junk holding me back.

A couple of readings this month. I'l be reading with So Say We All again on Thursday January 27 at the Whistlestop Bar for V.A.M.P. My piece is short. The phenomenal Cecil will be reading as well. I'm also reading the next evening at Voz Alta. I'm reading with Bonafide Rojas, a poet I've known since 2002, he's from a New York, a very cool guy. I'm also reading with a couple of local writers, Ted Washington and Stacy Dyson. It will be a good night I look forward to reading poetry, it has been too long. Tomorrow I'm sending out my full-length poetry manuscript to a contest.