Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy February!

Well, LOST was freaking awesome. I am so happy to get a fix. It will wear off by the end of today, but I have the ep on TiVo so I can just rewatch.

But I am at risk of boring those readers who want me to talk about writing. Okay.

So, my essay class begins today. I'm about halfway through Art and Craft of Memoir, edited by William Zinser, which held a funny anecdote by memoirist Frank McCourt:

The first piece of literature in my life--if you go back to what you might call the intellectual or spiritual activities--was the Catholic catechism, the little green book that had the questions and answers that prepared us for first confession and first communion. The first question was "Who made the world?"


"Who is God?"

"God is the creator and sovereign lord of heaven and earth and of all things."

"Why did God make the world?"

That's where I got into trouble. I forgot the answer. So I said, "So we all have something to stand on." That was my first encounter with theology, and an unfortunate encounter it was.

Loved that one. Read it to hubby and he wanted me to find out what the "correct" answer was. :)

Zinsser edits a great book, which is also a quick read, and well worth the effort. I hope to finish today and then it's on to the next. :)

So, I am working on the first essay for my class and of course, it dredges up memories that are painful (centered around my faith, which probably doesn't surprise anyone) so it will take a bit to get it all out and to make it truthful. That is the biggest lesson for this first week: to be truthful.

How does one do that? How do you honestly filter your experiences and really face them with honesty and truth? The urge is to cover up and to make them pretty, so they don't hurt so much. I don't think that's a bad thing, though. It's how humans cope (read any psychoanalysis textbook to see how much we do to cope) and we've become really good at it.

I think that's the greatest challenge in memoir/essay writing. To record events that perhaps weren't our greatest moments, and that takes a lot of courage. I was working with a writing coach a few years ago and started some essays back then that I stopped abruptly. She was really disappointed, because she felt these essays were the truest thing I could write. So this is my brave moment.

Sending off that novel manuscript made me brave and I'm going to grab the chance to just go for it with these essays. If I can get them out, that's a huge victory in my eyes.

Next up to read: The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative (Vivian Gornick)
Currently listening to: Gothica (Sarah Brightman)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

LOST: Ignore This Post At Your Peril

Sorry to those of you who just don't care (wake up, people!) but today is the day of all days: the LOST premiere. We only get 8 eps, but we'll take 'em. Besides, I heard tell that these may be the best 8 eps of the entire show!

My questions are:

Who gets off the island?
Who does NOT get off the island?
And how does it all come down?

That to me is what is going to drive the last three seasons of this show. The conflict between various warring factions and how it all blows up and why that made Jack so desperate in last season's flash forward. Remember, he was hollering at Kate "We have to go back!" Why? What happened after he made the call to that freighter? We are gonna find out starting tonight. It's deliciously wonderful to have LOST back. I'm so pumped up.

I hope I can sit still while getting my hair cut today. My poor stylist.

In other news, my prep work for my essay class that begins tomorrow is going strong. I'm almost finished with my MFA work this week. I also finished a pile of books yesterday, which was good. I have another pile to start on. This is gonna be fun!

My teacher for my essay class is Andrea King Collier, renowned essayist (featured in O magazine) and soon to have her own book of essays published. I'm really glad I got into this class (her last one in 2008) and know it will help steer my writing for this year in a significant way.

My buddy, Allison, has her new novel's pre-order page up at Amazon. So exciting, AWS! In case you missed her first novel, look here.

I can't describe the euphoria of having an editor work on your book. It was a huge step for me and I'm so glad I did it. I feel stronger, more sure, and even freer than I've ever felt with my writing, probably because I trust Emily and know she'll tell it to me straight. It's a great foundation for 2008.

Currently reading: Inventing Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir (William Zinser)
Currently listening to: August Rush Soundtrack

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Political Meanderings

So Edwards and Guiliani are both out, prompting a lot of chatter as to who to vote for (a lot of people I know were really pumped for those two).

We're still 10 months away and I'm already troubled.

Anyhoo, yesterday was a great day. I read (mostly for my MFA class work) and am in love with a whole new batch of short story writers. Any class that makes you read this many short stories is a good one. I have more to do today, but the deadline for my marketing is coming up and I will have to deal with some of that too. I'm also getting hammered with day job schtuff. It is the busy season.

My CPA is working on payroll paperwork for 2007 Q4 and W2 for 2007. I can't remember if I filed that one form back in 2007 or not (it's not due until February) and I also can't find it, so I hopefully filed it. Yeesh.

If you are truly in the dark and your head is under a rock, tonight begins the LOST partying. The last episode of Season 3 replays tonight (the enhanced version) in preparation for tomorrow's big Season 4 launch. Even with a shorter season, people are excited! As am I.

Hopefully I get more animated as we head toward spring. This blog is just dull. Sorry, everyone.

Currently reading: Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer)
Currently listening to: One Republic

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

As the World Turns

No, not a soaps fan (at all), but man, do things move fast when you least expect them to.

Job changing in a massive way right before my eyes and it's all good. Very hard to hear on a conference call when hubby is rattling around in my office looking for envelope and a stamp, HOWEVER!

I worked it yesterday. Got caught up on several projects and fell into bed exhausted. I have to work to get caught up because I have got a three-day weekend planned. It's my baby niece's first birthday! I know! A whole year! And because her birthday is also the day of the Superbowl, which is a big deal for Todd this year (he's rooting for the Pats), we're going to stay through Monday. That way he and Dad can play golf or go to the shooting range or something manly and I'll just play with baby. A treat!

So the revision is off, the work is caught up, my house is clean (cleaned all weekend), and it's time to read.

So I'll sign off for today.

Currently reading: The Right to Write (Julia Cameron)
Currently listening to: the printer

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Raccoon and the Snow

Woke up to a winter wonderland today. My friend, J, got her wish, but school in her district won't be cancelled, just an hour late. Our district was cancelled, because in these hills, you just don't drive. Well, at least I don't. I am a menace on ice, thus school buses would also be dangerous.

Anyway, our resident coon (he's a biggun) just crept across the snow and up onto the fence and into our trees and hubby came running downstairs to point him out. We've seen him a few times now, but each time we do, he looks bigger and fatter than before. Now if he would only help us reduce the stray cat population around here, life would be really good.

Revision shipped, check was mailed, and so I partied this weekend. We had a Wii party Friday night, which went all night (friend crashed on the couch) and then last night, after J and I went to Ikea to pick up the niece's birthday present (!!!!!!), we played more Wii. It was a very nice weekend and I actually finished several books to boot and watched another disk of Jeeves and Wooster. Lovely.

This week is going to be less intense, but it's strategic planning for several other January/February items that are on my to-do list next. It should be interesting. One freelance project has completely blown up, so I just want to finish (funny how all the other projects I'm on for this client are smooth sailing, without even a slight hiccup; methinks it is the people on this project, not the project; and I mean me too--the people team just doesn't click well).

So for this week:

1. Prep for essay class.
2. MFA work for this week.
3. Marketing campaign for Q1 2008 begins (organize names in ACT)
4. Continue writing copy for new web site.
5. Seek out complimentary blogs for new blogging project.

And LOST is here on Thursday. I am so freaking excited!

Have a great snow day!

Currently listening to: August Rush soundtrack
Currently reading: Broken For You (Stephanie Kallos)